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Driving standards improved.

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THE STANDARD of visual acuity required for car and motorcycle drivers is now 'at least 6/12; in addition to being able to read the number plate test from the prescribed distance, the DVLA has announced.

The visual fields requirements stated by the Agency remain as 120[degrees] horizontal, with at least another 50[degrees] on each side now introduced.

The change comes after a meeting of the DVLA's Medical Advisory Panel last June, during which it was recognised that the number plate test was not an accurate method of assessing visual acuity.

Standards for Group 2 drivers (lorry and bus) have also been revised, stipulating visual acuity must be at least 6/7.5 in the better eye.

Speaking on behalf of the Optical Confederation, Mark Nevin, said: "We and partner health, transport and road safety stakeholders have campaigned hard over the last two years for better assessment of drivers' vision. We stepped up our efforts following the advice from the DVLA's Medical Advisory Panel last June.

"Having a clearly defined visual acuity and visual field standard will assist healthcare practitioners when advising their patients on fitness to drive, which is a step in the right direction. We would, however, like to see further progress to ensure that all drivers meet and continue to meet the visual standards, which research has indicated remains a problem."

The Confederation confirmed it will produce guidance for its members to help them interpret the changes.

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Publication:Optometry Today
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 18, 2012
Words:244
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