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, 6 (4), 369-75

Origins of Colour Vision Standards Within the Transport Industry

Origins of Colour Vision Standards Within the Transport Industry

A J Vingrys et al. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt.


Colour vision standards should reflect changes in our understanding of the nature of these defects as well as technological advances that place less importance upon the visual senses of the human operator. Therefore it is suggested that visual standards be subject to routine reviews in order to assess their suitability for modern work environments. This paper gives a chronological account of the introduction of colour vision standards by several national transport authorities and identifies historical reasons that led to their implementation. It is concluded that the same factors that gave rise to the adoption of early colour vision standards are still relevant for modern transport systems. However the recent deployment of automatic or semi-automatic control or navigational systems has substantially altered man's role from being the primary source of information input to one of a monitoring process. This has generated a good deal of debate and uncertainty regarding the level of responsibility that a human operator has for the control of modern transport vehicles. Nevertheless, it is argued that in the absence of complete automation some type of visual standard is needed whenever visual judgements must be made by human observers.

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