Monthly Archives: March 2013

March 29, 2013
DRINK-DRIVER LEAVES FIANCEE FOR DEAD AFTER CRASHING THEIR CAR

A drink-driver from Wales was jailed for four years after he crashed his car into a tree and left the passenger to die.

Ceiron Cook, 36, had been smoking cannabis on the night the accident occurred as well as being over the drink drive limit. He told courts that he lost control in the snow and icy conditions on a country road.

However, to the horror of two passers-by who discovered the car, Mr Cook’s fiancée Lynsey Popp, a mother of two had been left to die. Mr Cook had been that callous that after the crash he ran home and went to bed instead of calling the emergency services, leaving Lynsey there to die.

The court heard how Mr Cook was an uninsured provisional licence holder, with a record of driving whilst disqualified and uninsured.

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March 28, 2013
Long Journeys

Jumping in the car and setting off for a long drive is, in theory, a wonderful idea.

That is until you get lost, run out of petrol, someone desperately needs a toilet break or the car decides to break down.

You can however, with a little bit of preparation make the journey a lot better. Grab yourself a satnav, these make life so much more easier. Have a check which service stations you will be passing as you’re on your journey. If your journey is going to be particularly long, have some drinks in the car with you so you can stay hydrated. And if you have young children cds of their favourite music or stories are perfect.

Be sure to check out traffic reports before you head off, no one wants to sit in traffic. You can also check if there are alternative routes to your journey.

These simple things make a big difference to your journey.

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March 27, 2013
YOUNG DRIVERS COULD FACE HUGE CHANGES

What do you consider to be a young driver, 17, 18, 19 years old…well under proposed plans drivers aged 17-24 come under the young driver category.

Transport ministers and insurance bosses held talks this week looking at ways to improve safety but allow young drivers to stay on the road.

A fifth of road accidents resulting in death or serious injury involve drivers under 24. By introducing new ideas they hope to change this statistic.

New plans such as:

Curfews for drivers under 24

Allowing learners to take motorway lessons

Limiting the number of passengers young motorists can carry

Extending the ‘probationary period’ – currently you can only incur six points in the first two years, they could extend this to three years

Made to spend a year driving before being allowed to sit your test

With these changes in place, it is hoped that the number of accidents will be significantly reduced but also that insurance will come down for younger drivers.

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March 26, 2013
How Vehicle Tracking Devices Improve Driver Safety

Installing trackers on your firm’s vehicles will provide your company with a wide range of benefits. Many companies decide to fit vehicle trackers to help cut fuel costs and increase customer satisfaction but there are also a number of ways a tracker can improve driver safety amongst your employees.

Promoting Safer Driving

Vehicle trackers do not just monitor a vehicle’s location and speed, they can also monitor driver behaviour. This means you can see if your drivers are making unsafe decisions whilst at the wheel such as violating the speed limit, sudden breaking or overly harsh steering.

Some trackers will notify the driver of their actions on the tracker screen as well as sending the information to the fleet manager. Many companies successfully use this feature to run safe driving competitions amongst their employees by rewarding the driver with the fewest safety deviations each month, which helps promote a culture of safe driving within your firm.

Health & Safety Legislation

As an employer you have a duty of care to your employees and you are required by law to ensure that your drivers are not working beyond the legally designated safe limits. Vehicle trackers can be used to track the working hours of each of your drivers so you can monitor who is approaching the limit and who has time to spare, allowing you to plan your fleet usage accordingly.

Locating Drivers in an Accident

Should the worst happen and one of your drivers is involved in an accident, you can use the tracker to notify the appropriate services of their location. This feature can be especially important if you have employees who work in remote or rural areas.

Trackers are accurate to within a few inches so your drivers will feel reassured that someone always knows their whereabouts. Furthermore, as trackers use satellite technology, they won’t go out of signal range in the way mobiles can.

Helping Drivers Concentrate on Driving

Everyone knows that driving in an unknown area can be stressful as the driver can be trying to focus on not getting lost rather than what’s happening on the road ahead of them. This lack of focus can result in drivers getting involved in accidents.

To help resolve this issue, many trackers now include navigation features which provide drivers with clear spoken instructions and a demonstration of where to go on tricky junctions. This means that your driver stress levels will be lowered and they will be far more likely to keep their eyes on the road, thereby avoiding potential accidents.

Other Safety Features

The technology in vehicle trackers is improving all the time and features found in certain models include panic buttons to alert you if one of your drivers needs assistance urgently, software that schedules maintenance so your vehicles are safe, and even in-vehicle cameras which provide very detailed information about driver actions.

Features such as cameras can also be used for staff training as you can use real life footage to clearly identify what are and are not acceptable driving practices.

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March 25, 2013
DIZZY MOTORSITS DRIVE OVER THE ROUNDABOUT NOT AROUND IT

North Wales Police are warning motorists that action will be taken, if they continue to drive straight over a roundabout on the B4500 Castle Road, Chirk, rather than around it.

The council have suggested changing the layout after concerns have been raised. Although no accidents have happened, police and highway officials are worried that drivers cannot see motorists accessing Castle Walks if they do not use the roundabout.

