Monthly Archives: October 2011

October 31, 2011
OLDER DRIVERS ASKED TO BRUSH UP

North Wales pensioners will be offered a two hour assessment course by a Road Safety Group free of charge in order to keep them up-to-date with traffic conditions which are a world apart from when these drivers may have first passed their test.

Anyone over the age of 60 years old will be offered the class to help with their driving skills and techniques. As an older driver, your reaction times may be slower, decisions take longer to make, and eyesight and hearing may have diminished.

The scheme is not meant to be a way of victimising drivers or threatening their licence but to help them and enable them to keep their independence.

It is hoped that the scheme will be introduced in other parts of the country in order to keep our roads safe and our older drivers happy and confident.

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October 28, 2011
THEORY TEST APP LAUNCHED

The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) has launched a new theory test application for iPhone users, to practice the theory and hazard perception components needed to pass your test.

The official DSA apps are available to download now for as little as £2.99 and include handy links such as a theory test centre locator.

It may be a little controversial to having a driving app on a mobile phone when phone use whilst driving contributes to thousands of accidents each year. However, for these learners (particularly the younger generation) this brings the DSA into the 21st century and makes revising for your driving test easy to do whilst on the go.

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October 27, 2011
Winter Driving

As the evenings draw in and winter fast approaches Central Bedfordshire Council, in partnership with their Highways contractor Amey, have been busy preparing for the winter weather – getting salt stocks filled up and gritters at the ready.
To mark the start of their annual winter driving campaign both partners are hosting a launch event this Saturday, 22 October at Asda in Dunstable, offering free car safety checks, a children’s gritter competition, and winter weather road safety advice.
Following last year’s severe weather the council has replenished its salt stock to over 5000 tonnes, procured a fleet of 18 new gritters and carried out road improvements on local roads.
To get Central Bedfordshire’s roads ready for winter, Amey have completed 22 surfacing schemes, 15 footway schemes, 8 patching schemes and one carriageway recycling scheme. 24 patching and surface dressing schemes have also been carried out, as well as 33 smaller schemes across the county.
Cllr Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Sustainable Communities Services at Central Bedfordshire Council said: “It’s crucial that we spend the summer months prioritising repair work to our roads, such as fixing potholes, to ensure our roads remain in a good condition during the winter. It’s more difficult to repair our roads in cold, wet or snowy conditions, and during this time we need road users to be extra careful when out on the roads.”
Earlier this year, the council also received a Government grant of over £700,000 to assist with pothole repairs. The grant was the council’s share of the additional funding supplied by the Department for Transport, in addition to the Council’s own allocated funding of £5.75m.
Cllr Wells, added; “With over 5000 tonnes of salt in stock and a fleet of 18 new gritters, we want local residents and motorists to be assured that we are getting ready for winter. As part of our commitment to ensure all drivers are aware of the relevant safety advice, we are launching our winter driving campaign to help prepare road users when travelling on our local roads this winter, so they know how to keep themselves and their vehicles safe.
“On Saturday, children will have the opportunity to enter our gritting competition, to name our new fleet of gritters, and adults will be offered free car safety checks to assess if their vehicles are ready for winter.”

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October 26, 2011
STONE ROSES FRONT MAN CAUGHT DRIVING AT LIGHTENING SPEEDS

Stone Roses front man Ian Brown nearly lost his driving licence as quickly as their gig sold out when he was clocked driving at 105mph.

Mr Brown was stopped at the roadside by police officers and offered a roadside fixed penalty, which considering the speed was very lucky. However, he refused as he disputed the speeds. In court he was given six penalty points, fined £650 and was ordered to pay £300 prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

The reason he didn’t receive a driving ban was thought to be down to his Lawyer Nick Freeman, nicknamed ‘Mr Loophole’. He told the court a sob story that giving his client a driving ban would seriously interfere with Brown seeing his 11 year old son who lives in London. But surely that’s the whole point of a driving ban, if there is no deterrent, people will continue to break the law. He should have thought about the consequences of his speed and what a driving ban would do to his family life and career.

However, Mr Freeman didn’t stop there, he also added that Mr Brown drives around 50,000 miles a year and as he has been driving for over 20 years and has only ever got three points on his licence (these have now expired) we should view this as a huge achievement. He also added that his car is very quiet and doesn’t give much sensation of speed.

How many excuses do they want to use, it’s evident that he knew what he was doing and police say he never dropped below 94mph (still way over the limit). People should be made an example of and have to suffer the consequences in order to learn from their mistakes, £650 is hardly a dent in Mr Brown’s wallet.

