After recent announcements about drivers who are unable to read a licence plate from 20 metres risk losing their licence, it’s been reported that thousands of short-sighted learner drivers have failed their tests before they’ve even sat behind the wheel.
According to the research, more than 2,800 motorists have been refused a licence because they can’t read a number plate from 20 metres.
Being able to read a registration plate from this distance is a legal requirement for all motorists and failing to do so is an automatic fail.
It’s advised that all qualified drivers have their eyesight checked regularly to ensure they can still legally drive.
The research, by Feel Good Contacts, found the number of motorists failing tests because of their eyesight has been increasing over the last four years.
In 2014, 508 learners failed because they couldn’t read a number plate from 20 metres, but by 2017 this figure had increased by 17%, to 599.
These drivers would have paid up to £75 to take a driving test they had already failed before even getting into the car — far more costly than a trip to the optician.
The data was obtained through a series of Freedom of Information requests made to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
Ashish Mathur, Eye Care Specialist at Feel Good Contacts, stressed the importance of motorists being able to read a number plate from 20 metres.
“Being able to check this before you book a test is easy and would save hundreds of drivers the disappointment of learning they’ve failed their test before they’ve even properly begun.
“Even if you do pass, you should take the number plate eye test on a regular basis – if you feel you’re struggling then you should book an appointment to see an optician.
“We also urge the public to notify the DVLA immediately if anything changes in regards to their eye health, regardless of their age.”
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