Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015


Today a recent news item has attracted my attention and which as a former eye care professional I can comment upon with expert knowledge.  

in 2013 police were given powers to notify the DVLA to revoke a motorist`s driving license if they considered his/her vision fell below the standard required; i.e. an ability to read a number plate at 20 metres. This was one of these pieces of legislation which came into force with barely a whisper.  I will say from the outset that this innovation is akin to offering a haemophiliac a band aid when s/he cuts a wrist.  For at least forty years eye care professionals have campaigned individually and as professional bodies to have the current DVLA so called eyesight requirement reformed so that such professionals can authorise that a certain standard has been reached by an aspiring driver.  As the present vision level allows an individual who can see eg a dustbin lid  held at 20M but be unable to see the person holding it  owing to blurring of all but the central few degrees of useful vision, often the case in chronic glaucoma,  it has long been argued that an applicant`s visual field should be an integral part of any vision test.  Satisfactory colour vision especially red/green discrimination is another aspect of vision which at least should be noted on a license application if not an impediment to receiving approval.  The same could be argued for those with monocular status eg lazy eye,  who therefore lack true binocular 3D vision.  Governments failed to act using the excuse that those advocates were merely proposing regulations to line their own professional pockets when they were in fact fearful of the motoring lobby in all its forms.  So PC Plod now has the power to have your license revoked.  Don`t say you haven`t been warned.

1 comment:

  1. Certainly underlines the importance of having and wearing appropriate spectacles when driving!

    This is off-topic (you can always redact if you wish!) but serving Magistrates (and old lags like your good self) may be interested in the new closed forum at Open to all Magistrates , not just Magistrates Association members.