#Roads & Transport
United Kingdom

It is currently a requirement that before taking the practical driving exam in the UK that the student be subjected to an 'eye exam' which is made up purely of reading a number plate at a distance of 20 to 20.5 metres.

If, after 3 attempts, the student fails to read the number plate correctly, they will have failed the driving test.

This method of testing vision is extremely flawed. Weather conditions such as rain, fog and glare from the sun can contribute to anyone having difficulty reading the number plate. In addition, as many number plates are affixed to vehicles with bolts that go through the centre of the plate. This can alter the appearance of the letters and numbers, for example, making a 0 appear to be an 8.

It is vital that a driver have very good vision, however, this should be confirmed at the commencement of driving instruction and not delayed until the time of the practical driving exam. Further to this, just as the driving exam is left to the professional driving examiners, the eye exam should be conducted by an eye care professional.

We therefore propose that applicants seeking a provisional driving license must submit a document from a licensed optician verifying the results of their eye examination, along with the other required documentation.

This would ensure a) learner drivers have met the same vision requirement as all licensed drivers, b) the eye examination is carried out by a licensed optician in a controlled environment which is equal and fair to everyone, c) that no one loses their entire practical driving test fee purely on the basis of failing the eye exam.

We, the undersigned, call on the British government, the DVLA and the DSA, to cease the method of eye examination currently in use. We call upon you to adopt a fair and impartial system of testing the vision of new drivers by which provisional license applicants would be required to submit documentation from a licensed optician verifying the results of the applicants vision test.

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The UK Drivers Eye Test Requirement petition to DSA/DVLA was written by Michelle Charles and is in the category Roads & Transport at GoPetition.