Trio Of Area Lawmakers Opposes DMV Move To Eliminate Eye Tests

State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C-I, Corning) and Assemblyman Chris Friend (R-Big Flats) today joined a chorus of opposition to a potential policy change by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that would do away with required eye tests as part of New York’s driver license renewal process.

While it was reported earlier today that the DMV plans to put the new policy on hold, the trio of local lawmakers sent a letter to the governor urging him to permanently shelve the idea.

In a letter to Cuomo late today, O’Mara, Palmesano and Friend wrote, “While we have noted news reports today that this change has been put on hold by DMV, we urge that you swiftly and permanently reject this ill-advised policy modification to allow drivers to self-certify for the vision requirement when renewing their license on-line or by mail.

“We’re confident that we continue to share with you every belief that New York State government must make every effort to honor its responsibility to protect the public’s safety. Consequently, we can’t help but join many others in questioning the soundness of this potential change in state policy in order to achieve a streamlined license renewal process.

“The administration’s ongoing commitment to undertake a broad examination of programs and policies throughout every state agency with an eye toward effectiveness, efficiency and cost savings is admirable, and we applaud it. In this specific instance, however, we strongly believe that the potential risks to motorist safety and security far outweigh any and all financial considerations and, again, it should be permanently shelved.”

The revision to the state’s driver license renewal process first came to light earlier this week and has drawn heavy criticism from state legislators, vision experts and other medical professionals, and county clerks locally and statewide.