Applicants for driver’s license require certified Optometrist report

Applicants for driver’s licence are now required to submit to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), a visual assessment result certified by a registered ophthalmologist or optometrist.

Hitherto, eye testing of applicants was conducted by DVLA data entry staff who have not obtained any professional training or are certified as qualified optometrists or ophthalmologists as specified by law.

A news briefing in Accra on Friday, the Director, Driver Training, Testing and Licensing (DTTL) at the DVLA, Mr Kafui Semevo said the reform in its eye test regime was to standardise its processes for testing.

With the ultimate aim of promoting road safety, he said, the reform was in compliance with  Regulation 29 of the Road Traffic Regulation, 2012 (Legislative Instrument -LI -2180) which requires that eye tests are conducted and certified by only registered optometrists or ophthalmologists.

 “The Law regarding this implementation has been in existence over the years and currently what the Authority seeks to do is to change the approach in this implementation”, he said.

Mr Semevo said the reform was to eradicate the weaknesses identified in its operations; ensure that the DVLA system conforms to the provisions in the law and international best practices and enhance road safety.

Outlining the roadmap for the smooth implementation of the reforms, he said, the first of two phases which commenced this month, comprise applicants of categories A, B & E licences.

Phase 2, he said, would involve applicants renewing their driver’s licences, upgrade of driver’s licences, conversion of foreign driver’s licences, proficiency tests, accident reporting as well as traffic offending drivers referred to DVLA.

He indicated that apart from persons with good vision who would be licensed to drive or ride, the reform, would help persons with vision problems and recommend treatment for them.

Aside from the eye test reform, Mr Semevo, said DVLA intended to introduce an online driver’s licence renewal service to enable applicants who want to renew their licenses to upload their vision test results and complete the process.

On fees and charges, he said prospective applicants and existing drivers would pay GHC 70.00and GHC 50.00 respectively, explained that the charges were 70 per cent lower than the standard fees charged at the eye clinics.

He urged applicants and drivers to undergo an eye test at the designated eye centres in compliance with the Law and to enhance their own safety and the safety of other road users.

The President of the Ghana Optometric Association, Dr Remi Ninkpe, said the reform was could reduce to the barest minimum road crashes because it would afford drivers the opportunity to see well and interact well with the road environment.

He said many people had problems distinguishing between the colours of road signs which impeded their driving sometimes, while the brains and the eyes of some drivers did not work together sometimes as expected. 

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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