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DVLA to introduce major overhaul of eyesight driving rules 'in the coming weeks'




The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is expected to make changes and update its guidance in relation to its list of notifiable eye conditions.

According to the Association of Optometrists (AOP), the DVLA confirmed it would introduce new guidance after discussions last year.

The AOP raised serious concerns about a DVLA list of eye conditions which could have applied to any driver who went for an eye test. 

It offered to work with the DVLA to create a list which would keep motorists safe and function alongside the DVLA’s medical panel.

The new list is believed to detail which eye conditions people who need to notify the DVLA about when renewing their licence.

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Adam Sampson, chief executive at the AOP, said: “We’ve continued to have an open dialogue with the DVLA on this important issue to work towards a pragmatic solution for our members, patients and the DVLA.

“The extent of the original list really would have been problematic for so many so we’re incredibly pleased to see that the DVLA have listened to the advice of the sector. 

“The move is sure to remove an unnecessary administrative burden for practitioners but also alleviate worry for many patients.”

As part of the expected changes, the DVLA consulted with the SoS Medical Advisory Panel on Visual disorders and driving to arrive at the current list.

The Association of Optometrists website states that the new guidance is “due to be published in the coming weeks”.

To be allowed to drive on UK roads, motorists must be able to read a car number plate (with glasses or contacts, if necessary) from 20 metres.

At the start of every practical driving test, they will need to correctly read a number plate on a parked vehicle.

If they can’t do so, they will fail their driving test and the DVLA will be made aware and could revoke any licence.

When reapplying for a licence, the DVLA will ask them to have an eyesight test with the DVSA at a driving test centre.

They must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving, which can be specifically monitored by an optician when they go in for a test.

People can be fined as much as £1,000 if they do not tell the DVLA about a medical condition that affects their driving and they may be prosecuted if they are involved in an accident as a result.

Eye conditions that drivers need to tell the DVLA about include common ailments like glaucoma and macular oedema, among others.

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