Why your eyesight could earn you an immediate driving ban

When driving one of our hire cars or vans, you need to be able to read a vehicle number plate at 20 metres. If not, you could fall foul of new police powers.

Glasses on Road

This September, police in several counties launched a new crackdown on drivers who can’t meet the standard eyesight requirements. The crackdown comes as a result of new powers introduced following the death of Cassie McCord, who died when an 87 year old lost control of his vehicle, accidentally crushing Cassie against a wall. The driver, Colin Horsfall, had been involved in a minor traffic accident just a few days earlier but a legal loophole meant that he did not have to surrender his licence when he failed an on the spot eye test. If he had, he could not have been at the wheel to cause Cassie’s death.

According to Brake, the road safety charity, and quoting figures from the Royal College of Optometrists, 2-3% of drivers have vision below the minimum standard.

Whilst opticians do not have an obligation to report failed eye tests (except in extreme circumstances), the police can now confiscate a driver’s licence following the failure of an on the spot eye test.

What you should do?

Whether you are a regular driver or you occasionally hire our cars or vans, the ability to see to the required 20 metre standard is essential.

It is possible for drivers to lose up to 40% of their visual acuity without being aware of it, so regular checks are essential to spot issues before they become dangerous. Remember, if you are stopped by the police for any reason, they can now require an on the spot eye test. If you fail it, you could have to surrender your licence there and then. Which could have dramatic consequences for your business and lifestyle, not to mention getting home.

So please, before you rent any of our vehicles, please ensure your vision is up to scratch.

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