Eye Eye!

Yesterday’s source of all news great and trivial, the Southampton Echo website, carried a non-story about a taxi driver whose private hire licence renewal was turned down by Winchester City Council, a decision overturned by Andover Magistrates. The reason for the original refusal? He lost the sight of one eye to diabetes four years ago.

Anyone who knows me at all well will realise that I was interested in following this one – I like driving, I have diabetes and I was born with only one working eye. Given that it’s taken the council four years to do anything about this bloke – and given that the story is in the Echo – I can’t help thinking there’s some relevant fact we’re not being told, but the great and the good who comment on the Echo website aren’t known for letting the facts get in the way of a good rant.

Of course we had the usual tired old myth trotted out that one-eyed people shouldn’t drive because you need two eyes for accurate distance judgement. That’s partly true, but as a more-than-usually astute correspondent pointed out, it only makes a difference with distances up to arm’s length, and if you’re judging distances that close when you’re driving, you’ve already got a problem.

The discussion was ended – or it had ended at the point when I was too bored to follow it any further – with this pithy exchange between two correspondents:

Person 1 “That unusually astute commenter was right, one-eyed people can drive perfectly safely”

Person 2 “So would you feel safe if you knew your taxi driver only had one eye?”

Person 1 “Yes, and I’m an optometrist so I know what I’m talking about”

I’d like to add Collapse of stout party, but I don’t suppose anything as inconsequential as informed medical opinion will silence the keyboard army.

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