State Senator Mike Nozzolio today called on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to immediately abandon its plan to eliminate vision test requirements for drivers renewing their licenses. Senator Nozzolio was joined by Don Shepherd of Seneca Falls, a former Department of Transportation employee who nearly died from injuries he sustained when he was struck by a vision-impaired driver while doing construction in a work zone.
“Tragic accidents like the one that happened to Mr. Shepherd remind us why virtually every state in the Nation has always required periodic vision exams for drivers. Eliminating these tests presents an unconscionable risk for every person who uses our roadways,” said Senator Nozzolio.
“It is wrong and unsafe for the DMV to lower safe driving standards,” said Mr. Shepherd. “I thank Senator Nozzolio for bringing attention to this issue and urging the DMV to correct this life-threatening mistake before more people get hurt.”
DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala recently announced the Department’s plan to change its regulations so that motorists no longer have to submit to a simple eye test before they have their license renewed. Instead of having drivers take a short eye test at a DMV office or submit one performed by their physician, individuals are only required to “self certify” that their vision meets state standards under the new regulations.
“There is no question that safe driving requires motorists to see what’s ahead of them on the roadway and to be able to read traffic signs. This measure threatens to set back all of the progress my colleagues in the State Legislature and I have made enacting legislation to make our streets safer and prevent dangerous driving practices,” said Senator Nozzolio. “I urge Commissioner Fiala to reinstate the vision test requirement before tragedy occurs on our roadways.”