Group 1 licence
Tens of thousands of motorists had their licence revoked, or refused, due to poor eyesight from 2012 to 2016 - and most fell foul in the later years, The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency confirmed. The Group 1 licence, for example, incorporates cars and motorbikes. The table below confirms how many were revoked/refused.
|Group 1 Licence|
Group 1 Licence
Drivers must meet minimum eyesight requirements so they can see hazards clearly. These standards – that can be met while wearing spectacles or contact lenses – include being able to read a registration plate that is secured to a vehicle. The terms include:
For vehicles first registered on/after September 1st 2001, motorists must be able to read its plates from 20 metres in good light (letters and numbers to be 79mm tall and 50mm wide)
For vehicles first registered prior to September 1st 2001, motorists must be able to read its plates from 20.5 metres in good light (letters and numbers to be 79mm tall and 57mm wide)
Further requirements relate to field of vision which is the width motorists see. At least 120 degrees is required. There are acuity requirements, too. The Snellen Chart tests performance (chart opticians have on the wall which incorporates letters and numbers).
Group 2 licence
The Group 2 bus and lorry licence requires motorists to have superior vision. The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency also revoked or refused thousands of such licences from 2012 to 2016. See below.
|Group 2 Licence|
Optical specialist calls for compulsory sight tests
An Association of Optometrists Clinical Advisor, Trevor Warburton, claimed that motorists should be forced to ensure – rather than assume – that their sight meets minimum, legal, standards. He said:
“In the United Kingdom, there is currently no requirement for drivers to have regular sight tests. We believe that compulsory vision screening for motorists would help ensure that drivers’ vision meets the required standards. This would reduce the chance of someone having an accident due to their poor vision”, he argued.
Eyesight and the law
Motorists can be prosecuted if their vision is below par. Driving with uncorrected, defective, sight or refusing to submit to a test leads to 3 penalty points, for starters. Further, they must inform the Agency if they have certain medical issues. Highlights include:
Sight in a single eye
- Glaucoma (damaged optic nerve)
- Cataracts (poor lens transparency)
- Tunnel vision (narrow view)
- Diplopia (double vision)
- Nyctalopia (tricky to see in low light)