Vision standards for drivers in NSW
Objectives: Medical standards for drivers are clearly important in ensuring that the roads are safe for all users. Visual acuity is currently used as a screening test for visual impairment by many licensing authorities worldwide. The requirement for visual acuity standards for renewal of a driver licence in NSW became more stringent recently with a change from 6/18 to 6/12. The objective of this paper is to estimate the number of older drivers in NSW who are impacted by this change, based on projections from the Blue Mountains Eye Study.
Methods: The Blue Mountains Eye Study was a population based survey of eye disease in two post-code areas in the Blue Mountains area, west of Sydney, Australia. Of 4433 eligible residents, 3654 (82.4%) participated. Participants had a detailed eye examination, including tests of visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, disability glare and visual field. Lens and retinal photographs were taken and graded for presence of cataract, and other eye diseases. An interviewer administered questionnaire included questions about driving.