Lennerd learns to drive with telescopic glasses!

A young man from Roeselare (West Flanders) whose sight is limited to only 30% has managed to obtain his Belgian driving licence.  Lennerd Carrein, who now lives in Deinze (East Flanders), is the first Belgian to pass his driving test using telescopic glasses. 

The 30-year-old was born with albinism that has had a devastating impact on his sight.  “People with good sight can see an object clearly at ten metres.  For me this is limited to 3 metres” says Lennerd.

Lennerd dreamt of getting his licence from the age of 18, but his eyesight put a spanner in the wheels.  His dream has now come true after he took lessons in the Netherlands.

“For ten years now a project has been ongoing North of the border to help people with poor eyesight to pass their test. I got my licence thanks to support from Via Cara, a centre that supports people with visual impairments.  I followed the lessons in the Netherlands and got my licence here!”

Lennerd used telescopic spectacles: “These are glasses with two ordinary glasses adapted to my eyesight but also with small binoculars.  I can see ordinary obstacles, cyclists, signs and other cars.  But if I need to look at something in detail, I just used the binoculars.  In this way I can see things in the distance just like any other motorist.”

Driving solo for the first time our young man made the journey to visit his parents. Something he had always wanted to do:

“It was very strange driving all by myself for the first time. I could manage everything by public transport, but a friend would have to collect me from the station.  This now gives me incredible freedom.”

So far friends have shown no reluctance to travelling as a passenger in Lennerd’s car.  He now hopes to provide inspiration to others.  Four pilot projects are already running in centres across Belgium. 

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