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Further calls to implement mandatory eye examinations for elderly motorists

There have been further calls to implement mandatory eye checks for motorists of a certain age after an 88 year old driver struck a teenager and caused her severe physical and emotional harm. Mr Richard Collins, a resident of Havant, ploughed into Ellie Marchant, a sixth form student preparing to go to university. Mr Collins had poor vision, with road safety campaigners saying the case highlighted just how it is important for people to undergo eye examinations on a regular basis.

Staying safe on the roads is of paramount importance for all drivers, including those with personalised number plates, who want to keep themselves and their beloved cars safe. Ensuring that everyone can actually see properly is, therefore, essential, if accidents are to be avoided.

In the case of Mr Collins, he struck 17 year old Ellie Marchant on November 26th, 2013. He was navigating around a roundabout when he boarded the pavement and hit Ms Marchant who, as a result, had to be treated for blood cots on the brain and have part of her skull replaced with a metal plate. And, though she has no long term injuries, she’s had to retake her final year of Sixth Form and drop an A level subject as a result.

Her father, 64 year old Bob Marchant, explained the family had been left fuming after learning that Mr Collins had previously failed a police test when reading a number plate: “He shouldn’t have been driving,” Mr Marchant explained, adding, “He must have been getting worse and worse. She was a straight-A student and was aiming to do astrophysics. It’s off the cards now. It’s a major step back.”

Mr Collins was given a discretionary driving ban of six months, ordered to pay £105 in costs and fined £150. Of particular concern to many involved is that he wasn’t aware he’d hit the teenager.

The case has given yet more fuel to many leading road safety campaigners who call for motorists to undergo mandatory eye tests every 10 years at a minimum. James McLoughlin from Brake, said: “Every driver has a personal responsibility to ensure they are fit to drive, and being able to see properly is a fundamental part of that responsibility. We advise all drivers to have their eyesight tested at least every two years, and to wear glasses or lenses if they need to. Brake calls on the government to make a professional eyesight test compulsory before taking a driving test, and for every ten-year licence renewal thereafter.”

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