Monthly Archives: December 2010

December 31, 2010
Disastrous Effects of Alcohol and Drugs on Drivers

Drugs and alcohol don’t go with driving. You’ll end up being involved in serious accidents and having to deal with, bereaved families and people carrying injuries for life. There are also a lot of other disastrous effects-going to court, losing your driving licence, higher insurance, and social stigma if you hurt someone else while driving.

The law is constantly changing, with increasing pressure to reduce the legal limit, particularly for younger drivers.

The legal limit for drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. But you can’t tell exactly how much drink that is, because how you deal with the alcohol will depend on a random selection of factors like the type of drink, body weight, and metabolism, gender, age and food consumption.

It’s impossible to work out whether you’re near the limit or just over it. So don’t drink and drive under any circumstances.

Emily Smith of Britannia Driving School said: “Drink or drugs, the law makes no distinction. Section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 clearly states: A person who, when driving or attempting to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or a public place, is unfit to drive through drink or drugs is guilty of an offence. It’s that simple”

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December 29, 2010
A CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM THE JUDGE – A PRISON SENTENCE

Police warned drivers that they would be vigilant over the Christmas period and that anyone caught drink driving will have to pay the price.

In Southport two men were stopped by police for drink driving on December 17th and will spend Christmas Day serving a prison sentence.

One man was stopped by police when he narrowly avoided a group of pedestrians. Yet the driver did not seem to notice and continued driving. When pulled over by police, he smelt of alcohol and could not speak coherently leading police officers to believe he was under the influence of alcohol. He was found to be two and a half times over the drink drive limit.

This particular individual does not seem to learn from his mistakes and this will be his second Christmas behind bars. Due to this the judge served him a sentence of 16 weeks in prison.

Drink driving is a dangerous thing to do and you’re not only playing with your life but the lives of others. Think before you drink and drive!

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December 27, 2010
Theft From Driving Instructors

Police in Northampton are warning driving instructors to ensure their belongings are safe during driving lessons after two jackets were stolen from the back of instructors’ vehicles.

It is thought the large amount of cash generally carried by instructors could make them targets for opportunistic thieves.

Emily Smith of Britannia Driving School said: “We would advise instructors to keep a minimum cash float and drop cash of at home if it builds up during the day, also to lock their cars and to put the header board in the car booth if their vehicles is going to be out of sight for more than a few seconds.” 

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December 24, 2010
PENALTY POINT ENDORSEMENTS ON YOUR DRIVING LICENCE

When you receive penalty points on your driving licence, they will stay there for four years after you are convicted.

This is the case for most offences however, death by dangerous driving while under the influence of drink or drugs and death by dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen for analysis will result in the endorsements staying on your licence for eleven years.

The endorsements will appear on the paper counterpart. When they are due to expire, you can send your licence to the DVLA and they will exchange your licence. The fee for this is normally £17.50.

You can drive in this period when your licence is with the DVLA unless you have been disqualified or have had your licence removed due to a medical condition.

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December 22, 2010
DRIVING LICENCE EXPIRY DATES

Once you have a Full UK Driving Licence that does not mean it is valid for life. Most driving licences are valid for 50 years yet you must renew them every 10 years.

The licence is valid until the date shown on the front of your licence (normally under section 4b). It is important that you know when you’re driving licence expires as failing to renew it will mean the licence is invalid and that you are driving illegally. This can result in a fine of up to £1000, between three and six penalty points and in some cases your car being seized and crushed.

It is very simple to renew your licence and can be done online or by completing a D1 form (normally the DVLA will send you a renewal pack prior to the licence expiring) however, it is your responsibility to know when it expires. There is a fee of £20 and the licence is normally returned to you with your up-dated photo three weeks later. You can continue to drive in this period however.

It may be necessary to up-date your licence before 10 years if your appearance has changed significantly.

The fee for renewing your licence is considerably more for those that have been disqualified, costing anywhere between £65 and £90.

Emily Smith of Britannia Driving School said: “Be vigilant when it comes to driving legally; check your licence, as if you let it expire for more than two years you may be required to take your test again.”

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December 21, 2010
Icy weather halts driving tests in Shropshire

Nearly all driving tests in Shropshire were cancelled this week due to the freezing weather, officials say.

Only four of the 155 scheduled tests at Shrewsbury, Telford, Whitchurch and Ludlow driving centres went ahead, the Driving Standards Agency said.

