Monthly Archives: February 2009

February 28, 2009
Fraudulent Driving Instructor Given a Nine-Month Prison Sentence

An Instructor has received a suspended prison sentence for giving driving lessons after being struck of the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) Register 
Harjit Bhogal was given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years, and a three-month curfew between the hours of 10pm-7am. He was ordered to pay £200 compensation to a pupil and £1,400 court costs and disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Michelle Moston, Deputy Head of the Fraud & Integrity Team at DSA, said: “This case clearly demonstrates the reason why anyone who is paying for driving tuition must ensure that their instructor is licensed by the DSA. Before an individual is allowed to register as an Approved Driving Instructor they are assessed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to ensure that they are “fit and proper” and that they have a high standard of driving and instructional ability. This includes criminal record bureau checks.”
“It’s very simple to check that your driving instructor is licensed. Simply check that they display an in date pink or green certificate in their windscreen during driving lessons and that the photo ID is correct.”

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February 27, 2009
Ireland’s Most Notorious Driver: Prawo Jazdy

The identity of Ireland’s most notorious driver has been finally revealed, with over 50 different convictions to their name Prawo Jazdy’s stint has come to an end. That is after police took a closer look, they realised what they thought to be the name of individual Polish licence holders was in fact the Polish translation for “Driving Licence”. This term has been mistaken by dozens of officers.

Police were under the impression a serial offender was on the loose, who was managing to keep reoffending without getting a banned. An internal police memo printed among Irish papers has said officers responsible for taking the details of Polish offenders had all been using “Prawo Jazdy” which is located in the top right corner of the driving licence, instead of the true offenders name.

The memo went on to detail that “Prawo Jazdy” was actually the polish translation for the word driving licence and not the full name of the actual licence holder, it also commented that it was embarrassing to see the system has created “Prawo Jazdy” as a person with over 50 identities.

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February 25, 2009
Cold Weather Increases Potholes

Recent cold weather has caused a steep increase in the amount of vehicles being damaged by potholes. This is caused by rainwater, which gets into cracks within tarmac, due to cold weather this then freezes and expands within the crack causing the bitumen to break up.

The consistent cold weather meant this has been happening on a daily basis throughout Decemeber, motorists are warned to look out for potholes in roads as driving over these at regular speeds may cause damage to your vehicles suspension.

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February 23, 2009
Driving Instructors Club Essex (DICE) Charity Roll

A charity fund raising quiz night held by Driving Instructors Club Essex (DICE) on Monday September 2008 raised £750 for Essex Air Ambulance (EAA).
Dice has a membership of 80 instructors and is getting bigger every month. It holds regular events throughout the year to raise much needed funds for various charities.
For more information on DICE visit their website drivinginstructorses-sex.co.uk

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February 22, 2009
The Sponsored Pass Plus – London Scheme is Ending Soon

Transport for London has informed Britannia Driving School that their sponsored Pass Plus – London Scheme is ending soon; students will not be able to register after 31st March 2009 as their evaluation project is almost complete. New drivers who register before this date will have until 31st July 2009 to complete Pass Plus and claim their refund.
Road Safety Officer Transport for London, Steve Chesterman, said: “I would like to thank you for your valuable support in this important research project.”
The project attracted over 10,000 new drivers to Pass Plus – London and more than 2000 driving instructors are registered with the scheme.
Steve Chesterman said: “Transport for London is keen to maintain the links created with driving schools and driving instructors and will keep their details on our database. We will inform you of future campaigns targeting new and young drivers in London.”

Are you Pass Plus registered driving instructor? How you will be affected by these changes? What are your thoughts on the Transport for London’s decision? Send Britannia Driving School your views using the comments link below:

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February 21, 2009
Careless driving could earn you on the spot points

Under new powers police will not be giving verbal warnings and will instead issue fixed-penalty notices for careless driving or minor offences as failing to signal passing, too close to a cyclist or not displaying lights at night. Drivers will pay an automatic £60 fine and have three penalty points added to their licences.

