Driving Lessons Liverpool Tips: The Roadside Eye Tests in UK
The roadside eye tests in the United Kingdom (UK) have been done these days based on the “Cassie’s Law” and recently it sees a total of 609 driving licences being revoked by the authorities after their owners failed these tests. Then, hundreds of drivers have lost their driving career under these new police powers.
The “Cassie’s Law” got it’s name from Cassie McCord, 16 years of age, who died from serious head injuries in 2011 when Colin Horsfall, 87 years old, lost control of his car in Colchester, Essex. It emerged later in an investigation that he had failed an eyesight test done by the police a few days earlier, however a legal loophole was found as he was still allowed to continue driving on the road.
Cassie’s mother, Jackie Rason, had campaigned seriously for a change in the law which eventually led to the introduction of new police powers now popularly known as “Cassie’s Law” which has authorized the DVLA or Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority to revoke more quickly those driving licences of motorists who failed the roadside eye tests.
Figures obtained by the Press Association in the UK under the Freedom of Information Act have shown that since 2013 when the new police powers were introduced, police forces across the UK have already applied 631 times of driving licence revocations to the DVLA based on failures of motorists to read number plates of vehicles.
In the vast majority of license revocation cases, all totalling to 609, the DVLA went ahead and immediately revoked the driving licences of these motorists.
It can be recalled that three days before Cassie’s death, police in Essex had tried to convince Mr. Horsfall for two hours not to drive again after he was involved in an incident of minor collision and then failed an eye test.
It was learned that at the time right after the accident, police officers had no powers to immediately suspend a driving licence, so he went on to surmount a kerb, and consequently hitting Cassie whilst she was walking along the road with a friend.
Under the Cassie’s Law, where and when the police officer feels the safety of other road users would be put at risk if the driver who failed the roadside eye test remains at wheel, they can do an urgent revocation of the driving licence through the DVLA.
There are three stages of revocation under the new law: (1.) immediate (2.) within 48 hours (3.) postal, whereby the motorist will be dealt with via letter which will be sent within the 24-hour notification from the concerned police officer.
If the driver being banned continues to drive, he/she will commit a criminal offence and be arrested whilst his/her vehicle will be seized.
When the change was introduced, Essex Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Sue Harrison said: “I very much welcome this new law. It’s a positive step forward and will enable our officers to immediately refer serious cases to the DVLA. This new procedure is a great testament to Jackie’s relentless determination and resilience, which I highly commend.”
On the other hand, Mrs. Rason said she now hopes to continue her campaign for mandatory eye tests for all motorists and do the extra checks for those over 70 years old. She added that if your vehicle is more than three years old, you need to have an MOT that will certify it’s still roadworthy. So too with drivers should have the same level of requirements.