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Police have referred 1,400 drivers to DVLA in the past 5 years



In the past five years, police have referred 1,400 drivers to DVLA because they couldn’t read a license plate 20 meters away – and 97% had their license revoked

  • From 2016 to 2020, 1,486 drivers failed roadside vision tests when pulled over
  • Police reported these drivers to DVLA and 1,436 had their licenses revoked
  • Some 241 referrals were issued by police in 2020 – 233 resulted in lost licenses
  • More powers have been given to police to take action against visually impaired motorists

Hundreds of drivers have their licenses withdrawn every year after failing a road vision test when pulled over by police, new figures have revealed.

Over the past five years, law enforcement has told the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency that during tests 1,486 motorists were unable to read a license plate from 20 meters away.

As a result of these referrals, 1,436 motorists had their licenses revoked – a rate of 97 percent that was reported by police.

Can you see clearly? More than 1,400 drivers have had their licenses revoked by the DVLA in the past year after police deemed them unfit to be on the road following a traffic stop

The figures were revealed by DVLA following an access to information request from Select Car Leasing.

Drivers are required by law to notify the DVLA of any sight problem that affects both eyes, or the remaining eye if they have only one.

However, like many other medical conditions that affect a person’s ability to drive, many refrain from disclosing the problem for fear of being permanently taken off the road.

Since 2013, the police have had more powers to prevent people from driving which they believe could pose a risk to others.

If an officer considers that the safety of other road users would be endangered if a driver remains on the road, he can request the urgent revocation of the license.

There are three levels of revocation in the new system: immediate; within 48 hours; and postal, when the motorist will be picked up by courier sent within 24 hours of notification from the police.

If a banned driver continues to drive after receiving a revocation, he is deemed to have committed a criminal offense, which may result in his arrest and the seizure of his vehicle.

The government agency specifies that to achieve “driving vision standards”, motorists in charge of a car or motorcycle must be able to read a license plate made after September 1, 2001 from a distance. minimum of 20 meters.

Drivers should wear glasses or contact lenses every time they drive if they need them to meet this standard, the automotive body warns.

Since 2013, the police have had more powers to prevent people from driving which they believe could pose a risk to others

Since 2013, the police have had more powers to prevent people from driving which they believe could pose a risk to others

The rules state: “You must also meet the minimum standard of sight to drive with visual acuity of at least 0.5 decimal (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses). , if necessary) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye, in that eye.

“You also need to have an adequate field of vision – your optician can advise you and do a test. “

The “Snellen scale” is usually made up of a number of rows of letters that decrease as you move down the chart, just as you would an optician.

A total of 38,090 car and motorcycle drivers have had their licenses refused or revoked in the past five years for failing to meet minimum driving standards, the investigation found.

Truck and bus drivers need to have a higher level of eyesight than those who drive cars and motorcycles.

Some 3,253 truck and bus drivers have had their licenses refused or revoked for the same reason.

Select Car Leasing Managing Director Graham Conway said: “Vision is clearly an important part of the ability to drive and it should be taken seriously.

“At the start of each practical driving test, each learner should be able to correctly read a license plate on a parked vehicle.

“After that, it is each driver’s responsibility to have regular eye tests and to notify the DVLA of any issues.

“Vision problems can not only endanger you, but also endanger other motorists, passengers and pedestrians.”

Failure of eye tests – statistics

Number of D751E references (for failed eye tests) received by the DVLA from the police:

2016: 320

2017: 291

2018: 325

2019: 309

2020: 241

Number of licenses revoked following D751E referrals:

2016: 317

2017: 273

2018: 316

2019: 297

2020: 233

Number of Group 1 drivers (cars / motorcycles) whose license has been revoked or refused due to failure to meet minimum driving vision standards:

2016: 8 875

2017: 7 982

2018: 8 081

2019: 8,602

2020: 4,550

Number of group two drivers (trucks / buses) whose license has been revoked or refused for failure to meet minimum driving vision standards:

2016: 652

2017: 672

2018: 807

2019: 721

2020: 401

Source: Access to information request sent to DVLA by Select Car Leasing

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