The DVLA has admitted it incorrectly revoked the licences of hundreds of drivers after relying on the test results produced from faulty equipment used by opticians.
The agency says it has now written to 604 motorists who had their licences withdrawn and remain without a driving licence following a visual field test on the knackered kit.
According to the Guardian, it is blaming the unnamed manufacturer of the eye testing equipment for the cock-up, which resulted from a “faulty piece of software used in a specialist piece of vision testing equipment”.
The Independent Diabetes Trust (IDDT) says the problem will mainly affect people with glaucoma and diabetes retinopathy, both of which can cause visual field loss.
The Guardian article quotes the DVLA as saying that the equipment used had been in circulation “for a few years” but that the defect had only recently been exposed.
Out of those it wrote to, 372 drivers replied, “with more than half of those telling us that they no longer wish to drive and confirming they won’t be reapplying for a licence,” according to the licensing agency.
So, that’s a stroke of luck. Except for all the remaining motorists who actually want to carry on driving.
The DVLA goes on to say it has checked all the records of drivers who had their licences revoked that used the faulty equipment and that no others are affected.
“As soon as DVLA became aware of a fault with a specialist piece of testing equipment used by some opticians we asked them to immediately stop using it for any further tests,” says a DVLA spokesman.
“This equipment is no longer used for testing and we have written to those drivers potentially affected, offering a free re-test.”
However, the IDDT warns that the fiasco leaves unanswered questions, such as who was tested on this faulty equipment between 2010 and 2013, before Specsavers won an exclusive contract with the DVLA, and has everyone that should have been contacted, really been contacted?
If you think this problem applies to you then we recommend you do as the IDDT says and appeal to the DVLA.
If you have had your driving licence revoked and need some advice contact our specialist motoring solicitors on 0115 910 6239