A unique drive launched by Mumbai Police to evaluate the eyesight of drivers on Mumbai’s streets has showed that nearly a third of drivers have poor vision.
The eyesight of drivers was checked as part of a drive launched by Mumbai Traffic Police during the road safety week launched on January 11.
An official from the traffic department said, “Upon completing 18 years of age, a person applies for driving licence. The person then drives a vehicle for as long as possible. But is their vision good enough for driving? No one is investigating this. As a result, they are at risk of causing accidents. There are often instances of accidents caused by poor eyesight. Therefore, a special campaign was launched to raise awareness about this and also to know how many drivers are fit for driving.”
During the safety week, mobile medical vans were stationed and camps set up at every traffic division across the city. Nakabandis were set up at important junctions following which traffic police would randomly stop drivers and take them to their van to test their eyesight.
The traffic authorities then instructed the drivers to wear spectacles or contact lenses on the basis of their reports. On many occasions, traffic police even distributed spectacles. As many as 37,000 drivers underwent the eye check-up, of which around 10,500 were instructed to use either spectacles or contact lenses while driving.
“Auto-rickshaw, cab and bus drivers who ferry other people have the responsibility of other lives as well. Looking at their financial status, we believe they won’t be going for eye check-up. So we primarily stopped them and got their eyesight checked while other private drivers were randomly stopped and taken for eye check-up,” an official said.
Out of the total 34 traffic divisions in Mumbai, there are six traffic police divisions — Tardeo, BKC, Bandra, Dadar, Sahar and Santacruz, where over 3,000 drivers were subjected to eye check-up. The most vulnerable drivers were found in Malad where over 3,500 drivers’ eyes were inspected and problems were detected in the eyes of about 1,600 drivers. After Malad, Chembur, Andheri (DN Nagar) and Kurla saw highest of drivers with poor eye vision.
When contacted, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Madhukar Pandey said, “It was one of the many initiatives we are taking this year. It is a welfare-cum-safety initiative.”
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