Review of eyesight standards and assessment methods in Victoria

Judith Lynne Charlton, Jill Keeffe, Betty Tellis, Kathy Fotis, Carlyn Pauline Muir, Megan Bohensky, Jessica Ruth Price Edquist

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportResearch


In 2003, the Victorian Parliamentary Road Safety Committee’s inquiry into road safety of older road users made a number of recommendations relating to medical review and eyesight testing processes. The Committee concluded that the current static visual acuity chart used to test vision is inadequate and proposed a comprehensive review of eyesight standards and assessment methods in Victoria and an appropriate cost-effective replacement to assess vision be developed and implemented. In addition to visual acuity it was advised that the inclusion of peripheral fields and Useful Field of View assessments could be considered.

In Victoria, vision testing involves a standard test of visual acuity only and is required prior to the issue of a driving licence or permit. No prescribed period or age is provided for subsequent testing of drivers of private or heavy vehicles, although this may occur if a concern is declared or reported. More stringent guidelines exist for drivers of public passenger vehicles (taxis, bus), dangerous goods and driving instructors. Different standards apply for drivers of private vehicles (car, motorcycle or light rigid) and drivers of commercial vehicles (medium rigid, heavy rigid, heavy combination and multiple combination). The minimum visual acuity for private vehicle drivers is 6/12 binocular. More stringent standards are required for drivers of commercial vehicles who must undergo monocular vision testing and must be able to read 6/9 in the better eye and up to 6/18 in the worse eye. Specific guidelines exist for standards and assessments for vision impairments and conditions in drivers of private and heavy vehicles who are referred for medical review.

The aim of this project was to review eyesight standards and assessment methods in Victoria in order to better identify drivers with impaired vision who may be at a higher risk of crash involvement.
The specific objectives were to:
1. review existing eyesight standards and assessment methods currently used in Victoria;
2. identify and recommend improved assessment options that have the potential to be feasibly introduced to Victoria; and
3. develop a business case for any improved assessment options, including the costs and benefits for funding and potential roll-out.

Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyRoads Corporation (trading as VicRoads) (Victoria)
Number of pages124
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this