As more than one million motorists have six or more points on their licences. Anyone who receives 12 points within three years is banned for six months. Road safety groups are concerned that with new power and will fuel suspicion among drivers that police are acting unfairly and that fines are being issued to raise revenue.

Unlike existing fixed-penalty offences, such as speeding and using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel, the evidence for careless driving is much less clear-cut and is often a matter of the officer’s opinion.
A Department for Transport consultation paper says that there is evidence that police are not charging drivers with careless driving due to the issue of paperwork involved. “This would suggest that there are careless drivers who are currently ‘getting away with it’, an idea that is supported by the steady downward trend in the prosecution of careless driving.”

The Association of Chief Police Officers welcomed the move.

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February 19, 2009
High-Tech Gadgets Still Top for Most Motorist

Night Vision and adaptive cruise control are the two pieces of technology that Britain’s drivers would most like to see on their next car.
In the poll, conducted by website MSN Cars of nearly 30,000 people, users were asked: “If you could only have one, which new gadget would you like to see in your next car?”
In total, 27, 506 people participated in the poll. The full results were as follows:
1. Night vision – 20%
2. Adaptive cruise control – 20%
3. Self – parking – 13%
4. Voice control – 13%
5. Internet feed – 12%
6. Slow speed auto braking – 10%
7. Active high beam – 8%
8. Lane keeping assistance – 4%
Content Manager for MSN cars, Tom Evans, said: “it’s a challenge for car makers to incorporate more and more high technology into their cars while at the same time keeping buying costs down in fiercely competitive markets, especially in the current environment. Our poll involving a very large sample gives clear indications of the technology the bulk of potential buyers want to see in their next car. It may also indicate that car manufacturers have a challenge in educating the public in terms of the benefits that some of these new technologies can offer in terms of convenience and safety.”

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February 18, 2009
Tips on Buying a New Car

When you buy a new or used car it is important to take the car for a test drive and ensure it is the right car for you, below is a checklist of useful points you can use to compare the cars you test drive:
1. Do you like the look of the car?
2. Is there enough legroom, headroom, space between the seat and steering wheel in order for you to drive in a comfortable position (check the front and back)?
3. Are the dials easy to read and understand?
4. Does the engine sound quiet and smooth?
5. How does the vehicle stop (does it pull to one side, does it take longer then expected, any strange sounds)?
6. Do all the accessories work, don’t forget to try the windows, heater, A/C, radio etc.
If you want to go a step further you could try hiring the car for a week to see how the car runs on a day to day basis.

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February 14, 2009
Electricity the Fuel of the Future for Motor Cars

Most Motorists believe that electricity is the car fuel of the future, according to a new poll.Green car advisory website – TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk – polled the opinion of 1025 website visitors to ask what would be the ultimate fuel of the future, and 40 % voted for electricity.
The recent report from the Committee on Climate Change entitled “Building a low – carbon economy –the UK’s contribution to tackling climate change” which was published on 1st December 2008, stated that the UK should invest in the development of electric cars couple with the decarbonisation of electricity generation as part of a list of measures designed to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
Hydrogen took second place in the poll with 28% of the votes. Hydrogen has been widely acclaimed as a hopeful replacement to fossil fuels as it is able to offer a similar performance to that of a conventional fossil-fuelled car with the added benefit that hydrogen fuelled vehicles can be instantly refuelled unlike electric vehicles which require a waiting period to recharge. However hydrogen technology is currently still being refined while problems such as generation and storage along with the supporting infrastructure are still being addressed.
Hybrid technology offers the convenience of a fossil-fuelled with the cleanliness of an electric motor in urban driving conditions and took third place with 12% of the vote. While the second generation of biofuels languished in fourth position with just 9%
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February 13, 2009
Satnav that helps greener driving

Econav will not just help you find your destination while you are driving your car,this hi-tech device could save you petrol and the planet as well. Econav prevents you when you accelerate and brake too harshly, it flashes when you need to shift gear according to speed. Navigation makers Vexia claims that this will reduce co2 emissions by 30%. This Idea seems to be very clever, however the public will decide when it hits the market.

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