Monthly Archives: January 2010

January 29, 2010
HEADACHE OVER TOYOTA RECALL

New safety fears have been raised about some of the Toyota range, with as many as 2.3 million cars in the United States being recalled.

The Japanese car maker announced the recall after a potential design problem with the accelerator. It was found that the accelerator pad was sticking and not returning to the idle position.

Toyota looked into certain isolated cases and concluded that the floor mat may explain why the problem was occurring. However, there have been over 100 reported incidents, including 17 crashes and 5 fatalities thought to be linked with the faulty cars.

This is not the first recall for Toyota and comes with a huge price, as Toyota tries to recover from last year’s recall which saw its first big loss in 60 years.

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January 28, 2010
Insurance rise shock

Car insurance costs rocketed by more than 18 per cent last year.

The jump in premiums was the biggest annual increase since costs began to be monitored in 1994.

According to the motoring organisation’s quarterly index, average premium quotes for comprehensive cover are now 18.7 per cent higher than in 2008.

And a study of the cheapest quotes show rates rose by more than 11 per cent last year.

Insurers have been struggling to overcome exhausted reserves while coping with sharp rises in settlement costs and the frequency of personal injury claims.

Insurance fraud is also costing the industry around £2 billion a year, which amounts to £44 on every household’s insurance budget.

One in every 20 vehicles on British roads are thought to be driven by uninsured drivers and claims involving them are estimated to add £30 to every annual motor insurance policy.

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January 26, 2010
Noisy dog owner banned from driving

MAGISTRATES have punished a Weston man for having a noisy dog – by banning him from driving.

Terence Kingston will not be allowed behind the wheel for three weeks after his dog was heard barking 532 times in a 30-minute period by an environmental protection officer.

The 57-year-old was brought to North Somerset Courthouse after the offence at his Ullswater Close home, which saw his dog woof an average of once every 3.4 seconds.

North Somerset Council’s executive member for environmental protection, Councillor Peter Bryant, said: “While the magistrates may not have imposed a financial penalty they have still inconvenienced him by imposing a driving disqualification, which I fully applaud.”

Before the offence, which took place in July 2009, Mr Kingston had been told to stop his dog making such a racket in August 2008.

But he failed and was fined £875 and ordered to pay £871.44 for two breaches of the noise abatement notice the following March.

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January 25, 2010
PLEASE DON’T SPEED PAST MY HOUSE

A man was stunned when he discovered he had incurred a speeding ticket for his car which was parked outside his home in Nottingham.

The speeding camera located close by to his car has accidently picked up his license number when another vehicle has driven past at 37mph in a 30mph zone.

Mr Buck has now incurred two tickets on two different occasions.

He admitted that it was humorous the first time. To not even have the key in the ignition and receive a ticket is quite an achievement. However, it is slightly concerning that a speed camera is incapable of telling the difference between a stationary vehicle and one travelling at ridiculous speeds.

Unfortunately Mr Buck does not have any other option but to park on the road outside his house. He hopes that the police will examine the process involved in capturing the license plate of those speeding, but for now all he can do is pray that no one speeds past his house!

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January 21, 2010
Surrey County Council to fix potholes caused by snow

Potholes created by the icy weather this month are to be tackled by a new repairs drive by Surrey County Council.

An additional half-a-million pounds is to be invested in mending the new potholes after the cold weather made roads more prone to cracking.

The council has vowed to fix at least 200 potholes a day “until the job is done”.

Dr Andrew Povey, leader of the council, said: “For the past week our highways teams have been working around the clock tackling the snow. Now that most of the snow has cleared our top priority is to tackle, as a matter of urgency, the potholes that have been forming all over the county.”

Motoring association the AA has been calling upon local governments to invest emergency funding into fixing the damage done by the snow.

According to the council, more than 25 repair teams are carrying out the repairs and will bring in additional contractors if necessary.

