Monthly Archives: July 2010

July 30, 2010
OLYMPIC ROUTE ONLY

Over 250 miles of road in and around London are to be reserved for only the elite.

Officials, sponsors, politicians, the media and athletes will have their own congestion free lanes, including parts of the M25 to make travelling to the Olympic stadium as stress free as possible.

It is not just the designated lanes that will cost money to implement, but the 200 traffic lights which will be adapted to keep officials on the move.

Ordinary members of the public despite paying road tax could be fined up to £5000 for straying into these reserved lanes.

It is thought that tougher parking restrictions for residents, general maintenance put on hold and even more congestion for everybody else will cause outrage with members of the public. Many have already expressed their disgust at the plans:

“Hasn’t the taxpayer paid for these roads? What right do they have to take them away from us? Will we get road tax deductions then? The roads are already congested and this will just grid lock them.”

“Gridlock for four weeks and then six months to unblock it.”

Natasha Simper of Britannia Driving School said: “I understand the need to cause as little upset as possible during the games and for the Olympics to be as successful as possible athletes and officials need to be there on time and be able to travel from their accommodation to the stadium quickly and safely. However, it seems that this can only happen at the expense of everyone else. It is a good job that we don’t host the Olympics every time.”

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July 29, 2010
Cutting the cost of driving

With the price of petrol reaching prohibitive levels, and many motorists having to think twice about the necessity of their journeys or even using their cars at all, is it not time to seek advice from motor racing pundits on how we should fill our petrol tanks to maximise fuel efficiency?

Although mid-race refuelling is banned in Formula One this season, bygone fuel strategies were all about balancing fuel weight with performance efficiency. By keeping my petrol tank about half full, I find I achieve more miles per gallon. There must be automotive engineers out there who can calculate the maximum amount of fuel we should put in our tanks to achieve the best economy. Motoring organisations could compile this information for their members and make it available to others at petrol stations.

A litre of liquid weighs about a kilo and any weight saving improves economy. Disposing of a spare wheel helps, too. It is also better, apparently, to fill up on a summer’s morning rather then during the heat of the day. That way you get a denser fill

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July 28, 2010
DANNY DYER IN A DESPERATE SITUATION

Actor Danny Dyer has been seen driving his Porsche Cayenne 4×4 despite not holding a driving license.

The star was caught on numerous occasions driving the vehicle in and around Essex, in one instance on the motorway. Not only are provisional licence holders not allowed on the motorway, he was also in the car alone.

Provisional licence holders are required to have L-plates on the vehicle and be accompanied by somebody who has held their licence for at least three years and is over the age of 21.

His actions not only put himself in danger but the general public as well. If he had an accident, even if the vehicle was insured, driving without a full licence alone often nulls the insurance.

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July 27, 2010
Men dread their wives’ driving, finds survey

Believe it or not, one in three men dreads getting into the car if his better half is driving, a new survey has revealed.

Wondered why?

Well, many say wives and partners brake too late and they find themselves pushing their feet down into the footwell or gripping the edges of the passenger seat, according to the survey by British market researchers ‘OnePoll.com’.

One in 10 of the 3,000 male respondents said he had been forced to grab the wheel as his partner took her eyes off the road and careered towards the central reservation of a motorway, the ‘Daily Express’ reported.

They say women are too easily distracted by children, other drivers, even scenery.

The website said: “Most men believe they concentrate a lot better than women, read situations quicker and have better reactions.”

But female-only motor insurers Sheilas’ Wheels spokeswoman Asia Yasir said: “Claims data proves women are statistically safer.”

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July 26, 2010
DRINKING CHECKPOINTS

Police in America are continually trying to combat drink driving and one way of doing this is by setting up sobriety checkpoints.

The checkpoints are hoped to reduce alcohol related accidents as drivers are worried about the risk of being caught. However, with the latest technology it is becoming increasing difficult to keep these checkpoints under wraps.

Drivers who pass the checkpoints are warning others by texting or using Twitter or Facebook to announce the location of the checkpoints, allowing young people to drink on a night out and plan their route home avoiding these areas.

This not only adds to the risk of them drink driving but also using their phone whilst behind the wheel.

The police spend a lot of time and expense setting up the checkpoints and it is difficult for them to change location due to the large amount of equipment, but with research showing that drink related accidents are down 20% when these checkpoints are in place it is too valuable to lose.

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July 23, 2010
SUPERHIGHWAY CYCLE PATHS HOPE TO TRANSFORM LONDON

Twelve new cycle paths are set to be introduced in the capital and stimulate a cycling revolution, making it safer and easier to commute.

