Two days after New York State allowed most motorists to renew their licenses without an eye exam, officials are taking another look.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – New York auto accident lawyer David Perecman supports the decision of state officials to reverse their plans to let drivers renew licenses without taking a vision test.
Critics, including a number of traffic safety experts, local officials, eye doctors and New York auto accident lawyers, believed the rule change put motorists at risk.
The reversal followed a resolution introduced in the Erie County Legislature calling on the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to “not sacrifice safety for efficiency.”
“Vision can change over time and many people may be unaware of vision loss. Another problem is that people will go to great lengths to hold onto to their driver’s license, even if it’s not the best thing for themselves or for public safety,” said Perecman, an auto accident lawyer in New York with over 30 years of experience protecting the rights and advocating the interests of victims injured in all types of New York transportation accidents including auto accidents.
For drivers, this reversal means a driver must take a vision test administered at the DMV or get an eye doctor’s certification when renewing his or her license. The DMV requires drivers to get an eye test every eight years.
The DMV, as part of an effort to streamline the renewal process, wanted to allow drivers to renew their licenses through the mail or online and not have to go to a DMV office if they were willing to “self-certify” that their eyesight is fine.
“Public safety must be a priority of the government,” said Perecman. “Saving some money and eliminating a simple inconvenience is not a fair trade off for the safety of the public.”
On BuffaloNews.com, Maria Whyte, a candidate running for county clerk, noted that the county’s motor vehicle office rejects 10 to 20 license requests each week because of eye test failures.
Other states, including Pennsylvania and Connecticut, allow motorists to renew their driver license without a required eye test.
According to a September 30, 2011 New York State DMV press release, vision testing was suspended in New York from 1993 to 2000.
People obtaining a license for the first time or renewing a commercial driver’s license would still have needed an eye test.
New York receives more than 2.4 million driver license renewal applications each year.