Drivers who cannot read a number plate from 20 meters away could have their licenses revoked as part of a new test being trialled. Every motorist stopped by officers from forces (Thames Valley, Hampshire and the West Midlands Police) in September will be required to read a number plate from 20 meters away.
Sergeant Rob Heard, representing the police forces taking part in the campaign, said: “Not being able to see a hazard or react to a situation quickly enough can have catastrophic consequences.”
Officers 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. The power was 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, Essex. It later emerged he had failed a police eyesight test day earlier, but a legal loophole meant he was allowed to continue driving.
Under current rules, the only mandatory examination of a driver’s vision takes place during the practical test, when learners must read a number plate from 20 metres.
Since the introduction of Cassie’s Law, Police Officers can request an urgent revocation of a licence through the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if they believe the safety of other road users will be put at risk if a driver remains on the road. Police have the facilities to contact the DVLA from their cars meaning a driver could have their license revoked within a few minutes
What happens if your license is revoked?
– If your licence is revoked – which can occur for several medical reasons– you will have to apply for a new one, paying the fee as you would for a first licence.
– The DVLA will give you a disqualification period, during which a driver cannot apply for a new licence.
– You can then reapply eight weeks before the end of this period, and you may need to send evidence that you are fit to drive. The letter from the DVLA will tell you if this is the case.
Not having a valid driving licence will often mean that your insurance is invalid.
Brake and Vision Express are calling for a recent eye test to be required when licences are renewed every 10 years. Under current rules, the only mandatory examination of vision takes place during the practical test, when learners must read a number plate from 20 metres. Once someone has obtained their licence, it is up to them to tell the DVLA if they have a problem with their eyesight.
Research by the Association of Optometrists published in November last year found that more than a third (35%) of optometrists saw patients in the previous month who continued to drive despite being told their vision was below the legal standard