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Learner Licence: Eyesight Test

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by astrocas, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Heys Guys,

    I would like to start riding motorcycles, and I'm just reading up about getting a licence on the RTA website.

    I note that you need to pass an eyesight test, can anybody give me details of this particular test?

    I was born with a cataract in my left eye, so vision in that eye is less than stellar. However, my right eye is 20/20...

    ...am I up shit creek?

  2. It's just that test where they say, "read these four letters" i think, and the card is like really close to you. I was worried about doing it for my car L's but then it was over in about a second.
  3. My eye is pretty shocking though. Y'know when you blur your eyes? That's what it looks like all the time...

    ...maybe I could just memorise the 4 letters?!
  4. If your eyesight is correctable with glasses / contacts you are fine, other then that I have no idea.
  5. In VIC the test is a straightforward chart test that with an error allowance of + or - 1.5 dioptres (thats significantly worse than what people describe as "20/20" - if you can read road signs you'll be okay). Only one eye needs to reach the standard.
    There is also a colour vision test (traffic light colours).
  6. Hopefully NSW has something similar! I'd better contact RTA for more info, before I start spending money.
  7. Not intending to tell you that you shouldn’t ride or have a crack at you astrocas! But if one of your eyes is permanently blurred and as bad as what I am thinking from your posts, do you think you will be able to ride safely? I know that I use my peripheral vision alot when riding and having an eye like that would certainly make me think twice on my ability to be able to ride safely. Someone with more experience may be able to tell me if I am wrong but your ability to be able to ride with an eye like that should be your biggest concern atm. Or am I thinking your eye is worse than it actually is?
  8. If you need glasses to drive then you'll need them to ride. Why muck around? As for the eyesight test, as pointed out above they don't make you read really small letters (here in Vic so I suspect NSW would be similar). The letters are the ones about half way down the chart if you've ever done an eyesight test at an optometrist's. I hope that helps.
  9. Blu101, I guess it is quite bad, but it's something I was born with and have adapted to well. You can lose an entire eye and only lose one third of your peripheral vision, so in saying that I have about 85% sight.

    I ride a pushbike on the road (I realise a motor makes things different), and haven't had any troubles.

    I guess it's something I should do a lot of research about.
  10. The NSW RTA eyesight test consists of the RTA muppet opening a cupboard door next to them which has the letter card in and telling you to look up at the mirror behind them and read the bottom line. It is a standard eyesight test board with the different lines of different height letters. Simple as that.

    Providing one eye can read it you will be fine, you could even close the bad one to help you focus.

    Given that you need two eyes for judging distance won't you have issues with that on the road? Do you drive a car?
  11. If you can read the signs just fine when on your pushbike then I think you will be fine on a motorbike. :)
  12. I guess I could have some problems with depth perception... should probably get off to the optometrist before going through with all of this.

    Don't drive car. Opting for a bike because it would take 4.5 years to get a full car licence... plus bikes are just better!
  13. my aunt only has one working eye (Detached retina) and she has a full license with no restrictions,

    I have shocking eyesight, when i was 16 i only just passed the test to get my L's for my P's the driving instructor said "HE CAN BLOODY SEE" when the lady asked me to read the chart so i didnt even have to. :D

    when i went for my bike L's i had to lean close to the chart and they didnt ask me to cover an eye so if you just look out of your good eye you should be fine, i did mine at HART btw, no idea of its different anywhere else, ohh and there was no eye test when i did my license at baylink.
  14. I got my L's a month ago in NSW, and they never even asked me to read that letter chart, they didn't test my eyes at all. I just did the computer knowledge test, then they told me to wait and they printed me out a new drivers licence with the lerner bike status on it, and see ya later!
  15. Sounds like I should be able to get through the test easily enough. I guess I'll go to an eye doctor first and have a chat!
  16. I don't remember having my eyes checked, but I do remember they had a vision chart.

    If you enter the building without walking into a glass window, they probably won't test you.
  17. I had an eye operation on Tue 5 Aug 2008. It has been just over a year now. The months leading up to my operation were very hard. I hard it very hard to drive and ride. I did not much of either. (Hence only 5,000km on my bike for that year.) I think having good eye sight is important. It helps you spot pot holes, road kill and other smaller hazards that means little when you drive a car but much more when you are on two wheels.

    How do you go with things like raquet sports, etc. It might sound irrevelant but can you see an object moving towards you very quickly. Eye test only test static situations. Riding and driving are dynamic situations. If you can get your push bike up to 40km-60km/hr and have no problems, then you should be fine. (Only a guess, you need a few professional opinion.)

    One thing that is also important is roadcraft. How fast do you eyes communicate to your brain. (Trust me, for many cagers, there is no communication.) Can you see things and quickly digest it. It traffic, you need to make decisions fast. Thinking about the controls on a bike plus what is happening around you - might mean too much work for your good eye.

    Is there any way you can improve your bad eye? I hope that you find a way. Bike riding is one of the best things I do. I would like to encourage you but having been through an eye operation and almost endangering myself in the couple of months prior to the operation, I would also like to warn you of some hazards/disadvantages that come with a bad eye.

    Maybe try a scooter first and ride in back lanes?? (Now everyone is going to shoot me....)
  18. astrocas i'll give you my advice / recommendations based on my 26yrs experiencing of driving / riding with one eye.

    The RTA eye test is a doddle, BUT, if you can wear glasses or contacts to improve your vision do so. As has already been stated by others vision is a critical factor whilst on the road and anything you can do to increase it puts the safety factor up there in your favour.

    You say you've had this condition for a while, it'll take a little while longer to iron out the kinks on a bike. Depth perception is NOT your friend so do what you've done most of your life and take it easy whilst finding out where the false markers are in your vision ... you know ... the ones that look like they're "here" but are actually closer.

    You'll find your peripheral is severely limited, if your damaged side allows for light / dark / large objects to be detected in it's limited vision then train that aspect harder. Once the helmet goes on peripheral from that side takes yet another hit in reduction, so be ready for the neck-twist olympics and maybe consider blind spot mirrors on your bike too, until you get used to where those spots really are.

    Get the good eyeball bouncing around your field of view quickly and often, and an exercise I use is to vocally "name" objects in places where I should be more dilligent such as narrow suburban streets. So it goes like this you're travelling down a busy narrow road and you're scanning everything and saying "bus .... kid at kerb .... parked car about to open door .... traffic slowing .... cute legs .... lights turning amber ..... crossing ahead". On a bike you need to have quick reactions for the simple fact that it doesn't stop as quick as a car, limited vision exaccerbates this factor by whatever percentage you've lost.

    Do not take the approach that you're a risk out there to yourself and others, be more aware OF the risks to yourself and others. Go into this with the confidence that you CAN do it but that it'll require a different approach. I learned to understand what my vision doesn't have the ability to do from years of paying attention to it's limits. Be the same and take this on as a challenge but one where you're confident of improving the deficiencies instead of being afraid of them.

    These are just some of my experiences but given that we're all individuals yours are likely to be different. At the end of it all only you know the limitations and I strongly suggest for the first part of your riding experiences you stay well within them. Train, learn, recognise, and then adjust because as you gain skills so too will your riding and you'll be safer al round.
  19. I wear glasses all the time, but when I went to do the the eye test the instructor just said try it without glasses, I squinted and said I couldn't really see it but had a bash and got 4 out of 5 and passed. So as long as you can make out road signs you're ok. Oh and that was in VIC.