That Mr Magoo was a menace. The short-sighted slap head was a danger to everyone he encountered - not least when he was behind the wheel of his jalopy.

Unfortunately, there are a number of people on British roads whose eyesight may be just as bad - and that’s why Lancashire police are cracking down on the problem and launching roadside eye tests. Drivers that fail the random stops face a fine, penalty points and may even have their licence revoked.

According to current Driving Standards Agency criteria, a driver must be able to read a number plate at a distance of 20m in daylight - with or without prescription glasses or contact lenses.

However, it’s estimated that around a third of drivers do not meet this requirement, leading to police to believe poor eyesight may cause more accidents than currently thought.

Officers today said that drivers failing the Vision MOT by a considerable margin would be warned they could face arrest for dangerous driving should they attempt to get back behind the wheel. Borderline cases will be asked to visit an optician and will be referred to the DVLA.

A police spokesman told Lancashire Evening Telegraph: “New drivers' sight is checked when they sit their test, but is then not examined again until they are 70. We all know that normal eyesight changes with time, and there are some eye diseases that gradually affect our ability to see clearly. This of course will have an impact on our ability to drive safely".

“While we have always had the power to test someone's eye sight if we feel that poor vision may have been the cause of a collision these random spot checks will bring home the message that driving with impaired vision will not be tolerated."

“If you cannot see properly when you are driving then you are considered to be a dangerous driver and are committing an offence.”

A pilot operation has been undertaken in Wales last week and the RAC has backed the scheme.