HL Deb 12 July 1967 vol 284 cc1126-7

2.49 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their attention has been directed to the speech by the Chief Constable of Aberdeen, when opening a recent Congress of Opticians, in which he maintained that a great many accidents on the roads originated in bad eyesight, and he felt that the Government should take steps to keep drivers with incorrigibly bad vision off the roads; and whether Her Majesty's Government have any plans to secure improvements to this end.]


My Lords, my right honourable friend the Minister of Transport has seen a report in the Press of the speech referred to by the noble Lord. The Chief Constable of Aberdeen is reported as advocating research into whether there is any connection between defective eyesight in drivers and road accidents. The House will be pleased to learn that the Road Research Laboratory are at present looking into this question. So far their researches have not shown any correlation between the two, and this provisional conclusion is borne out by the results of researches on this subject which have been carried out on a much larger scale in California. It is already an offence punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both, for a person with sub-standard vision to drive a motor vehicle on a road. The police are empowered to test the vision of any driver whom they have reason to suspect of being guilty of this offence.