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January 21, 2010
A PASS DOES NOT MEAN LEARNING COMES TO AN EMERGENCY STOP

The Highway Code is always being updated, with the roads becoming more and more difficult to navigate around.

In the last two years alone the theory test has seen changes, as it was felt that the previous test was too easy. The test now comprises of 50 multiple choice theory test questions, the pass mark is 43 and the test should be completed in 57 minutes or less.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has felt it necessary to publish a Highway Code advert on YouTube to encourage drivers to keep up to date with rules and regulations.

The advert has Comedian David Mitchell as the voiceover and encourages all road users to visit the Britannia Driving School website to brush up on their skills.

Simon Bush of Britannia Driving School said: “Learning is an ongoing process and not just for those who are preparing for the test.”

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January 19, 2010
Car numbers will double to 2 billion, but few will be electric

A new study by the University of Oxford predicts that the number of cars on the world’s roads in twenty years will double to 2 billion, but that electric vehicles will account for only a small percentage of the overall fleet in the medium to long-term.

The study suggests that car companies are raising false hopes of emission-free motoring in order to continue profiting from large, inefficient vehicles.

The results echo the findings of a recent European report, which found that whilst there were significant potential environmental benefits to be had from a switch to electric vehicles, these were wholly dependent on changes in the way electricity was generated, energy taxed and CO2 emissions regulated.

Current EU legislation contains loopholes that are likely to lead to emissions and oil use going up; ‘super credits’ that enable carmakers to sell up to 3.5 gas-guzzling SUVs for every electric vehicle they sell and still reach their official EU target. Electric cars are also counted as ‘zero emissions’ despite the fact that the electricity they use can come from high-carbon fossil fuels such as coal.

The University of Oxford study concludes that the most effective way of reducing emissions from motoring would be lighter, smaller petrol and diesel cars.

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January 18, 2010
CAR DEPRECIATION COULD BE A THING OF THE PAST

Some car related expenditures increasing in price are a near certainty: petrol prices, fuel duty, and the cost of buying a car. However, it is also thought that the value of some second-hand vehicles will go up quite a lot.

Most of us are aware that when we buy a car and drive it of the forecourt money has already been lost on it.

Depreciation is normally measured as a percentage of the car’s value after three years. However, it is thought that if you choose your car carefully, you can avoid even the smallest loss and actually make a reasonable return.

There are a few rules when choosing your car such as; the response the car received from both buyers and the press, the make and model and how many of the cars were made amongst other things.

Simon Bush of Britannia Driving School said: This is not a get rich quick scheme, but it does allow for individuals to enjoy their car and drive it without the worry of depreciation.

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January 14, 2010
Snow Visibility and Vehicle Check Warnings

Police are warning drivers to use their common sense and clear their vehicles of ice and snow before attempting to drive.

The warning comes as the county sees another morning of chaos on the roads.

Although the last remnants of snow have finally melted, the problem of ice on the roads – in particular the treacherous black ice, that is hard to spot – remains.

There were a number of collisions on roads during this morning’s rush hour, including at Chacewater, Redruth and on the Longdowns to Stithians road.

Police officers are out and about keeping an eye on the flow of the traffic and have urged people to make sure they make checks on their car – including the most basic, of being able to see out the windscreen – before driving away.

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January 13, 2010
VW POLO TURNAROUND

The rumours that spread about the new Volkswagen Polo not being suitable for test are untrue according to the DSA (Driving Standards Agency).

Potential buyers and instructors were equally worried that they may experience trouble with the car.

It was the Hill Start Feature that was cause for concern, with many fearing that this would make the VW Polo unsuitable on test and the DIA received many quires regarding this.

The hill start feature allows the driver to have a few seconds delay when moving their foot from the footbrake to the accelerator on an uphill or downhill gradient.

However, the DIA and DSA squashed any concerns on the matter and state that cars fitted with the hill assist feature may be taken on test. More and more cars are being fitted with this feature as standard therefore, why should drivers not be allowed to us it on test if they can use it in their own car once they pass.

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