Conditions on the roads in the county were so poor that only Oswestry managed to carry out some tests on Monday and Tuesday, the agency added.

The freezing weather has closed airports and schools across England.

Some places have experienced slightly warmer temperatures on Friday, but the Met Office still has warnings in place for icy roads in many areas

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December 20, 2010
DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW

Watch your speed, don’t travel too fast that you risk losing control, equally don’t travel too slow that you lose momentum, particularly if you are going uphill.

Avoid high revs, if you skid avoid using the brake, take your foot off the pedals and steer.

Stick to the main roads, these are more likely to have been gritted. You will also find more cars are travelling on these roads stopping the snow from settling properly. If possible try to stick to bus routes as the council are more likely to grit or salt these routes.

If you need to travel on the motorway choose the clearest lane and don’t sit too close to the cars in front. Snow and ice can triple your normal stopping distance.

If you encounter falling snow use dipped headlights or fog lights to make yourself visible to both vehicles and pedestrians.

Make sure if you do travel, that your number plate is clearly visible and that your lights are not covered with snow. In the case of an emergency keep warm and keep the car stocked with essentials such as food, water and blankets.

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December 17, 2010
NEW YEARS RESOLUTION 2011

Treat yourself at Christmas time and invest in driving lessons. What could be more worthwhile than learning to drive and allowing yourself the freedom to travel in your own vehicle (which will be nice and warm in these winter months). We provide a flexible service and cater for your individual needs. We provide a door-to-door service and have a huge number of instructors and vehicles available.

Maybe it is your New Year’s resolution to take up driving lessons, in which case you can still purchase gift vouchers right throughout the year.

If you want to bring a smile to the faces of friends and family why not purchase driving lessons as a Christmas present. You still have until 21st December to purchase your Christmas vouchers.

If we have a snowy Christmas, lessons can still take place. Driving in the snow for the slightly more advanced learner is invaluable experience. Even those that hold a full licence may want to take a lesson or two in the snow to prepare themselves for the harsh weather.

Emily Smith of Britannia Driving School said: “Whatever the weather remember to drive safely and check travel conditions before setting off on any journey.”

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December 16, 2010
Be prepared for driving your hire car abroad this winter

For those preparing to beat the blues with a ski break this winter, it may also be time to think about how you’ll tackle driving in snow and icy conditions before you hire a car for your fly-drive holiday. With 11% of road accidents in 2009* attributed to adverse weather, it pays to be prepared when out on the roads in wintery conditions. While many UK drivers take precautions while driving domestically, they are often not prepared for using a rental car abroad.

1. While the roads may seem clear, there could be black ice around, look out for signs and likely trouble spots such as:

* Sudden changes in road elevation or camber

* Items that will cover the road such as a bridge

* Objects at the side of the road that create shade

* Areas that are seldom subject to traffic

2. Your car hire provider should also help to keep you safe.  Ensure you have an emergency kit which includes warning triangles and high visibility vests! This is a legal requirement in many EU countries. If your hire company provides extras, it is always a good idea to invest in winter tyres and snow chains.

3. Take an emergency bag which can be left in the car, it is good practice to carry a small blanket, non-perishable food such as chocolate, and sunglasses – low sun in the winter combined with snowy conditions can produce powerful glare that makes visibility poor.

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December 14, 2010
WEST DORSET: Police launch christmas drink driving campaign

DRINK and drug drivers in Dorset are to be targeted by Police in a Christmas campaign.

During the Christmas campaign there will be increased traffic patrols, as well as road-side checks, and every driver who is involved in a collision during the period will be breath tested – irrespective of whether they are suspected of drink driving or not.

Those caught will then face a minimum 12-month driving ban, a criminal record, up to six months in prison and a fine of up to £5,000.

The Force’s annual Christmas drink and drug driving campaign has already begun and will run until New Year’s Day.

Chief Inspector Bob Nichols, Head of Dorset Police’s Traffic Unit, said:

“During the festive season some people may be tempted to drink and drive, but if they do, the consequences could be devastating.

“Not only do drink drivers risk their own lives, they also risk the lives of innocent road users.

“My advice to drivers is simple – don’t get behind the wheel after drinking any alcohol at all, as research has shown that even one drink can impair the ability to drive.

“The legal consequences of being caught drink driving are extensive. However, drink drivers may face even further consequences as they could lose their job or destroy a relationship and live with the stigma of being a convicted drink driver.

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