Can someone tell me why a judge said?

'he had not broken the law by not wearing his glasses'

Rashid was short sighted, could only read a car registration plate from 7ft (1.5m) away and had admitted to police he had not worn his glasses for a year.

the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) said it was illegal to drive with defective eyesight

Highway Code - 92

RTA 1988 sect. 96


RTA 1988 sect. 96 -

If a person drives a motor vehicle on a road while his eyesight is such that he cannot comply with any requirement as to eyesight prescribed under this Part of this Act for the purposes of tests of competence to drive, he is guilty of an offence.

That seems to me to say if you need glasses you must wear them

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    This judgement seems totally out of order. Because that driver knows he can not see properly without glasses. Just as I know If I leave a loaded gun lying around someone will get shot. Is it any different to the specific offence of using a mobile phone when driving.? Or failing to repair the brakes on your car when you know they are not up to standard. ??

    This for me should be a manslaughter charge because the driver was aware his eyesight was restricted and therefore likely to cause harm.

    OK he did not commit murder but he was damn well a direct knowing danger on the road.

    Edit > Obviously I am not gifted with the knowledge of the learned Judge but my opinion is this -

    Careless driving is not appropriate conviction. Rashid KNEW his eyes were of limited vision which impaired his ability to see and judge. He admits to having to wear glasses. therefore this is reckless driving. Death by reckless driving.

    An appeal by the family of the dead man would succeed in my opinion but I respect that not much good will come of it in regard to putting right a serious wrong.

  • The wording of the law is that you have to be able to read a number plate at a specified distance "with glasses if worn". It doesn't say that you have to wear them all the time. The Highway Code does not carry the force of law - although observing it is a defence against a charge of careless driving. Rashid was convicted of causing death by careless driving. If the law had been correctly worded, he could have been charged with manslaughter.

    It's parliament's job to make good law: it is not the judiciary's job to correct their mistakes.

  • 7 years ago

    The judge was mistaken in his direction to the jury.

    It may have been legal driving, but you can still drive carelessly or dangerously, and yet still be driving legally. There is nothing in the Highway Code to suggest you should have your eyes open when driving, and many people nod off on the motorway. Perfectly "legal", but it is none the less dangerous driving.

    It is the job of the jury, not the judge, to decide whether Rashid was driving carelessly or dangerously, even if he might have been driving legally.

    If I had lost my glasses and had to drive somewhere urgently, I would make damned sure not to drive any faster than I could see, even it this meant avoiding police stations, anywhere with pedestrians or cyclists, and be travelling at 15mph with my hazard lights on. Same as when driving in fog really.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    You have only quoted one part of what the judge is reported to have said. This is it in full: The judge 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. The only possible aggravating factor is the specs and in evidence we heard they were not a legal requirement."

    The judge clearly says that it was evidence presented to the court which showed that it was not a legal requirement for him to wear his glasses. Not having heard the whole case, we don't know exactly what that evidence was - but it was not the judges own interpretation.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Ghost is right unfortunately. The judge can't be blamed for incomplete or badly devised laws. That Rashid person was knowingly driving round with seriously reduced vision, that makes him no better than a drink driver in my book.

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