The DVLA has warned motorists to check their eyesight in the coming weeks as the night falls.
The government agency has asked motorists to check that they can read 20 meters in front of them, which is the minimum standard for driving.
Since the introduction of new rules in September 2001, drivers have to be able to read a license plate from a distance of 20 meters, otherwise they risk losing their driver’s license.
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According to the DVLA, you must also meet the minimum eyesight for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) on the Snellen scale (possibly with glasses or contact lenses) measured with both eyes together or if you only see in one eye, in that eye.
The DVLA has a list of diseases that you can check whether you need to declare the condition. Failure to do so could result in a € 1,000 fine.
Anyone who does not comply with the visual requirement can be prosecuted in court, which can result in a fine or the loss of a driver’s license.
The DVLA previously announced that less than 50 percent of people didn’t know they had to read a license plate from 20 meters away.
The agency found that only 48.5 percent of the drivers surveyed were aware of this important vision.
Dr. Wyn Parry, DVLA Medical Director, said, “The license plate test is a simple and effective way for people to check that their eyesight meets the standards required to drive a car.
“The easiest and fastest way to do this is to work out what 20 meters look like on the side of the road – this is usually about the length of 5 cars parked next to each other – and then test yourself whether you can read the license plate easily.
“The check is easy to carry out at the roadside at any time of the day and only takes a few seconds.
“Good eyesight is essential to safe driving, so it is very important for drivers to have regular eye tests. Eyesight can naturally deteriorate over time, so anyone worried about their eyesight should see their optician – don’t wait for your next exam. “
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