New procedures have been introduced to lower the risks of road accidents caused by drivers with poor vision – a concern which has been further increased by the recent wintry conditions.
Following a 45,000-strong petition to the government, the act known as “Cassie’s Law” will give police the power to make an on-the-spot request for the revocation of a driver’s licence if they are found unfit to drive.
The move comes after an 87-year-old man had driven into a petrol station via the exit, causing police to stop him and demand an eye test.
The driver, who failed the eye test, was then asked to surrender his licence. He refused. Three days later, the same driver swerved onto the pavement and killed teenager Cassie McCord.
The process of invalidating a driving licence is something which must be done by post through the DVLA; but new police powers will now allow them to make a request for disqualification using the latest smartphone technology as soon as the driver has failed his eye test at the roadside. Once the request is made, the driver will be cautioned that any attempt to get back behind the wheel while this process is in motion – and until they can satisfy the DVLA that their eyesight is of the required standard – will be treated as a criminal offence.
With the spring not quite yet in full swing, the risks to drivers with poor vision are increased; not only due to worsening conditions in which to see clearly such as snow blindness, but also with the risk of losing control on the ice. If you have any concerns at all about the vision of you, or another family member, and how it may affect your driving, please consult your local optician.