Driving Standards Agency carries out the sight test at time of
Authority Road Safety Officers' Association
Majesty's Stationery Office
for on-line copies of UK
legislation re driving
Road Traffic Act 1988 [c. 52]
of drivers of vehicles - Requirement to hold licence
Vehicles [Driving Licences] Regulations 1996
Motor Vehicles [Driving Licences] Regulations 1999
At A Glance:
copy of the DVLA booklet [UK] regarding medical conditions and driving.
Dept of Transport: guidelines
Honorary Vision Panel:
minutes, and annual reports of the DVLA Medical Panel
NORTHERN IRELAND Transport Division,
Vehicle Licensing Central Office, County Hall, Castlerock Road, Coleraine BT51 3HS
European Transport Directorate website on driving
Meetings of the Transport Committee are shown on
this digital TV channel, usually at 11 a.m. on
Mondays while parliament is sitting.
are tabled for one hour every two
weeks [starting Tuesday
6 January 2004] in the
House of Commons. BBC
the whole of the Commons
proceedings live from 14.30
on Mondays and 11.30 on
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Questions are
the first piece of
business to be taken each day.
These times my vary from week to week and digital
TV viewers may see the schedule by pressing the
red button while tuned to
BBC Parliament. You may also get this
information and follow debate live via their
see a MS PowerPoint presentation given by Dr. Dennis Kelleher on factors
concerning driving with a BiOptic Telescopic System,
here. [60 Kb]
The UK has a world-leading
automotive research and technology centre
RNIB database of places offering "Low
Vision Services" If you need help
Possible sources of funding for
a BiOptic Telescope in the UK:
If you have private health insurance, approach the provider to find out if you are covered.
If a BiOptic is required to find or keep work: Employment Service Access to Work
[AtW] Scheme. Contact the Disability Service Team at the nearest local/regional Employment Service office: addresses are on-line:
AtW will pay the total cost if you are unemployed but starting a job; self-employed; or have been with an employer for less than 6 weeks. If you have been employed for longer than 6 weeks, the employer pays the first £300 and 80% of remainder.
workers: Trade Union or occupational
Action for Blind People, 14-16 Verney Road, London, SE16 3DZ Tel: 020 7732 8771 email:
firstname.lastname@example.org May give a grant up to £150, conditional upon obtaining remaining funding elsewhere.
The Cecilia Charity for the Blind, Boundary House, 91-93 Charterhouse Street, London EC1M 6PN
Tel: 020 7253 3757 May give a maximum grant of £300, conditional on obtaining the remaining funding elsewhere. Applications are considered four times each year.
Gardners Trust for the Blind. Address and conditions as above. Applicants must be resident in England or Wales.
[James Powell UK Trust], SCOD, Clerwood House, 96 Clermiston Road, Edinburgh, EH12 6UT e-mail:
email@example.com [Bo Crombet-Beolens]
The local Rotary
Round Table [Tel: 0121 456 4402]
Lions Clubs Multi-District Headquarters [Tel: 0121 4414 544]
The local voluntary society for the blind - there are over 200 spread throughout the country: contact RNIB's Local Agencies Unit for details of those in your area: Local Agencies Unit, RNIB, 224 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5AA
Tel: 020 7388 1266 or 0845 766 9999
Armed Service personnel:
or the Royal British
Tel: 0845 7725725
BiOptics are not
normally available via
the NHS. However,
as a last resort ask
your GP for a referral
to Julie Broadbent,
Senior Optometrist at
Moorfields Eye Hospital.
Tel: 0207 253 4311
In the UK...
are we, and what is
...There is no law concerning BiOptics being used for
driving here, and there's some ambiguity surrounding any DVLA policy on
BiOptic Telescope Systems. In the
past, this subject has received little attention here, often instantly
dismissed by some uninformed conservatives. Moreover, experience from the USA tells us some will always be resistant
to progress in this regard, especially where they are uninformed and have
not seen the primary research.
BiOptic Driving Network is stimulating discussion on this subject and
intellectually engaging with the antis. Progress is steady, and we
already have the support of the worlds leading experts and several
British and European
Recognising the public interest, the DVLA
matter to the
European Driving License
Committee and the Vision
Expert subGroup, based
in Brussels. The British
and Dr Heather Major
[respectively] of the UK Department of Transport
and DVLA [respectively].
about that is available
especially in our
Members only forums.
Meanwhile other EU
member nations are
progressing well with
trials, and of
course each member
nation recognises each
others driving licenses.
Licenses in the EU and EEA, ISBN:
situation in the UK is
some biOptic users are
licensed to drive, and
some (even though
ideally suited) are not!
hope to positively influence policy formation on BiOptic Driving, taking account of the balance of
scientific evidence - all of which is in the possession
of BDN and in the public
domain. Indeed many
agree clarification and enlightenment is needed on many matters concerned
with vision and driving in the UK, notably the "curb-side vision
test". It's therefore very encouraging
that the DVLA commissioned new research, though not regarding
BiOptics. Currently we look forward to
BiOptic driving in several EU nations.
However, it's important to accept that not all individuals with low vision conditions could
benefit from our efforts, but with appropriate distance optical low
vision aids, and specialised driver education training, some low vision
drivers are factually safer than many others currently permitted to drive.
[Source: Dr. Otto Lippmann, MD, "The Effect of the Texas Medical
Advisory Board for Driver Licensing on Driver Performance",
American Association for Automotive Medicine Proceedings, October 3-6,
1979, Louisville, KY, et al].
Where in the UK are
Network does not
endorse any products or
use our public
to ask for
Current vision requirement
The UK vision requirement is to be able to read a
plate in good daylight from 20.5m [67 feet], "using glasses if
If you need "glasses or contact lenses" to do this, you must
every time you drive. There are additional rules if you want to drive
vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and minibus/buses.
FOR NEW DRIVERS - Your eyesight
- 6/9 [20/30] on the Snellen scale in the better eye and 6/12
[20/40] on the Snellen scale
the other eye ["wearing glasses or contact lenses" if you
- 3/60 [10/200] in each eye without glasses or contact lenses
In line with the rest of Europe, the font used on number
plates was reduced in width from 57mm to 50mm, on new vehicles from 2001. Consequently the
eyesight test will be reduced to 20 metres when a new style number plate
is used on test. The distance was set on advice from the Secretary of
State's Honorary Medical Advisory Panel specialising in vision. The
standard of eyesight [indicated above] required remains equivalent.
More details about the change in vehicle number plates
and new character typeface can be found in the DVLA leaflet INF104 or on
the DVLA website: www.dvla.gov.uk
acuity and legal visual
drive a passenger
vehicle in the
of past and current
Additionally, if you
have any relevant
pictures, please upload
128 k download.
56 k download (490 k)
Requires Real Audio Player
Confidence - A
practical guide to
driving with low
vision, by Dr Eli
Peli (Harvard Medical
School, USA) & Doron
Peli (Dr Eli Peli is
also a member of our
US$28 / £19
ISBN 981-02-4705-2 (pbk)
US$18 / £12
Seen our Press Release?
[74.5 Kb PDF file] 29 Apr, 2002
Copy letter from Henry Green OD, to DVLA
here [41 Kb PDF file] 8 Apr, 2002
Copy letter from Richard Feinbloom,
President, Designs For Vision, to DVLA Click
here [23.5 Kb PDF file] 22 Apr 2002
You will need
get the free Acrobat Reader in order to view it. After you download
Adobe Acrobat Reader [or if you already have it], when you click on the
PDF file, it will open directly into a new browser window or frame.