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Police get new powers to withdraw licenses from short-sighted drivers
Short-sighted motorists involved in accidents or caught driving dangerously will have their licenses revoked within hours to prevent their posing a risk to other road users.
Ministers have agreed to streamline the procedure for withdrawing a license after receiving a 45,000 signature petition to implement “Cassie’s law”.
This was in memory of Cassie McCord, a 16-year old girl who was killed by an 87 year old driver who refused to surrender his license despite failing an on the spot police eye test three days earlier when he drove into the exit of a petrol station.
Police had pleaded with Colin Horsfall to give up driving, but he ignored them and Cassie was killed when his car swerved onto the pavement.
At the time police were unable to take immediate action because they had to wait for the license to be revoked by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in Swansea.
The entire process was done by post meaning it could take at least four working days before the license was revoked.
Now officers will be able to email the request to revoke a license – if necessary from the roadside using a smartphone – which will be dealt with within hours.
In turn the DVLA would email back a formal revocation notice to the police station, which would be printed out and could be delivered to the offending driver on the same day.
Officers will be expected to intervene when a motorist’s driving is causing concern. They would be expected to carry out an eyesight test on the spot, checking the driver can read a number plate from 20 metres.
Failure would trigger the revocation process and at the same time the driver would be advised that getting back by the wheel would be an offence having been told their eyesight failed to meet the legal standard.
"The DVLA and the police have worked closely to greatly streamline the process for revoking a license when the police identify that a driver's eyesight is inadequate.
“However, this new power must be applied with the utmost care on the road and should only be used in the most extreme cases and not as general practice.
A license could only be restored to a driver who was able to prove to DVLA that he or she could meet the legal eyesight standard.