Eye test now prerequisite for drivers’ license renewal – GOA

An eye test is now a prerequisite for either acquisition of a new driver’s license or renewal of an old one, Dr Alfred Gardemor, the Public Relations Officer of Ghana Optometrist Association (GOA), has said.

The requirement is part of the new reform initiated by the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) in partnership with the Ghana Optometrist Association (GOA).

He said, “eye test would determine whether one is qualified by sight to drive and operate an automobile in the country,” stressing that the test classification was based on the medical condition of the eye.

Dr Alfred Gardemor, who is a Senior Optometrist at the Nsawam Government Hospital, said this at the sixth Ghana News Agency and the Ghana Optometric Association public sensitization initiative dubbed “GNA-GOA: My Eye! My Vision!

The GNA-GOA: My Eyes! My Vision! is a collaborative public education advocacy campaign to promote access to eye care and draw attention to vision health.

The initiative also seeks to challenge the public and policymakers to focus on vision as a health issue, which forms a critical component of mankind’s wellbeing but is often neglected.

Speaking on the topic of “Visual acuity and visual fields,” Dr Gardemor said applicants who passed the eye test would proceed to the DVLA to commence or continue the other processes for the acquisition or renewal of the driver’s license.

He explained that the pass was also based on current realities of the person’s eyes and another test may be conducted within a specific period when there were some eye conditions.

Dr Gardemor said the Ghana Optometric Association was to ensure that there were effective, efficient, and comprehensive eye health services integrated into the system to reduce fatalities on the road.

He explained that after the test, the GOA generated an electronic report to DVLA to confirm whether the applicant had passed the test or not to ensure that people did not use dubious means to acquire or renew a driver’s license.

He said even though visual acuity and visual field were the universal screening test during the application for a driver’s license, many other aspects of visual function and visual processing were undoubtedly involved in supporting the process.

Dr Gardemor said vision impairment was much more prevalent in adulthood, which affected vision, driver’s safety and performance, it was, therefore, essential that all adhered to the new reforms.

He emphasized the importance of regular eye screening, especially for drivers, saying conditions such as glaucoma could severely impair vision and be disastrous, particularly at night.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, the GNA-Tema Regional Manager, explained that GNA and GOA through “GNA-GOA: My Eyes! My Vision” are to draw attention to vision health.

“We are combining the forces of our professional calling as Optometric Physicians and Communication Experts to reach out to the public with a well-coordinated message.

“We believe such collaboration would serve as a major platform to educate the  public on vision health and also serves as a critical stage for the association to reach out to the world,” Mr Ameyibor noted.

Source: GNA

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