Specsavers and Brake are calling on the Government to introduce biannual compulsory eye examinations for drivers, following the death of a teenager when an 87-year-old driver mounted a pavement.
The driver, who had failed an on-the-spot police eye examination three days earlier, also died a month later from injuries sustained in the crash.
The appeal follows statistics revealing that one in five road users has never had an eye examination. Research carried out by Brunel University and Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) also reveals that drivers with poor eyesight are 62% more likely to stray out of their lane when driving.
Paul Carroll, Specsavers’ director of professional services, says: “We have worked with road safety charity Brake for a number of years and would again urge the Government to support our call for compulsory eye examinations for drivers, at least every two years, and for drivers to carry a spare pair of glasses in their vehicle.
“If you cannot see the TV at home or read a newspaper you would automatically reach for your glasses, yet to get into your car and drive without them is apparently acceptable. It most definitely is not and we shall continue to work with Brake to prevent more unnecessary deaths on our roads.”
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, says: “It is truly horrendous to hear of lives being cut short and families suffering as a result of poor driver eyesight.
“Drivers need to realise the vital importance of getting their eyes tested at least every two years, even if you think your vision is fine. It’s a key part of your responsibility as a driver to make sure you’re not risking your own life and other people’s.
“We are also renewing our calls for the Government to introduce compulsory eyesight tests, to ensure all drivers are fit for the road and so help prevent further tragedies.”
For more information contact Jordanne Young or Thomas Johnson on 020 7053 6000.