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Motorists with poor eyesight a 'neglected danger'

Date: 26 September 2011

Research by international insurer RSA has discovered that drivers with poor vision can recognise only 75% of road signs while 62% are more likely to struggle to maintain constant speed and stray out of lanes.

The test conducted by Brunel University used the legal minimum eyesight standard as a benchmark and re-enforced RSA's call for driving vision standards to be improved.

RSA argued that the "currently wholly inadequate" UK number plate test is not fit for purpose and should be scrapped. It advocated that learner drivers should have distance vision tests by qualified professionals before applying for provisional licences, and eye tests should be mandatory every 10 years when licences are renewed.

Supporting RSA's view that motorists driving with poor eyesight are a "neglected danger" and there should be a similar campaign to drink driving, mobile phone usage and seat belt wearing initiatives, 92% of drivers surveyed believed these visually impaired motorists threaten themselves and others.

RSA will lobby political parties during the party conference season this month and during October to "tackle the epidemic of people killed and injured unnecessarily on the roads each year".