British motorists’ eyesight is in need of improvement according to a recent police campaign.

Reported by Road Safety GB, vision checks carried out by police forces suggest more than 900,000 British motorists would fail to meet even the most basic eyesight standard for driving.

Clear picture

As part of the ‘Is Your Vision Roadworthy?’ campaign, 898 roadside tests were carried out between 27 February and 12 March.

Those selected were asked to undertake a basic test – to read a car number plate from 20 metres.

A total of 2.2% were failed which, if extrapolated over the driving population, would be the equivalent of 900,000 motorists.

Three quarters of those who failed the number plate test were men. Alongside this, advancing years ‘also increased a driver’s risk of falling’ according to the police report.

While the average age of failures was 69.3 years, the youngest was 30 and the oldest 90 years of age.

The police revoked the licences of 85% of those who failed on the spot.

Seeing is believing

This latest set of results come on the back of consistent surveys and reported that underline concerns over the number of drivers failing to have regular eyesight tests.

The degradation of vision is often slow and difficult to realise. However, eyesight tends to degrade naturally, and quite substantially from around the age of 40. What’s more, the degradation is ongoing and it is recommended that all drivers get a regular sight test at an opticians a minimum of every two years.

Annual eyesight tests are even better, and they can also reveal symptoms for a number of other health issue too.

“Personal responsibility is the starting point for safer roads,” says  Chief constable Jo Shiner, the National Police Chief Council’s lead for roads policing.

“Making sure your eyesight meets the standards of vision for driving is really important and something only you can do to keep yourself and all other road users safe while driving.”

Quite a spectacle

The ‘Is Your Vision Roadworthy?’ campaign is backed across the board. This includes motoring organisations, optical associations, eye care charities and police forces throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

It was conceived to highlight drivers  legal responsibility behind the wheel. Motorists must ensure their vision meets the eyesight standards for driving every time they get behind the wheel.

Uncorrected defective eyesight is punishable with a fine of up to £1,000, three penalty points and possible disqualification.

Around 3,000 people are killed or injured by a driver with failing eyesight every year in the UK.