As part of the funding for Barclays Cycle Superhighways, Transport for London will be installing over 5,000 cycle parking space and putting money into cycle training and cycle lane maintenance.

The new cycle lanes are thought to encourage more people to travel in an environmentally friendly and healthy way, helping to improve air quality, cut CO2 and reduce congestion – especially in central London.

Two of the twelve routes are already in place, running from Wimbledon to Bank via the A24 and A3 and Barking (East London) to Tower Gateway via the A13.

It is thought that the distinctive blue colour will show that cyclists have just as much priority as drivers. The lanes will also have consistent and easy to follow road marking and the road surfaces will mean no accidents with potholes.

As well as installing these new cycle lanes, there are plans to update existing ones. Plans include:

Providing space for cyclists ahead of vehicles at traffic lights

Installing cycle safety mirrors so that large vehicles can see cyclists more easily

Resurfacing cycle pathways to make it a smoother journey

Natasha Simper of Britannia Driving School said: “The new cycle paths will hopefully encourage more people to be active and help reduce carbon emissions and hopefully the new structures in place will make it safe for cyclists and drivers alike. However, my only worry is how many drivers know what the blue lane is yet and if the Superhighway cycle lanes do not entice us to use them, they may just add to the congestion problem.”

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July 22, 2010
English food changed my ears, claimed fake driving test candidate

An Albanian man told driving test staff English food had changed the shape of his ears – after they spotted he was impersonating someone.

Lefter Duka, 33, booked a theory test but the man who showed up to take it did not look like the photo on his licence.

The man told staff last July, his diet changed his looks. Mr Duka, who insisted the man had attended the centre as his interpreter, was arrested after failing his test in January.

Gloucester magistrates yesterday cleared Mr Duka of letting “Mr X” impersonate him. Bench chair Gordon Ferris said: “We find the case has not been proved.”

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July 21, 2010
ROAD TAX CONFUSION

Road tax used to be a standard charge based on the size of your car’s engine however, now it’s a little more complicated.

Tax rates can range from £940 to nothing at all. The rates are calculated by assessing the car’s CO2 emission level. The lower the car’s emission levels the cheaper the road tax. You can normally find the car’s CO2 emission details in the logbook or registration certificate (V5C).

The tax will also now depend on how old the vehicle is. Vehicles registered after March 2001 will be taxed differently to those registered before.

Vehicles registered before March 2001 will continue to be taxed based on the engine size with those over 1549cc paying more than those will a smaller engine.

You can visit the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) website for a full breakdown of costs.

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July 20, 2010
Driving ban for farmer caught three times over the limit on 5mph mobility scooter

A disabled farmer who was more than three times over the drink-drive limit while driving his mobility scooter has been banned from driving.

Glendale Rice, 58, was spotted by police as he weaved across a narrow country lane on a five miles-per-hour trip to the shops.

When the woman officer spoke to him they could smell alcohol on his breath so made him take a breathalyser test.

The results showed he was three time the legal limit for driving and at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court he was banned from driving a car for a year.

Bizarrely JPs said he could still use his scooter, which he needs to get around on because of his arthritis problems.

Rice, a former market trader, says he is crippled by arthritis and lives alone in a remote caravan with his pet hen Limpy.

Outside court he admitted that the police had been right to pull him over on Monday.
He said: ‘It was fair enough really, but the scooter only does a maximum of 5mph and it takes me an hour to get to

Abbeytown and an hour to get to Silloth.
‘It’s important to me. I wasn’t wobbling on the scooter when I was on it, and when I got to Abbeytown the shop was shut anyway.

‘The police said I can still use it but I shouldn’t drink anything beforehand.

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July 19, 2010
DANGEROUS DRIVING OFFENCES

Dangerous or careless driving no matter whether the driver believes they are acting this way or not can have serious consequences and often involves fatalities.

Dangerous driving is where an individual falls FAR below the standard of a competent driver and can include:

Racing or travelling too fast, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, ignoring traffic signs or lights, undertaking dangerously, knowing the vehicle has dangerous faults, talking on a mobile phone or reading.

Careless driving is where an individual is driving carelessly and their standard of driving is below the minimum acceptable standard of a competent driver, this can include:

Driving too closely to other vehicles, driving through a red light whether it be by mistake or not, being distracted by the radio or another passenger, overtaking on the inside.

Inconsiderate driving can have just as serious consequences and can include:

Flashing lights inappropriately, misusing lanes, braking sharply or driving too slowly.

The penalties for these offences hold prison sentences of up to 14 years, unlimited fines and disqualification from driving for up to two years.

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