More than 600 motorists have had their driving licences revoked after failing to read a number plate from the legal minimum distance. This comes after police were given new powers in 2013, which have sped up the process of revoking licences from drivers who fail roadside eyesight tests.

Data sourced through a Freedom of Information request by the Press Association shows that police forces in the UK tried to revoke motorists’ licences on 631 occasions since 2013, with 609 of these proving successful, after drivers were unable to read a number plate in a test at the roadside.

This change to the law follows the death of a 16-year-old girl in 2011, who was killed by a driver in his 80s who lost control of his car and mounted the kerb – only a few days after he failed a police eyesight test. Teenager Cassie McCord died after receiving serious head injuries in the collision with 87-year-old Colin Horsfall in Essex.

48 hours

Revoking a driving licence can now be done in less than 48 hours.

Horsfall was stopped by police three days before the crash after being involved in a minor collision, with officers proceeding to spend several hours trying to persude the elderly man to stop getting behind the wheel. However, officers did not have the power to immediately suspend the man’s licence after he failed the vision test, the Press Association writes.

Following the death of her daughter, the victim’s mother started a campaign to alter the law, allowing police to revoke drivers' licences more quickly, should they fail an eyesight test. New rules allow an urgent request for a licence to be revoked, which takes 48 hours or less.

Picture: Ronalid Hudson

Chris Lloyd


July 27, 2015

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