Did you know that the DVLA has recently made changes to their medical conditions list?

Did you know that the DVLA has recently made changes to their medical conditions list?

If vision was a factor in an accident, a £1,000 fine and three points issued to the driver was to be expected, but only if the driver had not notified the DVLA of the condition prior to the incident. In more serious cases, a driving disqualification could have been on the cards, but this guidance seems set to be changed.

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) raised concerns over the list being so extensive that it could apply to almost every driver who receives a sight test, so after consulting with the SoS Medical Advisory Panel, the DVLA has released a list of eye conditions that have been removed from the list: branch retinal vein occlusion, hemianopia, nystagmus, optic atrophy, optic neuritis, reduced visual acuity, retinal treatment, retinopathy, tunnel vision and usher syndrome.

However, the DVLA has emphasised that drivers must inform them if they have any of the following conditions, even if it’s only in one eye: Behçet’s disease, Coats’ disease, Detached retina, Glaucoma, Retinal tear or detachment and Vein occlusion.

Under the current driving eyesight rules, you do not need to declare your eye condition to the DVLA if you are short or long-sighted or colour-blind.

The driving authority has also clarified that if you’ve had surgery to correct short-sightedness and you meet the eyesight standards, you will not need to declare this either. However, if require contact lenses or glasses to meet the 'standards of vision for driving', you will need to wear them every time you get behind the wheel.

You can see the full list of notifiable conditions here: Eye conditions and driving: If you have a car or motorcycle licence - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

For those that have a condition in one eye and another condition affecting the other eye,  form V1 should be sent to DVLA by following this link Do you hold a GB driving licence? Tell DVLA about a medical condition GOV.UK (driving-medical-condition.service.gov.uk)

Minimum Legal Standard

There are three tests that come under the DVLA's 'standards of vision for driving. These include the following:

You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres.

You must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) using both eyes together or, if you have sight in one eye only, in that eye.

You must also have an adequate field of vision - your optician can tell you about this and do a test.

What is the Snellen Scale?

The Snellen Scale tests a person's visual acuity which features several rows of letters that gradually gets smaller the further down the chart.

In the Snellen Scale, the first number refers to the distance in metres from the chart when it is read, while the second number refers to the number of lines that you can read on the chart.

A person with standard vision can read towards the bottom of the chart and would be considered as 6/6 vision.

The minimum standard for driving is to have a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 which is the equivalent of 6/12 on the Snellen scale. However, drivers must also have an adequate field of vision which your optician can tell you about.

If you are facing disqualification after being involved in an accident and are worried about an undisclosed medical condition, why not book in for a virtual consultation with Lucinda Dore our specialist Road Traffic solicitor? Lucinda has built a strong reputation for driving disqualification representation. She has been representing clients facing driving disqualification for over 20 years. She can assist you no matter where you are in the county and always try to fit you in as soon as possible at a time convenient for you. Lucinda can be contacted via email lucinda@ldlegalservices.co.uk, telephone 03332420691 or Whatsapp Business 07418608916.