A new EU legislation passed in the EU Parliament in 2006 will require new EU driving licences to carry details of a driver’s eyesight including their prescription (Rx) details. Coupled with compulsory eye tests, it is hoped that the move will dramatically improve road safety in Europe by reducing the number of accidents caused by drivers with poor vision, which can result in slower reaction times in an emergency. It is expected that the legislation should start to be introduced from January 2011. President of Euromcontact, Helmer Schweizer (a leading figure in influencing the EU legislation) said that drivers would be required to have their eyes examined every five years for a commercial licence and every ten to fifteen years for private licences. Regular eye tests are as important as going to the dentist and can actually help with early detection of cataracts, glaucoma and other disorders; in fact, we at SelectSpecs recommend that patients have their eyes tested every 2 years irrespective. The coded requirement for vision correction on a driver’s licence will mean that anyone stopped by the Police will be identifiable as needing glasses or contact lenses. Schweizer said, “Politicians do not like introducing unpopular legislation and they will not want to be accused of ‘stealing’ their vulnerable voters’ driving licences. We, in the optical profession, can help them by promoting the positive benefits of screening and better vision. We have all seen the effects of compulsory safety belts, lowering alcohol limits and prohibiting the use of mobile phones. Improving drivers’ vision should be viewed in the same light”. Aside from the health benefits of having frequent eye exams and potentially fewer road accidents, motorists could also be rewarded with lower insurance premiums as a result. A recent study in France by ASNAV (Association Nationale de L’Amelioration de la Vue), revealed that 20% of motorists recognised that their vision was inadequate. Betrand Roy of GIFO France said “From this study, and from our numerous screenings, we know that more than 1 million drivers in France would fail the driving test tomorrow because of poor vision and that 8 million would pass, but would benefit from better corrected vision. We believe that 10-12% of accidents could be avoided with the right vision correction”.