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Eyes on the road

Driving in the Palmetto State might be about to get a little less dicey.  

Members of the South Carolina House voted by an overwhelming majority on Feb. 27 to pass a bill that would resurrect the mandatory periodic vision exam for the state’s 4 million motorists, according to The State newspaper.

The bill’s eye exam requirement is not expected to immediately affect more than a million residents who have already submitted online applications for the new Real ID licenses, The State reported.

But any of the other millions of drivers who aren’t grandfathered in, as it were, would have to get their eyes checked when they apply for licenses or renew their licenses.

The vision exam was abolished last year after Department of Motor Vehicles reps asserted that the test was essentially pointless and exacerbated wait times at the DMV. Lawmakers listened and ditched the requirement when they passed the Real ID legislation.

But Rep. Jason Elliott, a Republican who lives in Greenville and sponsored the bill to bring back the exams, would rather wait in longer lines at the DMV than share the road with Mr. Magoo. And, apparently, so would many of his fellow state reps.  

Reflecting on the House’s warm reception of his bill, Elliott called the vote a “victory … for the concept that you need to be able to see to drive a car.”

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