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October 25, 2011
3 Million Motorists Fear Failing

Surprisingly it is the younger motorists who are most fearful of failure, with 15 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds believing they were ‘quite unlikely’ or ‘very unlikely’ to achieve a pass, according to the AA/Populus study. Of the 16,961 AA members questioned, nine per cent said they were ‘quite likely’ to fail, while two per cent felt they were ‘very likely’ to do so. Londoners were the most confident of passing with only nine per cent fearing they would not be able to attain a pass, while drivers from the Tyne-Tees area were the most pessimistic about their chances, with 13 per cent believing a tester would fail them. AA president Edmund King said: ‘It is alarming to think more than three million drivers who have passed their test may not be safe on the roads due to a lack of confidence or competence to such a degree they don’t think they would pass their driving test. ‘It is particularly worrying so many young drivers think they would not pass a retest, when it can’t have been long since they took their test. ‘Driving is a skill for life and, although it is easy to let bad habits form after your test, drivers should make sure their skills are kept polished.’ Men were considerably more confident about their chances of passing a resit than woman with 32 per cent of the males surveyed believing they were ‘very likely’ to pass. Only 23 per cent of women shared that confidence. In total, 28 per cent of drivers felt they were ‘very likely’ to pass, with 55 per cent ‘quite likely’ to succeed.

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October 24, 2011
Guidance for Foreign Licence Holders

Visitors  from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland plus certain other countries where driving on the left is standard, will have little difficulty with the UK driving test, the British test requirements are much the same.

Drivers from the USA and Canada will have to get used to driving on the left and also get to know European traffic signs.

Please beware; UK Test Examiners do not accept gifts, if you feel a gift would increase your chance of passing the test, your instructor will be only too happy to accept it! UK Driving Test Examiners are well paid and are not allowed to accept gifts.

It goes almost without saying that you should never act aggressively, shout or swear at the examiner under any circumstances whatsoever. If Examiners are threatened, the police will be informed.

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October 21, 2011
TAKING DRIVING TESTS TO THE CUSTOMER

The driving test centre in Dock View Road, Barry was closed back in March last year but it looks to reopen just in time for Christmas.

Students and instructors alike will be pleased with the news as there was widespread opposition when the decision was made to close the centre.

We wrote previously about ‘Driving Test Centres’ Facing The Axe’ and them using private firms as delegated examiners at a variety of locations including supermarket car parks, leisure centres and other venues. This is the proposed plan for the Barry test centre. The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) has negotiated a 12-month licence on the property and intents to have it open under the “Taking Tests to the Customer” scheme.

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October 20, 2011
New Insurance Shock

Young male drivers are facing insurance premiums nearly four times more expensive than the average driver, research has suggested.
The 17 to 20-year-old age group has seen an 8.2% annual rise in premiums, comparison website Confused.com said.
The Commons Transport Committee was told young motorists believe they are being priced off the road.
Trading standards officers are warning drivers not to cut costs when buying their first car.
PremiumsThe average price of a premium for a 17 to 20-year old man in the third quarter of the year was £3,878 when insured as the only driver, Confused.com said.
The average price for male drivers in total was £1,006, the price comparison website said.
For women, the average was £2,063 for 17-20 year olds, compared with £907 for women overall.
In general, the cost of comprehensive motor insurance had risen by 12.3% year-on-year, with dr

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October 19, 2011
PASS PLUS IS INVALUABLE

More councils are funding the pass plus scheme for young drivers. Cumbria is the latest council to plough £30,000 funding into the scheme, which will allow people aged between 17 and 20 who have recently passed their practical test to take part.

The pass plus scheme is invaluable post-test training, which enables new drivers to learn new skills, techniques and improve their anticipation and alertness.

The course consists of six modules, some aspects may be covered in theory only depending on the conditions at the time. The practical assessment is not as difficult as the learner test, it is only required that a pupil is able to drive safely and legally, small errors will not matter greatly.

At the end of the course, a certificate is awarded. The instructor will complete the form and outline whether the pupil has covered each module to an achieved or exceeded standard.

Emily Smith at Britannia Driving School said: “The experience is fantastic especially taking lessons on the motorway. Why not call Britannia today and enquire about our pass plus courses on 0208 543 8050.”

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October 18, 2011
Car Insurance Myths

Car insurance has many factors that lower your premiums after a certain age. Quotes often become cheaper after the driver turns 30 years old. However, the main factor is their driving record.
Most drivers will see an insurance rate drop at 25 with preferred discounts that can reduce their premium cost per month.
Although at any given age, a policyholder can see an instant rate reduction, prices are not based on age, but on the amount of years they’ve been licensed. For example, a 25-year-old who just got their license and purchases a policy are more likely to be quoted a higher rate than someone younger, say 22, who has been driving since the age of 16.
Once a driver hits three years licensed, they usually get a discount, since they can qualify for a “good driver discount” given that their license is clean, meaning no violations. If there is something to look forward to as a young driver, hitting three years licensed should be it. Auto insurance can significantly go down with the application of a good driver discount since it can range in the area of 20 percent.
So does it really get cheaper for your car? Each provider is different, and you can get lower rates based on your driving experience. It really doesn’t have anything to do with how old you are, but how safe of a driving record you have.

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