A recent Herald article mentioned work that is to recommence on the widening of Tiverton and Wolverton Rds, currently a bottleneck. No mention was made of the short distance of New Windsor Rd adjacent to New Windsor School which is also part of this problem. And what about the strange intersection layout where New Windsor and Tiverton Rds meet? Is this area part of the grand plan of four lanes? Tony Goodwin, Avondale.

A spokesman for Auckland Transport tells me that the new road works will tie in with the existing four lanes in the vicinity of 171 New Windsor Rd and will provide continuous four-lane capacity through to Clark St. The intersection of New Windsor Rd and Tiverton Rd will have traffic signals and include pedestrian phases.

I recently visited the AA to sit my motorcycle licence, to take me from learners to full licence. Each time you are required to do an eyesight test. I have found that each machine you use in testing your eyesight appears to be very different in that in some you can read the test easily yet with other machines you struggle and there is a possibility of failure. The AA person behind the counter said that many people fail at one particular machine but can then try at another and pass. How can this happen? Are these machines ever calibrated? Craig Van Dongen, Auckland.

AA general manager David McLister says the devices that carry out the eyesight screening in AA Centres, and at VTNZ and VINZ, are NZTA-specified and approved equipment. They are used as a screening check to determine whether or not a person's eyesight is at a sufficient level for driving on New Zealand roads. They are not therefore an eyesight examination, nor are they a definitive eye test.


The machines have internal slides which are illuminated so that people can read the letters. There are two bulbs inside the machine and these are checked daily, and both are replaced if one appears to be becoming dull or has blown. Small external lights flash (below and on either side of the head rest) to test peripheral vision. The machines do not need to be calibrated.

Staff have instructions on the frequency of cleaning procedures and how to clean the external lenses and change the internal bulbs. Each machine is inspected daily to ensure the slides can be read, the internal bulbs are providing consistent lighting, and the peripheral lights are working.

There is a possibility that ambient lighting can have an impact if a person's head is incorrectly aligned against the headrest. However, staff can usually see if this is the problem and will suggest the person reposition their forehead.

Most people pass the eyesight check. Of the 5 per cent who fail, half need correcting lenses from an optometrist. The remaining 2.5 per cent are people whose eyes are unable, for some reason, to see the peripheral lights or read the letters.