By Martin Cooke, trustee of GEM Road Safety Charity

I am supporting the campaign because of my experiences as a police officer where I dealt with a number of totally unnecessary crashes caused entirely by drivers bad eyesight.

 These drivers had depended on an element of luck, familiarity with roads or the instructions of others but sometimes it went horribly wrong. Most drivers attempted to justify the danger they had put themselves and other road users in and often knew of their impairment.

The circumstances varied, with one driver having a serious medical eyesight condition driving under strict instruction from their passenger on when to make any manouvre.

 Another, on a familiar route, counted lamp posts to know when they were approaching a junction.

 Most memorable was a crash where a driver with defective eyesight had hit and injured someone working beside a refuse lorry on the road. The wellmeaning offending driver decided to follow the ambulance carrying the injured worker, only to have another crash within minutes of them setting off.

 This happened directly behind the ambulance and meant that the casualty gave me an unusual witness statement concerning not only the initial crash but then another looking back from his stretcher in the ambulance.

The GEM Road Safety Charity is the charitable arm of GEM Motoring Assist, and was set up in 1986 with the single purpose of keeping people safe on the roads.  GEM Motoring Assist was established in 1932 as the Company of Veteran Motorists.


Martin Cooke July 2018