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Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Donald Cameron has marked National Eye Health Week by urging motorists to take an eye-test if they have any doubt about being able to read a number plate from 20 metres.

Mr Cameron said: “It is a requirement that drivers must be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away but a recent DVLA survey indicates that fewer than half of motorists are actually aware of this, which makes you wonder how many people may be driving unsafely. 

“20 metres is the equivalent of five parked cars so if you find yourself struggling to make out a number plate at that range you really should take an eye-test.

“With our roads getting ever busier we owe it to ourselves and to others to do everything we can to improve road safety, and by getting a check you may well help to protect your own eye health too.”

SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has also been raising awareness of the importance of eye health during National Eye Health Week (20-26 September).

Earlier this week Allan visited R Doig Optometrists in Stornoway, where he met two trainee optometrists.

Following his visit on Monday, Allan said: “I would like to thank everyone at R Doig Optometrists in Stornoway for an enjoyable and informative visit.

"It is important that people take advantage of their biennial free eye health check and do all they can to take care of their vision. National Eye Health Week is a great opportunity to book your next check-up with an optometrist, and to find out more about eye health in general.”

The purpose of National Eye Health Week is to promote good eye care and spread awareness about what people can do to proactively protect their sight. In fact, 50% of sight loss is avoidable, with the key to preventing sight loss the quick detection of any changes to the eyes at regular eye health checks. This allows any problems to be treated before they affect the vision.

In Scotland it is free to get your eyes tested by an optometrist every two years, and people can find their local optometrist on the NHS Inform website: https://www.nhsinform.scot/care-support-and-rights/nhs-services/ophthalmics/your-entitlements-to-nhs-ophthalmic-services