Eastbourne driver has licence revoked after failing roadside eyesight test

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An Eastbourne driver had his licence revoked by police just hours after failing a roadside eyesight test.

The 66-year-old was asked to read a number plate 20 metres away, but could only manage four metres. Officers contacted the DVLA that day (June 5) and his licence was immediately revoked under a new law that came into effect at the start of the year.

The new procedure - named Cassie’s Law - came into effect in January 2013 and now means drivers can be banned within hours of failing an eye test.

The law was named after a 16-year-old girl from Colchester, Cassie McCord, who was killed while standing on a pavement and struck by a car being driven by an 87-year-old man who had failed an eye test three days before.

Cassie’s mother Jackie campaigned to have licences immediately revoked and collected 45,000 signatures and so the Department for Transport worked to accelerate the process whereby a licence could be revoked by the DVLA within a matter of hours.

Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas for the Road Policing Unit said, “This new law means that officers and the DVLA are working together to make sure that drivers whose eyesight does not meet requirements are taken off the roads as soon as possible.

“Driving while not having eyesight up to scratch can put you and others in serious danger. Please don’t take that risk and make sure you wear glasses and contact lenses with the right prescription or get your eyes tested.

“If you suspect someone is driving while not meeting the driving eyesight requirements, please report it to police on 101.”

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said, “I welcome the introduction of this law, it is vital that drivers take responsibility to reduce any dangers they pose when driving on the roads of Sussex.

“Improving road safety and reducing the number of road casualties across the county is one of the priorities in the Police & Crime Plan and is the issue that residents in Sussex speak to me about the most. I will be working with Sussex Police and partners to ensure this is tackled and to see the prevention of tragedies such as these in the future.”

Drivers must be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away in good light, wearing glasses or contact lenses if they need them. Those who have their licences revoked may be able to get them back if they can prove to the DVLA that they have taken the necessary steps to improve their vision, by getting glasses for example, but a licence may be permanently revoked if they are medically unfit to drive.