Concern for fleet managers over driving vision standards

Concerns have been raised over driving vision standards, following the publication of a consensus paper by the European Council of Optometry and Optics.

The paper reveals how the UK lags behind the rest of the EU in terms of standards for driving vision. Specsavers Corporate Eyecare is concerned about the impact on fleet managers.

Following the publication of a consensus paper by the European Council of Optometry and Optics, Specsavers Corporate Eyecare is voicing its concerns over driving vision standards at work.

The consensus paper reveals how the UK lags hugely behind the rest of the EU in terms of standards for driving vision and Specsavers is concerned about the impact on fleet managers and employers.

Specsavers Corporate Eyecare’s director of strategic alliances, Jim Lythgow, said: “The paper shows just how far behind the UK is in terms of assessing driver eyesight. With employers being responsible for all ‘at work’ activities under Health and Safety Law, this means that driving vision often comes down to the policy of the fleet manager or employer.

“With lax laws on the requirements for driver vision, the risks on the road increase and this can put employees and, therefore, also their employers at risk.”

Of the 29 countries included in the paper, 24 require driver eyesight to be tested by a medical doctor, ophthalmologist, optometrist or optician.

The UK is one of the five remaining countries where it is the job of the driving examiner to check vision with a number plate test.

In contrast, the majority of EU countries use visual acuity and or visual fields, twilight vision and colour vision tests – and are conducted on a regular basis or at a certain age.

Lythgow said: “Good vision is vital for safe driving and the only way to ensure good vision is to have regular eyesight tests carried out by a professional. To ensure they are meeting their requirement to safeguard employees during all activities, it currently comes down to the employer and their fleet manager to implement a policy of testing driver eyesight.

“While the inconsistencies remain so great and the UK continues to trail behind the rest of the EU, a low-cost blanket scheme covering all drivers is a sensible precaution to take.”

 

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