Driving Licence Applications (Eyesight Test)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th April 1970.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Peter Archer Mr Peter Archer , Rowley Regis and Tipton 12:00 am, 28th April 1970

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will now introduce an eyesight test for applicants for provisional driving licences.

Photo of Mr Albert Murray Mr Albert Murray , Gravesend

No, Sir. We have no evidence which suggests that such a requirement would reduce road accidents.

Photo of Mr Peter Archer Mr Peter Archer , Rowley Regis and Tipton

Is my hon. Friend aware that recent researches by the Optical Information Council indicate that nearly 2 per cent. of drivers have less than half the vision required for the official number plate test, and that of those 300,000-odd about 12 per cent. are between 17 and 30? Does not that show that the official test is not applied very assiduously?

Photo of Mr Albert Murray Mr Albert Murray , Gravesend

We are aware of the Optical Information Council's findings, but the unit did most of its work at the kerbside and it has not taken a random sample. The results of the eyesight test in the driving test are very different, but we welcome anything which encourages those with poor eyesight to do something about it.

Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Worcestershire South

In the interests of road safety will the Minister study the findings of registered driving instructors, all of whom have to be registered by 31st July next, for is not this body of men the proper instrument for obtaining reliable evidence as to eyesight effectiveness or otherwise?

Photo of Mr Albert Murray Mr Albert Murray , Gravesend

No doubt we can look at this, but the law on the matter is quite clear. It is an offence for anyone to drive if he cannot at the time meet the appropriate standard.