An exciting collaboration between the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and well-known opticians, Vision Express, has resulted in a fully equipped Vision Van taking to the roads of the UK.
This high-tech van transports a mobile eye-testing facility in a specially customised trailer and aims to provide free examinations to HGV drivers across the nation.
Why Eye Health is Important
Eye health is important for all, butespecially vital for people who make their living doinghaulage jobs. There are very strict rules on driving with sight problems, no matter what kind of vehicle you’re in. For example, if you need glasses or contact lenses you must wear them at all times when driving. It is also illegal not to disclose an issue to the DVLA that cannot be corrected with glasses or contacts. For a commercial driver, getting caught breaking these rules whilst out on haulage jobs is not only unsafe, it could also lead to prosecution.
Standards for HGV Drivers
There are specific standards in place for drivers of large vehicles, such as buses and lorries.
For example, hauliers need a visual acuity of at least 0.8 (6/7.5) in one eye and 0.1 (6/60) in the other to drive legally. If you don’t match these criteria naturally, you can use contacts or glasses.
If, like many, you struggle to understand these technical terms, it’s best to consult a professional to make sure you remain safe on the roads – and that’s where the Vision Van comes in.
Look Out for the Vision Van
The Vision Van has already set off on its trip round the country providing complimentary eye tests to the general public. The organisers of the collaboration between the RHA and Vision Express hope that this venture will help put the common condition glaucoma at the top of the agenda for health experts.
Glaucoma, whichcan seriously affect a sufferer’s sight, can only be detected througha test and, in fact, the term actually refers to a handful of different conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve. Once detected, although sight lost can’t be restored, further deterioration can be prevented using eye drops or laser treatment.The free tests being offered will also let people know if they need to start wearing glasses or change their current prescriptions.
Richard Burnett, chief executive of the RHA, said that haulage livelihoods depend on good sight. Yet he is worried that many drivers ignore weakness in their vision when working in haulage jobs.“Although easy to diagnose, many drivers are nervous of making the initial approach to an optician,”Burnett claimed.
The RHA hopes that by making an optician accessible, andpromoting the idea that good eye health may extend their working life, the Vision Van will encourage hauliers to take better care of their eyes. So, keep your eyes peeled for the Vision Van as it makes its way across the country.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage jobs with available drivers. Over 5,000 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.