A police spokesperson said: “Anyone caught breaking the law receives a warning letter…If they persist enforcement action will be taken.”

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March 22, 2013
DSA EASTER OPENING HOURS

The DSA will close over the Easter holidays and the time scale for cancelling or changing your test will change also.

With Good Friday and Easter Monday both bank holidays, the DSA will close on Thursday 28th March and not re-open until Tuesday 2nd April.

When cancelling or changing your test, in order to not lose your test fee, you must give at least three clear working days notice. Sundays and public holidays to not count as working days.

For more information please visit the Driving Standards Agency website.

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March 21, 2013
Government to Cut Drink-Drive limit

The Scottish Government is to press ahead with cutting the drink-driving limit, the Justice Secretary has said results of a consultation show three-quarters of people want it reduced.

The Scottish Government proposes to lower the limit from 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, the limit for drivers across the UK, to 50mg/100ml.

Formal discussions will now take place with the police and the UK Government to bring in a lower limit in Scotland. Kenny MacAskill said: “Drink-driving can shatter families and communities and we must take action to reduce the risk on our roads.”

The Scotland Act 2012 transferred the power to set the drink-driving limit from Westminster to Holyrood. Lowering the limit to 50mg would bring Scotland in line with other European countries such as Germany, France and Spain.

A total of 74% of those who responded to the Scottish Government consultation back a reduction in the limit, of which 87% agree with reducing it to 50mg.

Mr MacAskill said: “On average, 30 families every year have to cope with the loss of a loved one and around 900 people are treated for injuries caused by someone who thought it was acceptable to drink alcohol and get behind the wheel and drive. We cannot let this continue.

“Lowering the drink-drive limit will help make Scotland’s roads safer and save lives. The evidence is clear and the vast majority of those who responded to our consultation support the Scottish Government’s plans for change.”

He was speaking at an event in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary aimed at highlighting the harm caused by drink driving.

“The consultation now allows us to progress formal discussions with the police and the UK Government on the recalibration and testing of drink-drive enforcement devices to ensure prosecutions are as robust as possible,” he said.

“Before a lower limit is introduced we will also consider issues such as how motorists driving into Scotland from England will be made aware of the lower limit. We are exploring options with Transport Scotland, police and justice and road safety partners as we move forward with our plans.

“Once we have progressed these issues over the next few months, I will be asking the Scottish Parliament to approve regulations to lower the limit.”

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March 20, 2013
COFFEE COULD BE A LIFE SAVER FOR LONG DISTANCE LORRY DRIVERS

Australian investigators have suggested that long-distance lorry drivers who drink coffee have fewer accidents than those that don’t.

Coffee and other drinks containing caffeine were thought to cut the risk of crashing, as they boost alertness.

UK road safety experts are keen to point out that although coffee may help, the only real cure for fatigue is sleep.

Whether you are a long-distance lorry driver, taxi driver or travelling to see friends or family, you should follow these rules:

Plan your journey to include breaks along the way. It is recommended to have a 15 minute break every two hours.

Don’t start a long journey if you are feeling tired.

Try to avoid journeys between midnight and 6am, as this is when our body is likely to feel tired.

Should you be on the road and start to feel tired, drink two cups of coffee or a high-caffeine beverage and allow 15-20 minutes for it to kick in.

Think before you drive!

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March 19, 2013
Police Launch Anti- Text Driving Campaign

South Yorkshire Police are using an unmarked lorry to catch motorists who text on their mobile phones while driving.

Police said the lorry allowed officers to see inside the cabs of other lorries as well as providing a higher viewpoint into cars.

The campaign is supported by the family of Jemma O’Sullivan who was killed when a lorry driver who was sending a text message crashed into her car.

The driver was jailed for five years.

Ms O’Sullivan’s parents have funded a project called “Jemma Bear”.

They have donated 500 teddy bears to the force’s Family Liaison Officers to comfort young children involved in traffic collisions.

The 22-year-old died when she was involved in a four-vehicle collision on the northbound carriageway of the M18 in South Yorkshire in September 2010.

The lorry driver, Christopher Kane, 67, of Oakbank Close, Swinton, admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Jemma’s father Vincent O’Sullivan said: “We now know first-hand how difficult it is to receive a visit from the police with bad news or to have to deal with trauma at the site of an accident.

“It is even more difficult if there are young children present.”

Insp Pete Serhatlic from South Yorkshire Police said: “The launch of Jemma Bear linked to our police enforcement is a sad but timely reminder to every single driver out there that you are responsible for your actions when you get behind the wheel.”

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March 18, 2013
JUDGING YOUR DRIVING ABLITY BEFORE YOU SET OFF

It is so important to judge your health and tiredness before setting off on a journey.

Unfortunately for an elderly driver in Bournemouth, falling ill at the wheel had fatal consequences. The man is thought to have become ill whilst driving and died when he crashed his Daewoo Matiz into a stationary vehicle.

Emergency services were called and worked hard to save the man. Sgt Stuart Pitman said his thoughts were with the man’s family and he thanked drivers for their patience whilst the road was closed.

Medication, alcohol and tiredness can all contribute to poor concentration and difficulty in driving. Think before you drive.

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