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Police in Thames Valley to give motorists eyesight tests

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Police in the Thames Valley are planning to give every motorist they stop an eyesight test as part of a crack down on drivers with defective eyesight.

When stopped by a police officer, any drivers who fail to read a number plate from a distance of 20m (65ft) away will have their licences revoked immediately as part of a new crackdown on drivers with defective eyesight.

Three police forces in England are taking part in the clampdown, they are Thames Valley, Hampshire and West Midlands.

If they believe the safety of other road users will be put at risk if a driver remains on the road police officers can request an urgent revocation of a licence through the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Currently the only mandatory examination of a driver’s vision takes place during the practical driving test during learners must read a number plate from 20 metres. Once someone obtains a driving licence it is their responsibility to inform the DVLA if they develop vision problems.

Rob Heard, Road Safety Sergeant for Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police said: ‘All of us require good vision to drive safely on our roads – not being able to see a hazard or react to a situation quickly enough can have catastrophic consequences.

The legal limit is being able to read a number plate at 20m, around 5 car lengths, however this is a minimum requirement and a regular eyesight test with an optician is a must if we are going to be safe on the road.

Since 2013, the Police have a new procedure – Cassie’s Law – to fast track notification to the DVLA should they find someone who cannot read a number plate at 20m in daylight conditions.

Offending motorists will within an hour have their licence revoked and face prosecution. During September [2018], we will be carrying out 20m number plate checks at every opportunity and those who fail will have their licences revoked. I hope we do not find anyone and everyone makes sure they are safe to read the road ahead.

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