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Parliamentary debate on eyesight testing for drivers

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meg Munn MP has secured a Parliamentary debate on the eyesight testing requirements for drivers as a result of the tragic death of a young woman by an elderly driver with poor eyesight. The Sheffield Heeley MP has been campaigning for eyesight standards for drivers to be improved since she was contacted by constituent Joy Barnes whose niece Fiona Buckley was tragically killed by an elderly driver in 2008.


When Police officers tested the driver’s eyesight he could not read a car number plate from the required distance of 20.5 metres. He was later found to have cataracts in both eyes which a doctor said it would give him "foggy or hazy" sight which could have rendered Fiona almost invisible to him. The driver also suffered from age-related macular degeneration, which blurs the central vision, and with his right eye he could only see from six metres what people with good vision can read from 24 metres.


The Parliamentary debate will be held in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 15th June at 4pm.


Meg commented:


“I have been working with BRAKE the road safety charity for some time and after being contacted by Joy I have being pushing for the worrying low level of the drivers eyesight examination to be improved.   


Currently the government does not believe that mandatory re-testing is the way forward for older drivers. Instead they favour an approach which ‘helps aging drivers retain their skills.’ I know this is not any consolation to my constituents who lost a family member who was struck and killed by an elderly driver who didn’t know he had cataracts.”


Joy Barnes said:


“Fiona’s death hit us all hard. The driver should not have been on the roads with such poor eyesight and it is a travesty that nothing is done to make sure that drivers meet a minimum standard of sight. If this driver had been made to have a sight test to keep his licence then Fiona would still be with us.


I am so glad that Meg has secured a debate on this issue, I look forward to hearing the outcome.”


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