DVLA issues urgent health warning to British drivers

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is reportedly set to update its guidance for drivers with eye conditions “within weeks”.

The agency is said to have made the move after the Association of Optometrists (AOP) “raised serious concerns” over the published list of notifiable health conditions last year.

It claimed it was “so extensive that it could apply to almost every driver who receives a sight test”.

In response, the AOP claims that the DVLA has agreed to revise the list, with updated guidance due to be published “in the coming weeks”.

The Independent has approached the DVLA for comment.

AOP chief executive Adam Sampson said: “We’ve continued to have an open dialogue with the DVLA on this important issue to work towards a pragmatic solution for our members, patients and the DVLA.

“The extent of the original list really would have been problematic for so many so we’re incredibly pleased to see that the DVLA have listened to the advice of the sector.

“The move is sure to remove an unnecessary administrative burden for practitioners but also alleviate worry for many patients.”

The DVLA also worked with the transport secretary’s Medical Advisory Panel to make the amendments, according to the AOP.

Concerns were initially voiced about the DVLA’s updated list when it was published in October.

If enforced, the rules would have meant that almost every driver who has had an eye test would have had to notify the DVLA.

It would have meant that drivers who had an accident where it was decided that vision was a factor could face a £1,000 fine and three points if they had not notified the DVLA of the condition prior to the incident.

In more serious cases, it could result in a disqualification.

In a statement at the time, the DVLA agreed to remove the list of eyesight conditions and confirmed it would “welcome the opportunity” to work with the AOP to revise the guidance.

According to the AOP, two-thirds of drivers across the UK who use glasses put off updating their prescription, while 20 per cent have not had a recent eye test.

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