Hundreds of motorists have lost their licence after failing roadside eyesight tests under new, stricter powers introduced in 2013, the Guardian reports.
In 2011, 87-year-old Colin Horsfall was driving in Colchester, Essex, when he mounted a kerb and hit Cassie McCord, 16, who suffered fatal head injuries. It was later revealed that Mr Horsfall had failed an eyesight test several days prior to the incident; yet, at the time, police officers did not have the power to immediately ban him from driving.
Cassie's mother, Jackie Rason, called for changes to the law following the death of her daughter, which eventually led to new powers, known as 'Cassie's law,' being introduced in 2013. Under the new law, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) is able to suspend licences more quickly.
Figures gained through a Freedom of Information Act revealed that since 2013, British police forces have applied to revoke the licences of 631 drivers who failed an eyesight test. In the majority of cases — 609 — the DVLA suspended the licences.
Mrs Rason said it was "brilliant news" and admitted she was unaware of the how widely the new law was being implemented.
"That's more than 600 people who could still be driving, perhaps without even knowing there was a problem with their sight," she said. "You can't say that in every case they would have killed somebody, but it is very likely to have prevented fatal accidents and other casualties."
If a police officer feels that a driver is putting other road users' safety at risk, they are now able to apply for immediate revocation of their licence through the DVLA.
Under the new law, there are three levels of revocation: immediate; within 48 hours; and postal, whereby a letter will be sent to drivers within 24 hours of police notification.
Mrs Rason said she will continue pushing for tougher driving laws, such as compulsory eye tests for all motorists and further checks for over-70s.
Here's a brief outline of the DVLA's driving eyesight rules:
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