HL Deb 31 July 1962 vol 243 cc223-4

After Clause 29, insert the following new clause:

Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight

("(1) If a person drives a motor vehicle on a road while his eyesight is such (whether through a defect which cannot be or one which is not for the time being sufficiently corrected) that he cannot comply with any requirement as to eyesight prescribed under the principal Act for the purposes of tests of competence to drive, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

(2) A constable having reason to suspect that a person driving a motor vehicle may be guilty of an offence under subsection (1) of this section may require him to submit to a test for the purpose of ascertaining whether, using no other means of correction than he used at the time of driving, he can comply with the said requirement as to eyesight; and if that person refuses to submit to the test he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds.")


My Lords, this is an Amendment which I feel will commend itself to you. The object of this new clause, to which Amendment No. 36 is complementary, is to make it an offence for anyone to drive a motor vehicle on the road if at the material time he is incapable of meeting the eyesight standard laid down for the driving test, using glasses, of course, if necessary. In brief, what it means is that, if you can pass the eyesight test with your glasses on, then you should wear them for driving. If you cannot pass it with them off, it is not good enough to pass it with them on, and then not wear them, if your eyesight is defective without them. I beg to move.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.—(Lord Chesham.)


My Lords, I wonder if the noble Lord and his colleagues, in connection with this Amendment, have considered the practice which I think obtains in certain parts of North America, whereby a person who needs spectacles for driving has that fact recorded on his driving licence. It would certainly seem to make it easier for the police to enforce provisions of this kind if that course were adopted here; and the noble Lord has just said that it is not good enough for a person who needs glasses to drive without them.


My Lords, I should like to think about that one.

On Question, Motion agreed to.