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'Make eye tests mandatory for drivers in India'

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  26 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Kolkata, May 25: Visual parameters such as colour vision, depth perception and contrast sensitivity of drivers influence crash involvement rates in India, says a recent study which also has laid bare the absence of protocols and testing methods in the country to assess the visual capabilities of drivers during their licensing process. A team of experts led by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, found that a whopping 81 percent of drivers - out of a study sample of 387 - who had at least one visual defect, were involved in some sort of an accident.

“There is a huge need to amend the Indian standards of vision testing for drivers. The governing laws in India with respect to driver licensing procedures need to be appropriately amended to create safe drivers by strict visual screening before issuing driving licence,” Ashish Verma, assistant professor, department of civil engineering, IISc and the lead author of the study, told IANS.

The data, published in “Current Science” in April, was culled from investigating the relationship between visual functions of drivers in India with their predisposition to involvement in road crashes. “Persons with ucceptable standards of visual functions must either be issued a regulated driving licence or licence must be issued only after the problem is rectified, if medically rectifiable,” emphasised Verma. The alysis involved 387 motorists from the Kartaka Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and private transport companies and included motorists from the institute’s community as well.

Among the sampled drivers, colour vision, vertical field of vision, depth perception, contrast sensitivity, acuity and phoria were found to influence their crash involvement rates.

So how are these parameters linked to driving safety? (IANS)

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