The DVLA has issued a reminder that drivers who need glasses or contact lenses, need to be wearing them when driving or they could be fined.
Drivers who need glasses and drive without them can face fines of up to £1,000 and three penalty points on their licence. The points are awarded under a miscellaneous offence code – MS70 to be precise: ‘driving with uncorrected defective eyesight’. These points would stay on a licence for 4 years from the date of the offence.
The acid test of visual ability behind the wheel, according to the DVLA, is the ability to read a car number plate made after 1st September 2001, from a distance of 20 meters. This is part of the ‘standards of vision for driving’ set out by the licencing body, and could land glasses-wearers in hot water if they’re motoring without their eyewear.
There’s also a risk of invalidating your car insurance, if you require prescription eyewear and aren’t wearing it at the time of an incident.
Driving in the autumn and winter carries some extra considerations, as both the low sun in the mornings and evenings, and drier air as we crank our car heating up, can affect both visibility and eye health respectively.
This year has seen a large number of warnings or new rules issued for motorists, from mobile phone laws (another area where fines are likely), to local council powers increasing to handle minor motoring offences.
“At heart, this is just another reminder to exercise common sense behind the wheel,” says Andy McDonald, Underwriting Manager at Norton Insurance Brokers. “Most drivers who need glasses wouldn’t dream of taking to the road without them, but it’s important to remember that anything which could impair your driving ability is a hazard, whether that’s a lack of glasses, the distraction of a phone, or driver fatigue.”
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