Monthly Archives: November 2011

November 30, 2011
CHRISTMAS SEASON COULD SEE MORE DRINK DRIVERS

Police are concerned that the mild festive weather this year may lead to more drink drivers. The severe snow disruption over previous years is thought to have kept many drivers off the road.

Surveys have shown that 25% of drivers felt pressured into drinking more alcohol than they wanted to, with younger drivers being more easily persuaded to have another drink before driving home.

However, it’s not just us as drivers but us as passengers that are contributing to drink driver casualty statistics. With 16% of 18-24 year olds getting in a car with somebody over the drink drive limit.

Employers, party organisers and parents all need to take some responsibility for drivers and how they will be travelling to and from Christmas events, providing information on transport links and providing soft drinks for those that are driving.

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November 29, 2011
Bad drivers invading public space.

Grampian Police carried out patrols in both marked and unmarked cars on Sunday, December 4, within the former Focus car park on Windmill Road, after receiving complaints from the public about anti-social driving in the area.As a result, three male drivers received formal warnings. If caught again their vehicles will be seized.Sergeant Gareth Hannan, of the Buchan Local Policing Team, said: “Three drivers were seen driving within the car park, excessively revving their engines and driving at speed. As a result, the three drivers, who were all aged between 18 and 21, received formal warnings regarding anti-social driving.”Grampian Police are committed to tackling anti-social behaviour of any kind. These three drivers were warned in terms of the Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004, which allows us to take their cars from them should they be seen driving anti-socially again.”I would encourage members of the public to report any driving they consider to be anti-social and assure residents that that we will continue to vigorously police this type of behaviour and deal with it firmly.”

By Dionne Abolghassem

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November 28, 2011
TOUGHER LAWS ON NEW DRIVERS CALLED FOR

The road safety charity Brake has called for tougher restrictions on new drivers after research in Wales found on average a young person is killed every eleven days and a young person seriously injured almost every day.

The survey also found that 56% of young passengers in Wales were frightened of other young people’s driving.

One mother Ms Rowland supports the charity and said the pain she felt when she lost her son was unbearable. Gareth Jones was only 17 when he lost control of his car, went through the central reservation and was killed instantly. She wants to warn other young drivers not to take risks and to whatever you can to keep yourselves and others safe.

Drivers aged 17 to 24 make up only 12% of UK licence holders yet they account for 25% of death and serious injuries on our roads.

The charity is trying to push for a graduate driver licence, whereby there is a minimum learning to drive period and restrictions for novice drivers. Studies carried out by Cardiff University recommended that novice drivers should not be allowed to drive at night or carry other young passengers and by introducing this up to 200 lives could be saved in the UK every year.

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November 25, 2011
EPILEPTIC DRIVER CAUSES DEATH BY DANGEROUS DRIVING

Mr Chapman from Essex caused a serious accident in September last year when he took to the wheel and had an epileptic seizure.

Mr Chapman had suffered from serious seizures previously, but felt it necessary to drive as he was self-employed, however, having a seizure whilst driving resulted in him killing an innocent woman and injuring three others.

The courts banned Mr Chapman from driving for life and handed him a six month jail sentence.

He was not given this punishment due to his medical condition but due to him not declaring his condition and following the proper procedures.

It is against the law for people with epilepsy who have seizures to drive and they must inform the DVLA and keep them up-dated as to any changes to their condition.

Mr Chapman took a gamble every time he drove his car and he will now have to live with the consequences.

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November 23, 2011
RISING MOTORING COSTS PUSHING DRIVERS OFF THE ROAD

Over the past year motoring costs have soared by around 14%, meaning the average driver pays nearly £7000 in costs, owing a car.

Depreciation, insurance, maintenance costs and in particular fuel have all risen in the last year and the burden of owing a car is hitting drivers hard.

Insurance is continuing to rise, with an average premium costing around £550. However, even when law abiding drivers take out insurance they are not always covered by uninsured drivers and end up forking out for personal injury claims and insurance fraud.

But I think the biggest burden to drivers is the cost of fuel. Prices are thought to have risen more than 12% last year adding over £150 to an average driver’s fuel bill. It is hoped the Government will take action and stop the planned fuel duty increases next year because any more costs and even more drivers will be bumped off the road.

