The scheme is rolling out with spot checks in three pilot areas across the UK. Each driver checked will be expected to pass a basic sight test before being allowed to continue on their journey.
Any driver who is unable to read a number plate from a distance of 20 metres could have their licence revoked on the spot.
The aim of the scheme is to remove ‘dangerous drivers’ from our roads but will also enable the police to gather data to understand the extent of the problem.
The scheme is rolling out across Thames Valley, West Midlands and Hampshire. Road safety charity ‘Brake’ are supporting the initiative.
Representing the forces taking part is Sergeant Rob Heard who warns “officers will be carrying out checks at every opportunity. Not being able to see a hazard or react to a situation quickly enough can have catastrophic consequences.”
Since the introduction of Cassie’s Law in 2013, police officers can request immediate withdrawal of a licence from the DVLA.
The law came into effect after 16-year-old Cassie McCord died when an 87-year-old man lost control of his car in Colchester, Essex. The loophole in the law allowed the man to continue driving even after failing a police eyesight test days before the accident.
Insurance firm RSA completed a study in 2012 which estimated that poor vision caused 2,874 casualties in a year.
All drivers should inform the DVLA if they have a problem with their eyesight. More information can be found here