The number of drivers caught using a hand-held mobile phone has risen by almost a third, according to a report by the Ministry of Justice, despite a recent controversial government campaign warning drivers of the dangers. The figures show a dramatic increase in police taking action, having recently been granted greater powers to deal with offenders. Nearly 164,900 fixed penalty notices were issued to drivers caught using a hand-held mobile phone across England and Wales last year, resulting in a £60 fine and three points on their licence.
Head of road policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers, Chef Constable Steve Green, told BBC News he wanted the Government to push the message of road safety by better educating drivers.
The ideal age to pass your driving test is 25 according to new research from the insurance company Admiral.
Admiral studied information from more than a million drivers to find the best age to pass the test. The research found that those who pass at the age of 25 go on to have the fewest accidents and motoring convictions.
The study found the top 20 areas in the UK with the highest average age passing the driving test of 21.9 were in London, with motorist in Wimborne, Dorset, having the lowest pass age at 19.4 years.
Motorinsurance.co.uk has compiled a list of the most bizarre claims received over the past year, including the following gems.
“The accident happened because I had one eye on the lorry in front, one eye on the pedestrian and the other on the car behind”
“I had a massive argument with my father, after which he deliberately drove into my parked car, and then drove off”
“I was coming to a slow stop on my drive, when the car suddenly bolted forward and crashed through my garage door”
“My car was stationary at the set of traffic lights, when a strong gust of wind pushed my car forward into the flow of traffic”
Here are the top five most ridiculous excuses motorists have given the DVLA for not having any car tax in the past year:
- I gave the car to a man in the pub
- My mate took my car for a test drive a year ago, and hasn’t brought it back yet
- I did tick the box, but didn’t realise I had to actually send you the form
- The weather’s been nice so I haven’t needed to use it
- The letter advises me to ignore any correspondence
Do you know any lies, damned lies and tax excuses?
A major change, heavily publicised in recent months, was that 15 driver errors in the practical driving test would result in a fail.
Research suggests that this change in the marking system, brought in on 4th May 1999, will lead to an extra 10,000 failures a year.
Proposals to decrease the 15 threshold to 12 could add to an extra 40,000 failures.
The Government is looking at the research which has shown that candidates who commit minor errors in the test are more likely to have accidents after they have passed. The date for reducing the pass mark from 15 to 12 has yet to be announced.