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November 22, 2011
How many times can you fail ?

A LEARNER driver has been shamed as Scotland’s worst after failing his test 26 times.The unnamed 44-year-old has blown more than £1600 on tests alone in Anniesland, Glasgow.His tally of fails in the written exam is the highest in Scotland since Driving Standards Agency records began in 2004.A 29-year-old woman living in Anniesland and a 40-year-old man from the city’s Springburn each failed the same test 22 times – at a cost of at least £900.Their woeful efforts easily outstrip notorious bad drivers such as Maureen Rees, from BBC’s Driving School, who passed on her seventh attempt, and rocker Ozzy Osbourne, who needed 19 tests to pass.Peter Rodger, chief examiner at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “The trick is to simply regard it as another drive that you do carefully.”If you are the kind of person who feels pressure, it’s a good idea not to tell friends you are taking it. That way, they aren’t part of the pressure on you but you can give them a surprise with the good news when you have it.”A 26-year-old woman from London was named Britain’s worst learner driver this year after failing her theory test 90 times. A 39-year-old man from the West Midlands has tried and failed 36 times to pass his practical test, the highest number in the UK.A 51-year-old man from Glasgow took eight attempts at the practical part of the test.

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November 21, 2011
SMOKING BANNED IN CARS

The British Medical Association’s Board of Science published a report on the dangers of second hand smoke in cars. Nearly half of smokers consulted said they would smoke in a car and there is a debate as to how safe this is.

Not only has the DSA updated the Highway Code to include smoking  under the list of distractions whilst driving, but this research highlights the risks smoking in a car causes smokers and their passengers.

Residual toxins from the smoke of cigarettes remains in the vehicle long after the cigarette has burned out. The smoke contains 4000 known chemicals and can be a danger to both the smoker and passengers. It is thought that 23 premature deaths in children and 4000 adults die each year due to being exposed to second hand smoke and these figures to not include the thousands that get ill.

The Welsh Government earlier this year pledged to create awareness and highlight the dangers of second hand smoke particularly in cars and if unsuccessful they may introduce legislation to enforce a ban on smoking in cars. It is hoped that drivers will consider their passengers particularly the young and vulnerable adults and change their behaviour.

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November 18, 2011
ZEBRA CROSSINGS SIXTIETH BIRTHDAY

Britain’s zebra crossings were first introduced in Slough in October 1951. The pedestrian crossing typically gives extra rights of way to pedestrians.

The crossing is identified by having black and white stripes on the road, parallel to the flow of the traffic. However, back in 1949 the zebra crossing was introduced to 1000 sites in the UK and had blue and yellow stripes.

Zebra crossings are used around the world however, they all have slightly different rules and meanings. In North America they are often called crosswalks and to cross in an area of the street other than the crosswalk is an offence called jaywalking. In New Zealand, if a pedestrian is crossing within 20m of the crossing they must use the crossing.

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November 17, 2011
Mercedes gives Winter Lessons

The cold season is entering the higher area of its rev band and Mercedes-Benz is here to help us cope with these driving conditions. The Mercedes Benz Driving Academy offers us tips on how to handle winter and also takes things further – in the UK, it is introducing the Mercedes-Benz Winter Driving Course.
Held at the low-grip track surfaces at Mercedes-Benz World, Weybridge, the training session, which places customers behind the wheel for one hour, uses a controlled environment to simulate snow and ice driving. The experience includes one-on-one guidance from a qualified Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy Coach.

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November 16, 2011
BEER GOGGLES FOR REAL

The term beer goggles is often applied when an individual makes advances towards somebody who is deemed less attractive. ‘Beer goggles’ are thought to distort your vision making someone appear more beautiful after consuming alcohol.

Now the DIA have got involved and really do offer beer goggles. The Vision Impairment Goggles they sell are meant to simulate the effects of being over the drink-drive limit. They are meant to show drivers the effects drinking can have on perception, distance and peripheral vision, as all these things are reduced if you drink and drive.

Those that have worn the goggles were surprised at how difficult it was to perform basic tasks and their message is don’t drink and drive.

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