Driven To Distraction

Penny Mallory & Vicky Butler-Henderson


Renault Helps Specsavers Deliver The Message About More Stringent Eye Test Guidelines For Motorists

5,000 postcards signed by British motorists petitioning the Government to tighten up the law on sight testing for drivers were delivered on behalf of Specsavers to 10 Downing Street thanks to TV motoring journalists Vicky Butler-Henderson and Penny Mallory and Renault, the car brand synonymous with motoring safety.

Donning their racing suits and boots – as well as Specsaver’s latest frames – Vicky and Penny collected the sacks of petitions from Specsaver’s HQ in Central London and delivered them safely to Downing Street thanks to their 5 star EuroNCAP safety rated Renault Mégane Sport Hatch supplied by Renault UK.

The idea for a petition came about following the 2002 Birmingham International Motor Show where Specsavers carried out eye-tests on 3,000 visitors, finding that 738 (25%) failed the basic vision-screening test, meaning that they were driving illegally. In addition another survey conducted by Specsavers found that out of 2,000 people questioned, 87% were in favour of compulsory eye examinations for drivers every five years and 53% in favour of random roadside testing.

The 5,000 petitions delivered to Number 10 call for:

  • The compulsory production of a current eyesight prescription with any application for a driving licence
  • The compulsory re-testing of drivers' eyesight at regular intervals after the issue of a driving licence
  • Increased roadside eye checks, similar to random breathalyser and tyre checks
  • Eye testing at the scene of an accident, where possible
  • A law making it mandatory to carry spare corrective eyewear in a vehicle
Both Vicky and Penny were disturbed to hear that driver’s eyesight was not monitored as a matter of course. "'I was shocked to discover that one in four drivers on Britain's roads cannot see properly. There is absolutely no doubt that this is endangering the lives of other road users and pedestrians," said Penny. "I find it astonishing that this hasn’t been addressed before now," added Vicky.

"Renault is already trying to make the road a safer place for all those who use it both through its Safety Matters programme teaching primary school children about road safety, and by making some of the safest cars on the road today according to EuroNCAP," comments Philippe Talou-Derible, Managing Director of Renault UK. "Supporting the Specsavers petition is an obvious move for Renault as it’s another way of putting safety first."

Published 22 June 2003 Melanie Carter

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