08.02.2012

Injured motorist backs eyesight campaign

Injured motorist backs eyesight campaign

By Alexa Kaczka

A man who was injured in a car accident with a driver who had defective vision is backing a national campaign that calls for compulsory eye tests for all motorists.

Gareth Gault, 42, of the Grove, Southend, told the Essex Echo that he is fully behind the initiative, which was launched by road safety charity Brake in a bid to reduce the number of people around the UK injured in car accidents due to drivers not wearing contact lenses or glasses.

The organisations are calling for a change to the law, which would mean drivers have to be tested before they are allowed a driving licence, something Mr Gault applauds.

He told the newspaper: "It's very easy for people to say, 'oh I'm just popping down the road' and think nothing will happen because they might only be making a short journey. But it only takes a split second for an accident to happen, which can end up ruining lives or, even worse, killing someone."

When he was seven years old, Mr Gault was hit by a car driven by a motorist wearing an eyepatch and was pulled along for 150 yards, resulting in an eight-month stay in hospital.

He explained: "Once I left hospital, I was wheelchair-bound and then forced to walk around with callipers and crutches before I was finally able to walk again unaided, aged 15. It was a traumatic time for me."

A further side-effect was that he developed early-onset arthritis in his twenties, meaning the incident is causing him trouble even 35 years after it originally took place.

Mr Gault said that the new initiative will hopefully help to reduce or even eliminate the number of road accidents involving motorists who require vision correction and prevent lives from being ruined.

by Alexa Kaczka


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