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The COSTS Project

Business Drivers Face New Sight Threat to Licenses

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Company car and van drivers could be stripped of their licence within hours if they fail a roadside eyesight test.

Fleet managers are being advised to give everyone who drives a company vehicle regular eyesight tests following the introduction of tougher legislation.

The police were officially given enhanced powers to take immediate action against any motorist who fails a roadside eye test on February 7.

Any driver stopped by police who is unable to read a licence plate at a distance of 20 metres will now have their driving licence stripped within a matter of hours.

Although there is currently no specific legal requirement for a business to ensure that its drivers comply with minimum sight requirements, companies are being encouraged to introduce regular eye tests to prove duty of care.

Previously, motorists whose eyesight was found to be defective were able to continue driving for several days until their licence was officially revoked through the post by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Officers can now email their request to have a licence stripped straight to the DVLA from the roadside using a smartphone or other hand-held device.

The DVLA can then email back a formal revocation notice to the nearest police station which can be printed out and delivered to the offending driver that same day.

The licence will not be returned until a driver can demonstrate that their eyesight meets the required standards.

The DVLA has worked closely with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to introduce the new legislation – called “Cassie’s law” – to deal with these roadside eyesight test failures more quickly.

More than 45,000 people signed a petition asking the Government to streamline the procedure following the death of Cassie McCord in February last year. The 16-year-old was killed by an 87-year-old driver in Colchester, Essex, three days after he refused to surrender his licence despite failing a roadside eye test.

 

This article was obtained from Fleet News.

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