South Wales motorists risk losing licence in roadside eye tests
Drivers face having their licenses revoked within hours if they fail on-the-spot eye tests.
South Wales Police and the DVLA have teamed up for the initiative, which will see roadside sight tests and officers using handheld digital devices to exchange information with the licensing unit in Morriston.
In the most extreme cases of poor vision police say they will issue a notice on a motorist telling then it would be an arrestable offence to drive away — effectively barring them from the road with immediate effect — while the electronic link to the DVLA means their licence can be revoked that same day.
Police are running a series of roadside operations over the next four weeks — starting today in Talbot Green — to highlight the issue, and to educate drivers about the importance of good eyesight to driving.
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The legal standard of vision for drivers is being able to read a car number plate from 66 feet away.
South Wales Police superintendent Steve Furnham, said: "There are cultural taboos around drink driving, not wearing seatbelts and using mobile phones whilst driving.
"Motorists ensuring they are wearing appropriate eye wear in order for them to drive safely is just as important.
"Any vehicle in the hands of somebody who doesn't have full control of it is a lethal weapon. Our aim through these operations is to raise public awareness about the importance of eyesight when driving.
"There is no gratification in taking away somebody's right to drive, but people must take responsibility for their actions. There will be no hesitation if they present a serious and immediate risk to themselves and other road users."
He added: "Hopefully the threat of losing their driving licence there and then will help reduce the number of people who choose to shrug off problems with their eyesight, or their responsibility to wear appropriate eyewear before they get behind the wheel."
Police say the new digital technology will reduce the "window of risk" between a driver failing an eye test and have their licence revoked — a process which previously could take days to complete.
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