Essilor Singapore reaches out to over a million people this year with an innovative scheme to turn taxi drivers into Vision Ambassadors. Working in partnership with the National Taxi Association (NTA), Essilor Singapore is to provide over 18,000 drivers with the tools to spread the word on good vision care.
The average taxi driver notches up over 1000 conversations a week, an excellent opportunity to pass on the vital message: check your eyes. The Vision Ambassador initiative, which began in July 2014, has screened and organized free comprehensive eye examinations and vision correction for 2000 drivers to date. A further 16,000 drivers will be screened and briefed this year. The aim is two-fold: to ensure these professional drivers have the correct prescriptions to keep safe and to enable them to educate the wider population on the importance of eye-care.
1 out of 5 taxi drivers do not have normal vision for perfect safety
The initiative follows a global study carried out by Essilor to mark World Sight Day in 2013, which interviewed thousands of taxi drivers in 19 different countries. It found that 1 in 5 of the drivers interviewed had not had their eyes checked once over the previous 5 years, that 1 in 5 did not have normal vision for perfect safety and that only 16% of drivers were equipped with prescription sunglasses for driving in bright light. Eyesight a key part of road safety as 90% of drivers’ decisions are based on vision.
Essilor has campaigned for a number of years on the importance of good vision for driver safety. A noteable example is the global public information campaign “Think About Your Eyes” which began in the USA and went on to win an award with its UK offshoot. Singapore website www.openyoureyes.com.sg is based on a similar concept, a publically available resource to discuss the issues behind good vision care as well as provide practical advice on finding an eye doctor and booking screenings.