West Midlands Police have warned motorists that they face the strong possibility of having their vehicles stolen if they leave them running during cold and frosty mornings. Leaving your keys in the ignition of your unlocked vehicle is an open invitation for an opportunistic car thief.
With many areas across the region being hit by a variety of cold weather conditions many vehicle owners will become more relaxed in their approach to security. It is far too tempting to return to a warm house if you feel it is too cold to wait for your vehicle to de-ice.
The police have advised all motorists not to leave their car open or running for any length of time even if it is within clear view of your property.
Quite simply, there are some people who will steal anything if they are given the chance.
In addition to giving anti-theft advice the police have also warned drivers not to attempt to use their vehicles if they cannot see through their windscreens properly. There have been a number of accidents that could have been easily prevented if motorists had simply taken the time to ensure that they were able to see clearly before setting off to work or any other kind of journey.
Westminster Council has reported that it is owed a whopping £4.5 million in parking fines from foreign drivers. It appears that the main culprits are those who own the most expensive luxury vehicles. The council is not able to enforce any kind of legal action on drivers who live abroad as they cannot accurately trace where they live.
The council believes these drivers are clearly in breach of British motoring laws and have asked the government to grant it the power to locate overseas motorists that are avoiding the payment of vehicle parking fines.
As the law stands, foreign motorists who bring their vehicles into the UK should register them with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency ( DVLA ) within six months of vehicles arrival. Once a parking ticket has been issued councils can request the relevant information from the DVLA. However, this process cannot be carried out if the vehicle has not been registered to a British address.
Westminster Council has said that drivers who break parking laws in Britain should face penalties irrespective of whether they are UK citizens or live abroad.
A spokesperson for the council stated that there are a small number of motorists who believe this country’s motoring laws do not apply to them, and this situation ought to be corrected.
Swindon Council has announced that it will remove all fixed point speed cameras. All cameras will be scrapped over a six month period. However, the move was heavily criticised by road-safety campaigners.
The bid to remove the speed cameras began when Swindon Councillor, Peter Greenhalgh, objected to these cameras by saying they were a tax on drivers and a tool to raise revenue for the Government whilst the council had to pay over £300,000 for maintenance.
The Government responded by stating that councils receive £110 million annually for road safety and speed cameras had been put in place to reduce accidents and save lives.
Road-safety charity BRAKE said that the removal of speed cameras in Swindon will not encourage motorists to stay within the desired speed limits that are essential in the battle to reduce road accidents and fatalities. The charity insisted that those who break speeding laws will no longer have the additional worry of having to slow down for speed cameras.
A spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents commented that there is evidence that shows that speed cameras reduce accidents. Motorists have a tendency to break speed limits if they believe they will not be caught
Rental vehicle firm, Avis, has released the results of a new study which focussed on the identification of British and foreign road signs by motorists. Alarmingly, the results showed that over 50% of participants were not able to give the correct answer to questions put to them during the survey.
Although it could be argued that not every motorist will be able to recall every road sign, it was pointed out that the most basic of UK signs had drivers completely baffled. Signs such as ‘No Cycling’ and ‘No Overtaking’ were not identified by survey participants. Around 54% of respondents also thought that a ‘No Overtaking’ sign simply meant ‘All Motor Vehicles Permitted’.
Avis also said out that most motorists who are over 30 did not have to face the modern Driving Theory Test and this could have had a significant impact on survey results. However, it would be good practice for these motorists to brush up on their road sign recognition skills. Anyone who wishes to do so can obtain relevant information from the Department of Transport.
The car rental company also highlighted the fact that they had conducted the survey in order to assess how they could help UK motorists to cope with foreign road signs. They did not bargain on finding that many drivers would struggle on basic questions about the Highway Code.
With many experts stating that the UK is already in recession, drivers would do well to consider cutting motoring costs wherever they can. There are a number of tips that can help in the battle against rising prices but many drivers fail to take advantage of these simple measures.
For instance, you should not simply opt for the first insurance quote that you are offered. You will find that hundreds of pounds can be trimmed from your premiums by using price comparison websites. You will also find that motor insurers will look favourably on vehicles that are fitted with an immobiliser or alarm.
Why not shop around to find which petrol station offers the cheapest petrol and diesel prices? You should be aware that choosing a petrol station simply because it is nearest does not mean that it is the most economic.
Another tried and tested way of reducing fuel cost is to avoid frequent braking and acceleration. Driving your vehicle at a steady pace will not only see you save pounds but will also improve your road safety awareness.
Those drivers who have recently passed their test will find that there are a large amount of insurers who will offer a discount if they take the Pass Plus qualification. Taking this action could result in savings of 35-40%.
According to the AA’s British Insurance Premium Index the average cost of car insurance has now risen to nearly £725. This has come as unwelcome news for many UK drivers whose finances are already under considerable pressure from steep increases in food and fuel bills.
Motor insurers have stated that there has been a significant rise in the number of road accident personal injury claims and this has contributed to soaring insurance costs. Market specialists Datamonitor stated that they expect UK motoring claims to rise to around £10.9 billion by 2012.
A spokesperson for AA Insurance commented that young male drivers who do not have much experience are chiefly responsible for insurance losses. The average cost of an insurance claim for male drivers in this age bracket is £4,500 but claims from women of the same age are likely to be around £2,700. This is the main reason why young male motorists can expect to be faced with insurance premiums that are twice as high as those for young female drivers.
The AA index , which was established in 1994, will normally monitor around 1000 car insurance premiums across the UK. The average is then calculated to produce a benchmark index figure.
A blind man was fined 500 euros and attained a one-month sentence for drink driving and driving without a license in a French court on Friday.
The man who cannot be named for legal reasons was a 29-year-old blind journalist who was arrested after driving the vehicle with a passenger who was also drunk. The 52-year-old passenger received a five-month driving suspension and was given a one-month sentence.
The bizarre incident took place in the French town of Nancy. The pair was arrested after Police spotted a vehicle suspiciously moving at a very low speed and was zig zagging across the road.
When Police finally stopped the vehicle, they were very shocked to discover that the driver was blind and both him and passenger were twice drunk over the permitted level.
The blind man told the court that he had an urge to drive the car and the passenger who was the owner of the car allowed this to commence.
Adding that he was extremely happy whilst attempting to drive and that he was very concentrated on the road.
Apparently, the journalist had driven before and recounted his experience in a French regional paper.
The judge prosecuting told the two men that they were in no fit mind state to drive any vehicle and that there sentence in prison will allow them to reflect upon their silly actions.
Every motorist is aware that road rage is a problem on Britain’s roads and that because we are a heavily populated country; we are to share the road with many other vehicles very regularly.
There are many road aspects that can lead to a driver’s temper furring but it is vital to keep calm and not let the rage get the best of you.
The best thing to do to avoid road rage is to stay alert and to be prepared for silly and stupid mistakes from other drivers. If this occurs then let it happen, don’t let it get the best of you, keep calm and take deep breaths. Do not respond in temper back to a driver who has clearly lost theirs. Never use swearing gestures – this will only infuriate the driver further.
If unfortunately an angry motorist is following you then it is off high importance that you do not drive to your home, workplace, family or friends houses. Ensure to drive to a police station or a crowded area. Also write down the vehicles make, model, colour and registration number and phone the Police.
Do not over use your car horn as even a polite horn can be misinterpreted by an aggressive motorist. Also ensure you do not tailgate in any situation, maintain a safe distance, this is a very common cause for accidents and is intensely infuriating for any driver.
If you combine all those pointers with ensuring a supply of fresh air, melodious music and a non alcoholic drink then you will be set to have a safer, pleasant journey.