Safe Driving

4th October 2023

Car driving in countryside

With recent reports in the news about motorists having their driving licence revoked after failing a number plate reading test, we thought it would be helpful to explain the driving eyesight rules and what we can do to help you ensure your sight is legal.

So, what do I need to be able to see to drive legally? 

According to the DVLA, “You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres.”

If you are at the opticians, the DVLA say this is equivalent to meeting, “the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye.”

How can I check my driving eyesight is legal?

If you have not had an eye test in the last two years or you simply have concerns about your sight, we recommend you book an eye sight test to ensure you meet the legal driving standard and to check that your prescription is up to date.

We can advise you on your ability to see clearly and make sure you have the best possible standard of vision protecting both yourself and others.  If you don’t meet the legal driving standard, often an Optometrist will be able to help you reach this standard with glasses or contact lenses.

Another tip is to always wear an up-to-date pair of glasses or contact lenses while driving and don’t forget to have a spare pair of glasses in case you lose or break a pair.  If you are driving abroad, always check their legislation as some countries require you to keep a spare pair of glasses in your vehicle too.

If you find night driving difficult, our Dispensing Opticians will happily give you advice on the best lenses to help combat glare.  There are many new lenses that can be recommended particularly for driving.

Have a safe journey!

The Gordon Turner Optometrists Team