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If you can’t read a number plate from 20 metres away, you should not be driving

If a motorist cannot read a number plate from 20 metres away, they should not be driving, the DVLA has warned.

According to the DVLA, just 48.5 per cent of British drivers it surveyed were aware of this essential eyesight requirement. Now, with more drivers set to resume their daily commutes, undertake the school run, and traffic returning to pre-pandemic levels, the agency is calling on drivers to ensure they take the 20-metre number plate test.

The test aims to ensure that all drivers meet the minimum eyesight standards before getting behind the wheel.

Lynette Rose, Director of Strategy, Policy and Communications at DVLA said, “The number plate test is a simple and effective way for motorists to check their eyesight meets the required standard for driving which includes reading a number plate clearly from 20 metres.

“Anyone can do the test at any time. Twenty metres is typically around the length of five cars parked next to each other – you can test yourself on whether you can clearly read a number plate of the furthest car.

“Having good eyesight is essential for safe driving, so it’s really important for motorists to have regular eye tests. Eyesight can naturally deteriorate over time so anyone concerned about their eyesight should visit their optician – don’t wait for your next check-up,” she added.

The call to action is part of the agency’s Number Plate Test campaign, which aims to remind drivers that the test is an easy way to regularly self-check their eyesight. Motorists should have their eyes tested at least every two years or as soon as they notice any changes to their vision.


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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