A CAMPAIGN has been launched to encourage motorists to check their eyes are ‘roadworthy.’

The drive is being led by the Association of Optometrists (AOP) in a bid to reduce the number of accidents on the carriageways.

New research has revealed that almost half of optometrists in the UK have seen a patient in the last month who continues to drive despite being told his or her vision is below the legal standard.

Under existing legislation, drivers must undergo an initial number plate test when taking a driving test and then complete a self-declaration for renewing their licence thereafter.

This means a 17-year-old who can read a number plate from 20 metres away when they take their test may continue to drive with no further checks for the rest of their life.

The AOP says these laws are among the laxest in Europe and is calling for a change that would see drivers required to have a comprehensive vision check to prove their vision meets the legal standard when they first apply for the licence and then every ten years, or more frequently after the age of 70.

The ‘Don’t Swerve a Sight Test’ campaign aims to convince drivers that undergoing a sight test every two years is the best way to maximise their eye health and make sure they are safe to be on the roads.

Optometrist and AOP spokesman Henry Leonard said: “It is shocking that so many drivers are overlooking the importance of good vision. Sight change can often be gradual and people may not notice changes that could affect their ability to drive.

“This campaign is about reminding drivers that regular visits to their optometrist are the best way to make sure they meet the legal standard for driving and help make our roads safer.”