Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Drivers: Eyesight Tests

The Earl of Caithness asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The European Commission's proposed working group on eyesight standards for driver licensing has not yet met and the information requested does not yet exist. The UK will be represented on the working group by a senior medical official of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

The Earl of Caithness asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The medical standards for driver licensing in member states of the European Union are set out in Annex III to Directive 91/439/EEC. It lies within the competence of the European Commission to adapt these standards to scientific and technical progress as set out in Directive 97/26/EC. The setting up of the proposed working group does not of itself inhibit the United Kingdom from taking action on its own within that framework.

18 Mar 2003 : Column WA28

It will provide an opportunity to consider evidence and best practice from across the EU to better inform policy and procedures.

The Earl of Caithness asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Macdonald of Tradeston on 11 March (HL1981) that, "no official statistics are available attributing road traffic accidents to specific medical conditions, including defective eyesight," whether this is consistent with the Answer by Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 11 March (HL1979) that "in 2001 there were 228 driving incidents in which eyesight might have been a factor."[HL2116]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The advice I gave on 11 March in the Written Answer (HL1981) does not conflict with that given by my noble and learned friend Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 11 March in the Written Answer (HL1979). My Answer stated that there were no official statistics attributing road traffic accidents to specific medical conditions, including defective eyesight and thus the case. My noble and learned friend Lord Falconer said that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency was informed by police of 228 driving incidents in the year 2001 in which defective eyesight may have been a factor. These statistics do not constitute evidence of accidents that can be attributed to defective eyesight. They are notifications of incidents which, in the view of the policeman attending, may have been contributed to by an eyesight problem. As well as accidents, the figures include incidents such as where a motorist has been stopped for erratic driving.

West Highland Mainline

The Earl of Mar and Kellie asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have any plans to improve the West Highland mainline in respect of (a) maximum line speed; and (b) the length of passing loops.[HL2117]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The Strategic Rail Authority's strategic plan contains no such plans. The authority is acting as the agent of the Scottish Executive for the reletting of the Scotrail franchise. It is for the executive to determine the service improvements they wish to see.

18 Mar 2003 : Column WA27



   Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page