In the UK we have amongst the most lax requirements for driving vision standards of anywhere in Europe.

Under the existing law, drivers must undergo an initial number plate test when taking a driving exam, then a self-declaration for renewing licences thereafter. This means a 17-year-old who can read a number plate from 20 metres away when they take their test, may continue to drive with no further checks for the rest of their life.

A public poll shows that 30% of current road users have doubted whether their vision is adequate, yet continued to drive. A further 26% say they have delayed getting their eyes checked by an optometrist despite suspecting their vision was deteriorating, and 6% admit to stalling a sight test for more than a year.

The survey also found that only 40% would stop driving altogether if they were told their vision, even with glasses or contact lenses, was below the legal standard for driving. With 10% saying that they would continue to drive as normal, regardless.

Discussions are taking place aimed at improving the legal requirements for obtaining and retaining a UK driving licence.

Whatever changes may be considered, we advise having your eyes and sight checked at least every two years when we can advise you not only if you meet current standards but whether you have any issues that can be improved.