Drivers will be encouraged to take the ‘number plate test’ - a quick and easy way to check they meet the minimum eyesight requirements for driving. By law, all drivers must meet the minimum eyesight standards at all times when driving - this includes being able to read a number plate from 20 metres.
The campaign is reminding the public that they can easily check their eyesight by taking the 20 metres test and is pointing out some ways to quickly identify 20 metres at the roadside. It is advising that 5 car lengths or 8 parking bays can be an easy way to measure the distance.
The campaign is encouraging anyone with concerns about their eyesight to visit their optician or optometrist for an eye test.
Dr Wyn Parry, DVLA’s Senior Doctor, said:
The number plate test is a simple and effective way for people to check their eyesight meets the required standards for driving. The easiest and quickest way to do this is to work out what 20 metres looks like at the roadside - this is typically about the length of 5 cars parked next to each other - and then test yourself on whether you can clearly read the number plate. It’s an easy check to perform any time of day at the roadside and takes just a couple of seconds.
Having good eyesight is essential for safe driving, so it’s really important for drivers to have regular eye tests. Eyesight can naturally deteriorate over time so anyone concerned about their eyesight should visit their optician - don’t wait for your next check-up.
Notes to editors
DVLA’s national awareness campaign will run throughout the summer.
20 metres is around 26 steps for a man and around 33 for a woman.
22% of those surveyed by DVLA said that they would work out this distance using car or bus lengths, with a further 21% saying they would use paces or steps to measure this distance. Only around 5% said they would use a tape measure or other physical measurement to gauge the distance.
The minimum eyesight standards for driving are published on GOV.UK.
DVLA publishes its advice to medical professionals - including opticians and optometrists - to help them assess their patients’ fitness to drive at www.gov.uk/dvla/fitnesstodrive.