Report on Driver Vision Screening in Europe

January 2014

The report on Driver Vision Screening in Europe highlights substantial variation in the assessment of drivers’ vision across Europe, and recommends that the European Commission should act to harmonise assessment in EU Member States to the standards in the best performing countries.

The EU has committed to halving road death across the EU by 2020. The goal is to achieve this by legislative means that change driver behaviour, raise the technical standards of vehicles and improve road design. The visual requirements to drive safely in the Driving Licence Directive 2009/113/EC are currently being implemented by EU Members States. The report has found this is failing to harmonise assessments of vision.

The report notes a number of European countries continue to rely on an out-dated assessment of vision known as the ‘Licence Plate Test’, which is not consistent with the underlying EU standards. In addition, seven countries have no requirement for on-going assessment of vision for non-professional drivers, while many others only have limited assessment in place.

The Driving Licence Directive has failed to harmonise the assessment of drivers’ vision across the EU and the report recommends that the Commission should revisit the underlying conditions for vision testing in the upcoming review of the Directive.

The report was jointly developed by the European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) and the European Federation of Optical Lenses, Frames and Instrument Manufacturers (EUROM I) and the European Federation of Contact Lens Manufacturers (EUROMCONTACT).

Download the Report on Driver Vision Screening in Europe (June 2011) (PDF)