David Stewart MSP calls on all drivers to have regular eye tests
November 28, 2013
David Stewart MSP attended an RSA Insurance Group’s ‘Fit to Drive’ road safety and eye health drop-in eye test event in the Scottish Parliament this week.
Supported by road safety charity Brake and Optometry Scotland and held just after National Road Safety Week, the event saw MSPs from all political parties tested to see whether they meet the UK’s minimum eye health standards.
Research shows that poor vision results in nearly 3,000 casualties in the UK each year.
In addition to injury and loss of life, road collisions are costly for individuals, their families and the wider economy.
The total cost of road collisions due to poor driver vision is estimated to be £33m a year.
During the event David Stewart MSP found out more about how this issue affects the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and had his eyes tested by a qualified Specsavers optometrist.
David Stewart said, “Drivers should take their responsibilities for their own and other people’s safety extremely seriously.
“An important part of this is making sure their eyesight meets the standards required and they wear their glasses or lenses every time they drive if they need them.
“Thousands of collisions happen every year because of poor vision, at great cost to those involved and to the economy as a whole.
“I’m glad to say that I’m fit to drive but it’s vital everyone gets their eyes tested regularly to make sure they are safe too.”
Adrian Brown, CEO of RSA UK & Western Europe, said:
“Regular testing helps maintain good eyesight and that means fewer crashes and safer roads. It’s good to see MSPs getting this message out to their constituents.
“We also want existing EU rules on driver eyesight to be properly implemented in the UK.
“We’re currently lagging behind many other countries and that means our roads aren’t as safe as they could be.”
Sam Watson, Chair of Optometry Scotland, said:
“Sight loss and road crashes are two major and interlinked public health challenges.
“Both are also largely avoidable and an excellent first step to addressing them is to encourage regular sight tests for all drivers.
“We urge local authorities, the public health community and local eye health networks to work together to relay this message to drivers and the general public.”