Every day in Britain drivers risk their own lives and others’ and cause injuries.

Not because they’ve been drinking, speeding or using mobile phones – but because their eyesight is so poor they are effectively “driving blind”.

With 27 million vehicles on the UK’s congested roads, it is madness that our regulations governing vision screening for car drivers are among the least robust in Europe.

In short, they let a teenager pass the driving test at 17 by just reading a sign-plate at 20 metres held up by a driving text examiner.  That motorist can then effectively drive most of their life without ever having to prove they can see to drive properly.

Our call to Government couldn’t be plainer:  give this crisis the same weight as drink driving or text-driving and make regular eye tests for drivers compulsory.  Say NO to Driving Blind.

The UK statistical evidence is overwhelming. Few of us would ever drive with untested eyes if we knew that poor vision is a factor in 3,000 casualties a year and in 59% of accidents and that after the age of 40, eye disease, visual impairment and blindness trebles with each decade.

But as we know from a spate of recent deaths involving drivers who had been tested, and then told to stop driving before they went on to kill, knowledge does not always change behaviour.

Ideally, public education would do the job but self-policing will never work.  Studies show that while most people believe they meet the legal eyesight requirement for driving, only 60% can spell out what that is.  We can also lose 40% of our vision before noticing it.

Until Government and the DVLA make it mandatory for drivers from the age of 17 to submit evidence that proves their visual acuity and peripheral vision is adequate, we will continue to hear yet more tragic road accidents involving children, the old, the vulnerable, cyclists and motorcyclists.

I’m reaching out to everyone in my personal network to sign our Driving Blind petition, promote it on their personal networks, including Twitter and Facebook quoting @DrivingBlindUK and #DrivingBlind and share with me any media and political support you can muster.  Let’s all say NO to Driving Blind and use grassroots action to open the Government’s eyes.

Kay Williamson

Managing Director

Gravitas Public Relations