Police catch motorist ‘unable to see beyond windscreen’ in poor eyesight crackdown
- Credit: Andrew Partridge
More than one in ten drivers failed on-the-spot eye checks in Essex in the last two-and-a-half years – with one motorist barely able to see beyond their windscreen, it can be revealed.
Of over 400 tests carried out in that period, one in nine people failed eyesight assessments, according to roads policing chief Adam Pipe.
Officers are now proactively seeking out people who may be at risk of failing an eye test, he added.
Under current laws, police can request an urgent revocation of a licence through the DVLA if they believe the safety of other road users will be put at risk if a driver remains on the road.
Such powers were introduced in 2013 under Cassie’s Law, named after 16-year-old Cassie McCord, who died when an 87-year-old man lost control of his vehicle in Colchester.
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Colin Horsfall failed an eyesight test days before the incident in 2011, but a legal loophole meant he could still drive.
“Officers in our roads policing teams have been asking drivers to complete eye tests for over two-and-a-half years and, in that time, we’ve completed more than 400 tests,” said Mr Pipe.
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“The numbers of people who have failed this are significant.
“One in nine people failed the test with the worst test coming back at just 2.5 metres of visibility.
“As well as testing drivers at the scene of an incident, which our recording software now tells us to do automatically, we’re also proactively seeking out drivers who may be at risk of failing an eye test.
“Officers from our South Woodham Ferrers team will complete home visits for those who are over the age of 70, or who may have been reported as a driver who has failed to stop but not caused a collision.”
He added: “They can then complete the eye test at home and, if they fail, we have the power to revoke their driving license on the spot, which can be processed within just 12 minutes.”
The police chief’s remarks come as officers from three UK forces launched a campaign to tackle drivers with poor eyesight.
During September, those who fail to read a number plate from 20m (65ft) away when pulled over in Thames Valley, Hampshire and West Midlands will have their licences revoked immediately.
Mr Pipe added: “It’s really important that people across Essex continue to look out for each other and keep our roads as safe as possible.
“If you notice a collision, or a near miss, please report it to us on 999 or 101.”
For more information, visit the DVLA’s website.