Blind man in 85mph police chase

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Mulazum Hussain, a 21-year-old blind man from Sheffield, has been jailed after refusing to stop his car for police officers, and taking them on a five mile police chase through Sheffield.

He has a disorder that means he can only see a few feet: so how did he do it?

The chase

According to the Daily Mail, Hussain was speeding in the city at 3.30am when police officers tried to pull him over. Instead of stopping, he took them on a five-mile chase. He took a few shortcuts - ignoring signs, red lights and roundabouts. He was driving so fast that his Corsa left the ground at one point and spun 360 degrees.

The Sheffield Star reported that he was stopped by a second police car boxing him in, and after trying to ram the car Hussain gave up. He moved into the passenger seat and told police that his cousin had been driving - claiming that it couldn't be him because he is blind.

The Express reported that he admitted dangerous driving and driving with no insurance and was jailed for nine months.

Driving blind

The rules are very clear about the sight you need in order to drive. You must be able to read a car number plate from 20 metres (wearing glasses or contact lenses if necessary).

You also need to meet the minimum standards on a standard eye test (the one with rows of letters). This specifies that when you are sitting six metres away from the test you should be able to read the line that's the third from the bottom. This is actually slightly below what's considered standard (which is being able to read the second to last line on the test).

Blind drivers

There are some incredible feats achieved by blind drivers. In September, Mike Newman, a former bank manager, broke the blind land speed record by driving at an average of 186 mph. He was directed around the track by his stepfather via a radio link.

However, stories such as Hussain's are much more likely to be the outcome of a visually impaired driver getting behind the wheel.

We reported five weeks ago about Paul Keatings, who is registered blind and walks with the aid of a stick, who got behind the wheel in Lanarkshire near Glasgow. He made it less than a mile - with his friend guiding the wheel - before crashing into a rock. He was banned from driving, and his friend was also banned.

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