The family of a man who was killed on a pedestrian crossing by a man who was not wearing his glasses have called on the Government to change the law to make regular sight tests compulsory for drivers, reports the BBC.
Laurence Gunn, 32, died after being hit by a car on a pedestrian crossing in Hampstead, London, in March last year. He died after his family took the decision to have his life-support machine turned off.
The driver of the car was 23-year-old Mohammed Rashid, who admitted he had been driving without his glasses on, despite knowing that his vision was very poor without correction.
Mr Rashid pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was sentenced to 140-hours’ community service.
Blackfriars Crown Court heard that Mr Rashid was severely short-sighted, and could only read a number plate from 7ft away when he did not have his glasses on.
After the incident Mr Rashid told police that he had taken to not wearing his glasses at all for the previous year and said that they were left somewhere at home.
Mr Gunn’s family were shocked to learn that it was not compulsory to wear glasses when driving and that regular sight tests were not required by law for those with poor sight such as Mr Rashid.
As a result, the judge at Blackfriars Crown Court instructed the jury to find Mr Rashid not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving, and Mr Rashid then accepted the lesser offence of causing death by careless driving.
Judge Aiden Marron QC said that driving without glasses was not in itself unlawful.
He said: “I suggest we will never know why you did not see the victim. It would have been desirable and prudent to wear the specs, but there is nothing unlawful about that.”
Speaking after the case Mr Gunn’s family called on the Government to review the law. They believe that it should be compulsory for drivers to face regular eye testing, and that there should be greater penalties for those who drive without their glasses.
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