State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Barbara Fiala just announced she will reinstate the requirement for an eye test at the DMV to get a driver’s license renewal. She plans to convene an advisory group of experts in the health, safety and transportation fields “to determine the best and most efficient way to ensure that New York’s drivers possess the vision acuity necessary for safe driving.”
The group will look at the latest procedures for vision testing, the policies of other states and what the most cost-effective way is of “assuring the vision safety of New York State’s 11 million drivers, while providing the convenience of online transactions,” Fiala’s statement said.
The DMV announced Monday that drivers could “self-certify” their vision is good enough to drive, rather than having to read a chart in their local DMV office or obtain a note from a health-care provider. County clerks, eye doctors and members of law enforcement have since voiced strong opposition to the change, saying it imperils public safety.
This is the rest of Fiala’s statement:
“I have asked the medical organizations prominent in the vision health field, AAA and AARP to review the best alternatives for a system that receives more than 2.4 million driver license renewal applications each year. Those of us charged with delivering key government services to the public must always look for the most cost-effective ways to provide those services, but public safety will always be the first priority at DMV and it will not be compromised.
The news release includes comments from AARP, AAA New York State and the New York State Ophthalmological Society, the New York State Optometric Association, the New York State Society of Opticians and the Medical Society of the State of New York.