7 March 2022
Our Ref: V4/22
To: All Branches
RMG Driver/Road Safety Briefing/Communication/SHE Huddle W/C 07.03.22 – ‘Driver Eyesight’
The Royal Mail Group Road Safety Manager has informed the CWU/HQ Health, Safety and Environment Department that the RMG Safety Health and Environment Team will be issuing a national driver/road safety briefing/communication huddle week commencing Monday 7 March about ‘Driver Eyesight’ and this will be based on the attached SHE Huddle FY22-13 ‘Driver Eyesight’ which will be supported by a slide on the RMTV screens throughout the business to support the road safety message to drivers.
Message “You Need To See Clearly When You’re Driving” – “When did you last have your eyesight tested?”
Nobody is going to argue with the message that “You Need To See Clearly When You’re Driving” but the question to all drivers is “When did you last have your eyesight tested?”
A change in eyesight can be caused by many things, from common eye conditions such as cataracts, to age, or even other underlying medical conditions such as diabetes. Age related deterioration can happen at any age and is very common from the age of 40. A sudden worsening in your eyesight is often the result of a serious underlying health condition that may need to be treated quickly, and you should immediately seek advice from your GP or optician.
You can protect your vision by maintaining a healthy lifestyle – with a balanced diet, regular exercise and limiting alcohol and smoking; protecting your eyes from UV rays; and getting regular eye tests. Early detection and treatment of eye conditions such as glaucoma, may help to prevent your vision from worsening.
The College of Optometrists recommend eyesight tests every two years, or more often if your optician recommends; but in a survey of 2,000 drivers conducted by Specsavers, 1 in 3 drivers admitted that they had not had an eyesight test in the last 2 years and another survey found that 6% of drivers have never had an eyesight test!
Poor vision affects your ability to recognise hazards and the time it takes you to react. Poor vision causes greater impairment at night including the ability to see pedestrians, road signs or hazards in the road, and glare from oncoming vehicle headlights.
To drive a car or van you must be able to read a number plate from 20 metres. This checks your ‘distance acuity’ and drivers unable to do so are 15% more likely to be involved in a collision.
The DVLA also have minimum standards for visual acuity of 0.5 decimal (6/12) on the ‘Snellen’ scale (with glasses/contact lenses if needed), and an adequate field of vision. The standards are even higher if you driver a bus or lorry. Drivers with inadequate field of vision are nearly 5 times more likely to be involved in a collision.
If you’re found to be driving with inadequate vision, you face up to a £1,000 fine, 3 points on your licence or a potential disqualification from driving. The police can also request the DVLA to revoke a drivers’ license with immediate effect if they believe the driver poses a risk to the public.
To test your field of vision, you need to visit an optician, you can’t possibly know whether your eyesight meets the standard if you don’t.
In the ‘Specsavers survey’ referred to above, 22% of drivers admitted that they had driven without their glasses/contact lenses. What would you think of someone who injured you, or someone you know, whilst driving without their glasses?
Always wear eye correction/glasses/contact lenses where needed, and make sure glasses are clean too.
See supporting information on the Royal Mail screens and intranet.
Managers to brief drivers on the SHE Huddle FY22-13 content attached.
Drivers should have their eyesight checked by an optician at least every two years, and should consult their GP or optician immediately if they notice a sudden deterioration in their eyesight.
Don’t drive without your prescribed glasses/contact lenses.
CWU ASR Action
Would ASRs support the briefing and ensure it is delivered in all Units and cascade information.
RMG SHE Huddle FY22-13 Driver Eyesight
AA – Guide To Vision and Driving
Dave Joyce National Health, Safety & Environment Officer