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12 Jan 2012

One news story which certainly caught our eye this week focused on the effects poor eyesight and health among motorists can have on road safety.

We applaud Meg Munn MP, who was recognised with the Brake and Direct Line’s Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month Award for her campaign to introduce regular eye tests for drivers, as reported by Fleet News on Friday.

The Fuelcard Company wholeheartedly supports Munn’s efforts to raise awareness of an issue which can be all too easy for drivers to underestimate. The consequences of sweeping the problem under the carpet however, can be tragic. Munn started her campaign after Fiona Buckley, the niece of a constituent, was run over and killed while crossing the road in 2008 by a driver with defective eyesight.

As part of the MP’s campaign, the Government is being urged to change current legislation, with driver eye tests carried out via scientific methods by qualified practitioners instead of the current limited number-plate test. The initiative also calls for drivers to be re-tested at least every ten years and aims to raise awareness among the motorists themselves – to drive home the importance of getting their eyes checked at least every two years.

This should act as a major wake-up call for motorists not to underestimate the effects health issues can have on their driving awareness, behaviour and safety, as well as for fleet managers who have a duty of care to their employees and other road users. Regular health checks for conditions such as high or low blood pressure can alert drivers to problems that could potentially affect their ability to drive safely.

Earlier this month, we also reported on the effects heavy colds and flu can have on drivers’ reaction times. Read on tofind out how illness can be akin to drinking four double whiskies!

It is widely known how dangerous it is to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, so why should health problems, which in some cases bring the same cognitive side-effects, be viewed any differently?
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