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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Optical Confederation raises concerns about the Government’s position on drivers’ vision

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Optical Confederation fully supports the comments by Meg Munn MP on the 15th of June 2011 and we would like to thank her for raising this important issue in Parliament.  


While we welcome the recognition from the Minister that individuals should not be driving if they do not meet the requirements for vision, we are disappointed at the Government’s refusal so far to take steps to ensure that all drivers have adequate vision to drive safely.  


It is unclear who is advising the Minister but she quoted figures on the costs of assessing vision, which we believe is a substantial overestimation. Many drivers would be among the 20 million who attend for a sight test annually, and 14 million of these are funded by the NHS. These drivers (and the NHS) would incur no additional cost.  


The Minister failed to address the point that drivers are often unaware of a change in their vision, while others delay resolving a problem with their vision when it arises. We do not understand how these drivers can take personal responsibility for their vision especially since there is a poor understanding of this test among drivers. We were also astounded to hear that the licence plate test can also test drivers for glare and contrast sensitivity, and we would welcome clarification on this. 


The UK is dragging its feet on driver vision screening, and falls significantly below the standards of our European partners. We urge the Government to give this further consideration. 


Mark Nevin speaking on behalf of the Optical Confederation said: 


“’the DVLA could do a lot more in the meantime to raise awareness of the importance of driving with good vision and we are ready to work with them to ensure drivers understand this responsibility, especially those most at risk of problems with their vision.”


To read Meg’s speech visit:


http://www.megmunnmp.org.uk/press-view-entry.asp?type=Views&id=391


 


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