28 Nov 2018

Global bike brand sets sights on tackling road deaths, as free health initiative visits Raleigh in Road Safety Week 2018

Global bike brand sets sights on tackling road deaths, as free health initiative visits Raleigh in Road Safety Week 2018: Bryan Steel taking part in charity cycle for Brake

Vision Express’ ‘Eye Tests Save Lives’ campaign focuses on Nottingham, as Brake reveals road safety risks faced by cyclists and motorcyclists

Olympic cycling hero Bryan Steel got in the saddle of a Raleigh bike at Vision Express’ Nottingham HQ last week, as the optician and Raleigh teamed up for Road Safety Week 2018 (19-25 November).

The collaboration was a bid to encourage road users on two wheels to protect themselves by safeguarding their sight, amid statistics from road safety charity Brake that those on two wheels face a 63 times higher risk of being killed or seriously injured than car drivers. It reported that a cyclist or motorcyclist is killed or seriously injured every hour (on average), on British roads.

In response, Raleigh’s Eastwood home hosted the mobile ‘Vision Van’, which provided free comprehensive eye tests to its employees for two days, and found that:

  • 82% were overdue an eye test
  • 62% had outdated prescriptions
  • 1 in 4 had not had an eye test since passing their driving test
  • 13% admitted to never having had the essential health check

31-year-old employee Michael Karcel, from Sheffield, said: “My last eye test was about 15 years ago. I kept putting it off and I’ve recently become a dad, which makes it even more difficult to find the time to make an appointment. I was in a car accident when I was younger, and I’ve had recurring headaches in my right eye ever since – I knew I should really have had that checked out.

“I’m an events manager for Raleigh and I drive a lot for my job – up to four or five hours to get to an event and then back again. A lot of travelling is a part of the role and I will now monitor my vision to make sure I’m safe on the roads.”

Raleigh is one of the world's oldest and best-known bike brands, established in 1887 in Nottingham. The recent Vision Express visit provided free, comprehensive eye tests to over a third of its Eastwood-based employees.

Jay Ghadiali, director of professional services at Vision Express, added: “Our Vision Van continues to receive a fantastic response and it’s great that industry-leading companies, like Raleigh, are encouraging staff to have regular eye tests. It’s concerning that 1 in 4 visitors to the Vision Van admitted to not having an eye test since passing their driving test and we thank Raleigh for joining us during Road Safety Week to help improve sight.”

In support of Brake’s 2018 Road Safety Week theme of ‘BikeSmart’, Bryan Steel

spearheaded a Vision Express ‘virtual cycle’, which saw him, and Vision Express staff, reach nearly 50 miles in just one hour. The optician also introduced an imposing state-of-the-art motorcycle into the window of its flagship Oxford Street store, inviting the public to read a licence plate from 20 metres – the only current mandatory test for UK drivers.

Vision Express’ award-winning ‘Eye Tests Save Lives’ campaign is committed to reducing around 3,000 road casualties each year that are attributed to poor driver sight. It is urging policymakers to introduce mandatory checks of visual acuity every 10 years for UK motorists.

During Road Safety Week, the Vision Van also visited coach company, Sharpes of Nottingham, where one driver had high blood pressure detected. To find out more visit: https://latestnews.visionexpress.com/news/bus-drivers-benefit-from-free-eye-test-initiative-targeting-transport-industry-for-road-safety-week-2018

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Brake EyeTestSaveLives Vision. Taken Seriously

Contact information

Claire Stuart

Senior PR Manager


0115 988 2138

About Vision Express

Vision Express is one of the largest optical retailers in the UK and part of GrandVision, the global leader in optical retail operating in more than 40 countries, spanning over 6,500 stores and online.

With almost 600 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.

With around 6,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charity Project and include:

  • Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
  • International Glaucoma Association
  • Macular Society
  • Stroke Association
  • Temple Street University Hospital
  • Brake