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ROAD safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging drivers and riders of all ages to make an appointment for an eyesight test.

The group says such a move would make a significant contribution to reducing collisions and injuries on the UK's roads.

The organisation is once again warning that our driver eyesight regulatory system is no longer fit for purpose and needs to be updated urgently.

GEM chief executive Neil Worth said: "Poor eyesight is linked to more than 3,000 fatal and serious injury collisions every year.

"We are concerned that there are too many people driving whose eyesight has deteriorated to an dangerous level. The past year of Covid restrictions will have put many people off booking an eye test, but as things open up and the roads become busier, we urge everyone to prioritise safety and book a proper examination.

"This will identify and correct any problems, meaning the risks of driving are reduced and the road environment is safer.

"More and more people are staying behind the wheel for longer. Under the present regulations, it's our individual responsibility to declare ourselves fit to drive. But we will be unable to notice many of the changes to our vision - it takes a professional examination to reveal changes to our visual acuity, peripheral awareness, eye coordination, depth perception, ability to focus and colour vision."

Having an eye test every two years is a key part of being a responsible driver, just to ensure there are no safety concerns about their vision and to deal with any issues at an early stage, according to GEM.

Eye tests are free to those aged 60 or over, as well as to those aged 16 to 18 and in full time education. For others, an eye test typically costs between £20 and £30.

In 2018, a survey of more than 2,500 GEM members revealed that 75.03 per cent supported mandatory eye testing for anyone returning to driving following a court ban or medical revocation, with 70.7 per cent also in favour of requiring a current eye test certificate to be provided at the time of renewing a photocard licence.


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