In the U.K. as elsewhere there are minimum eyesight standards required to obtain a driving licence. This requirement is checked when the person sits their practical driving test -they need to be able to read a car number plated at 65 feet, 20 metres. However, this check is done once (unless you need to resit the driving test), and from then on, it is up to the individual to inform the DVLA if there are any reasons their sight, or other health issues might cause driving problems.
But how many people will willingly advise the DVLA?
I once saw a young lady in the Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology in Glasgow. I was measuring her field of vision using a Humphrey Field Analyser, which checks peripheral (round about) vision. She had a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, which caused her to have severely restricted peripheral vision. As I recall she had about a central 10 degree of vision, but little or no peripheral vision. This is what “tunnel vision” is.
This young mother knew that she should not be driving, but she still was. She admitted that she would clip a few kerbs and wing mirrors, and would NEVER drive with her kids in the car. It was unsaid, but I am sure she was aware that there were plenty other peoples kids around who were not in her car. She had been advised not to drive, but it was up to her to involve DVLA about that.
I have complained a good few times about the implementation of the updated Irish vision standards for driving, though these varying requirements now seem to have settled down, pretty much to what they were before the changes.
But at least there is an enforced standard here, which is what the UK is thinking to implement, so everyone on the road in Ireland should have adequate eyesight.