THE ABILITY TO DRIVE A VEHICLE ON THE ROAD IS A PRIVILEGE
One goes through necessary training, months of driving experience, and roadtests to prove they are able to drive safely on our roads. Vision requirements are also set for drivers in BC, and the world for that matter, to ensure that these licensed drivers are visually prepared for the obstacles that present on the road.
RULES OF THE ROAD
The Office of the Superintendant of Motor Vehicles (OSMV) fitness guideline states that for Class 5-8 BCDL:
“[an] individual [is] fit to drive if they have visual acuity
not less than 20/50 with both eyes open and examined together”
If an individual does not meet this criteria without correction, but they do with glasses or contacts, then a restriction is placed on the back of their license in order to allow them to drive:
Restriction #21 : Corrective Lenses Required
REMOVING RESTRICTION #21
If you once required spectacles or contacts to drive, this requirement remains on the back of your drivers license until its proven otherwise. If you have had cataract surgery, laser eye surgery, or for some other reason your vision has improved, then its possible to have RESTRICTION # 21 removed from your license. See an optometrist to reassess your vision and they can provide you with a letter as proof that your vision meets requirements without correction. This note should be taken to your local DMV. You may be asked to retake a vision test through a small machine at the motor vehicle branch again as well.
AVOID AN UNNECESSARY TICKET
If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer and you are not wearing glasses or contacts, the officer has the right to issue you a ticket based on the restriction on your card. If you do not wish to wrongfully receive a citation, we advise you to get the restriction removed.
Just as a Law Enforcement officer simply states on the drive smart bc website:
“If you have had corrective eye surgery, it is up to you to go to a driver service center and take the necessary steps to have the restriction removed from your license. Failing to do that means that you are leaving your fate at the roadside in the hands of the enforcement officer. You do the same thing having decided to leave your driveway without taking needed glasses or contact lenses with you.”
Corrective Lenses. http://drivesmartbc.ca/driver-licencing/corrective-lenses
BC Drivers Fitness Handbook for medical professionals. http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/osmv/shareddocs/DriverFitnessMedPro.pdf