Last week Jim Fitzpatrick MP attended an RSA Insurance Group’s ‘Fit to Drive’ road safety and eye health drop-in eye test event in Parliament. Supported by road safety charity Brake and the Optical Confederation and held during National Road Safety Week, the event saw MPs from all political parties tested to see whether they meet the UK’s minimum eye health standards.
Research shows that poor vision results in nearly 3,000 casualties in the UK each year. In addition to injury and loss of life, road crashes are costly for individuals, their families and the wider economy. The total cost of crashes due to poor driver vision is estimated to be £33m a year.
Jim Fitzpatrick MP said: “Drivers should take responsibility for their own and other people’s safety extremely seriously. An important part of this is making sure their eyesight meets the standards required and they wear their glasses or lenses every time they drive if they need them.
“Thousands of crashes happen every year because of poor vision, at great cost to those involved and to the economy as a whole.
“I’m glad to say that I’m fit to drive but it’s vital everyone gets their eyes tested regularly to make sure they are safe too.”
RSA and the Optical Confederation have published a new report, Healthy Eyes, Safer Roads, which shows how regular eye testing can keep all road users safer and sets out recommendations for policymakers to ensure more tests take place. Drivers who fall below the minimum standards are 15 per cent more likely to crash their vehicle – although in many cases they are unaware of their poor or deteriorating eye health.
During the event Jim Fitzpatrick MP found out more about how this issue affectsPoplar and Limehouse and had his eyes tested by a qualified Specsavers optometrist. Jim Fitzpatrick MP also signed the Fit to Drive pledge – committing to having their eyes checked every two years, wearing glasses or lenses to drive if they need them and encouraging others to do the same.