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Concerns over traffic eye tests

Capetonians reacted with shock when the Metro Council recently announced that it would no longer accept certificates from optometrists, before motorists had already failed the initial eye test at the test centres.

The process is regulated in accordance with national legislation.

This regulation stipulates that an applicant must first be disqualified at a centre before the applicant can visit an optometrist.

Members of the public are particularly concerned about taking eye tests at a traffic department, with the dangers of Covid-19 and the risk people run of contracting the coronavirus if they visit the test centres. There is also much concern as to whether the equipment used is sufficiently disinfected.

Paarl Post has also previously reported that the eye test device at the Daljosafat Traffic Centre is faulty. Many residents have previously complained about this and some say, for example, to pass the eye test, they must wear their reading glasses during the test, but they cannot wear reading glasses if they are driving, because it impedes their far sighted vision.

According to Gerard Essau, of the Drakenstein municipality (DM), the legislation is accurate. However, he added that the DM does give the applicant the option to have a certificate from a registered optometrist, with a date stamp of not older than three months. This, he said, is being continued due to the pressure and backlogs caused by the national lockout period.

Essau also claims that the eye test devices of the Municipality are giving the correct readings.

AA (Automobile Association) spokesperson Layton Beard said that there is a lot of confusion about these regulations.

He therefore suggests that if the public fears that they will fail the traffic department’s eye test, that they are in possession of a recent eye test certificate from their optometrist.

Beard further said that when the public visits their traffic centre for renewals, they should rather also be armed with more documentation than too little.

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