European Council of Optometry and Optics: Consensus paper: Visual Standards for Driving in Europe

8 February 2017
Source: European Council of Optometry and Optics

This paper is a consensus of opinion from the eye care sector across Europe in regard to driving and visual standards. This is timely in 2017 as the European Commission (EC) is establishing a work stream to examine how the Medical Annex of Directive 2009/113/EC on driving licences has been implemented in Member States. While this exercise is welcome to endeavour to harmonise this across Europe, this document highlights the lack of uniformity in how visual standards are applied. It also summarises considerable differences in the application of these standards in European countries.

There is a need to:

  • Advocate for the requirement of assessment of visual standards upon renewal of driving licence in Medical Annex of the EC directive
  • Standardise the visual acuity assessment method to ensure consistency in application of visual standards for driving.
  • Engage with member states to recognise that the licence plate test is not a measure of visual acuity
  • Ensure assessment is carried out by an eye care professional
  • Promote effective assessment of vision, visual fields, contrast sensitivity and twilight vision, clarify what such tests comprises to avoid discrepancy across member states
  • Encourage more research in effective assessment tools for measurement of visual functions.
  • Advocate for increased public awareness of fitness to drive.

This paper was spearheaded by the ECOO Working Group on Vision and Driving: Julie-Anne Little, Cindy Tromans, Ann Blackmore and Martin O’Brien.

For further information please go to:  Visual Standards for driving in Europe

The report is attached below.


Visual Standards For Driving  In Europe - Consensus Paper - January 2017 ..
Visual Standards For Driving In Europe - Consensus Paper - January 2017 ..
Download pdf 2.0 MB

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