New drivers licence eye test machines at the George Traffic Department Drivers Licensing offices may send you off to the optometrist much sooner than before – especially if your eyesight is borderline or you don’t sit still.
George Municipality Protection Services director Steven Erasmus said the new eye testing equipment was much more finely calibrated than the old machines and would automatically discontinue the licence registration process after two failed eye test attempts – a process over which the eye testing officials have no control. “If this happens, the applicant must pass a professional eye test at an optometrist and present the relevant certificate before the registration process can continue.
“The new equipment is proving to be very sensitive and the average amount of people failing the eye test has increased. In many cases it is the applicants that are moving too much or are not correctly positioned, and people are advised to listen closely to the testing officials’ instructions to avoid unnecessary delays. There are, however, many drivers whose sight has deteriorated since they had their last driver’s license issued, and it is especially important that these drivers are identified and their eyesight suitably addressed.”
If sight has deteriorated, new restrictions such as having to wear glasses when driving, may be attached to the licence. Should the applicant fail the optometrist test, the driver’s licence will not be renewed.
Mr Erasmus said the new eye testing machines and related advanced computer software have been recently installed by the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works as part of a national rollout. “The upgraded eye test equipment links to a system that allows for other registration processes such as the taking of finger prints and an identification photograph to all happen at one station, which not only streamlines the drivers licence registration process but includes mechanisms that reduce opportunities for tampering and corruption.”