Monthly Archives: June 2008

June 27, 2008
Driving fatigue – The facts

Driving fatigue is the mishap of a driver feeling sleepy or tired. As a driver, you must ensure that you are fit and healthy to commence any journey. If you are feeling in any way tired, then it is strictly recommended you do not drive.

It is reported that driver lethargy causes at least 10 % of motoring accidents and causes 1 in 5 disasters in truck driving. Most of these accidents are work related involving trucks and goods vehicles. It is perturbing to know that most of these incidents happen on the motorway or truck roads.

The body’s natural clock low points are between 2am and 6am and mid afternoon 2pm between 4pm, that is why if you are to drive between these hours then it is a necessity to be alert and awake. At these times are when most of sleep related catastrophes occur.

Death and serious injury are the most likely results in accidents where drivers are tired, fallen asleep and fail to break.

Most at risk are men aged 18-30 and account for 50% of sleep related accidents. Sleepiness takes more lives than drunkenness on the road.

Last year there were at least 40,000 serious injuries and 3500 deaths caused by drowsiness.

If you have read your Highway Code you will be aware of the rules that state as a driver you must have sufficiently rested before driving. Also that you should plan ahead any journey you are to make.

If you do drive and are unfortunately succumbed to tiredness, then the correct procedure to carry out, is to stop in a safe place then either swap drivers or take a nap in an appropriate place, till then, open a window or ensure a supply of fresh air.

If you experience regular fatigue, then consult your doctor as soon as possible because you may have a health problem.

Remember tiredness kills, make sure you are alert and save lives by being a responsible driver.


June 27, 2008
The Law – Seat Belts

It has been compulsory to wear seatbelts in vehicles for many years now, in fact January 31st 2008 marked 25 years since the law was passed. The law stated that it is vital for any persons travelling in front of a vehicle to wear a belt or would face police discipline, may this be a fine, caution, or in some cases harsher punishments. It has been 17 years since the law has been conceded for persons to mandatory wear them in the back of a vehicle also. 

The driver of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring that all passengers are belted up before a journey commences. If they do not adhere to this then they could face charges of up to £500.
No points will be endorsed on the driver’s license, but a fixed penalty notice will be issued.

Recently released figures indicate that although it is common routine to belt up in front, many are not using safety belts at the rear of a vehicle, the figure states that this it is one in three people who fail to do this.

In regards to a child, a child up to the age of three must only travel in a vehicle if a correct child restraint is used.

Children from 3 years old up to 12 years old, or 3 years old and up to 135 cm (whichever they reach first) must only travel with a correct child restraint. These are things like Child Car seats etc.

A child over 135 cm or 12 years old must always wear the vehicles seat belt whilst travelling. Children over the age of 14 years are classed as adults in this case only and they must wear a seatbelt. Although the seat belt law is compulsory, there is rule for exemption but these are only in the following cases:

  • The driver of or a passenger in a motor vehicle constructed or adapted for carrying goods, while on a journey which does not exceed 50 metres and which is undertaken for the purpose of delivering or collecting any thing;
  • A person driving a vehicle while performing a manoeuvre which includes reversing;
    a qualified driver (within the meaning given by regulation 9 of the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1987) who is supervising the holder of a provisional licence (within the meaning of Part III of the Act) while that holder is performing a manoeuvre which includes reversing; a person by whom, as provided in the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1987, a test of competence to drive is being conducted and his wearing a seat belt would endanger himself or any other person; a person driving or riding in a vehicle while it is being used for fire brigade or police purposes or for carrying a person in lawful custody (a person who is being so carried being included in this exemption);


  • The driver of—

(i)             A licensed taxi while it is being used for seeking hire, or answering a call for hire, or carrying a passenger for hire

(ii)            A private hire vehicle while it is being used to carry a passenger for hire;

  • A person riding in a vehicle, being used under a trade licence, for the purpose of investigating or remedying a mechanical fault in the vehicle;
  • A disabled person who is wearing a disabled person’s belt; or a person riding in a vehicle while it is taking part in a procession organised by or on behalf of the Crown.”

All new cars must have front and rear seat belts fitted. Older cars that do not have belts do not have to necessarily get them fitted but children are not authorised to travel in the vehicle.

We strongly recommend the use of a seat belt as common practice within our driving school and that all pupils beforehand are made fully aware of all the safety elements when driving a car including the seat belt.

For further information on the seat belt and law please read the Highway Code or if you require further information on Britannia Driving School’s seatbelt regulations, then please do not hesitate to contact us.



June 8, 2008
Don’t Forget To Claim Your Full licence

The DVLA deals with what it describes as “a never-ending barrage” of applications for full licences with the pass certificate being sent in beyond the permitted two years of the test date. This is despite the fact that the time limit is stated on the back of the pass certificate and a reminder from the examiner at the end of the test.  If you have passed your test, remember to send your certificate to the DVLA as soon as possible.


June 7, 2008
Britain’s roads no better than in Roman times

Britain’s Road have seen little improvements since Roman times according to a new RAC Foundation paper, which warns the lack of investment in transport infrastructure could prove detrimental for all UK road users.
The report, entitled What Went Wrong? British Highway Development before the Motorways points out that it took the Government 100 years to take responsibility for main roads following the decline of the turnpike system in the mid-nineteenth century, and that Britain may face the same economic problems if the Government fails to implement a long-term management plan.
While the idea of road tools remains unpopular, the paper states that roads will not improve without funding and road users charging may be an invaluable way to ensure roads are maintained to the best quality.

June 5, 2008
Britain a nation of “car” junkies

As A Nation, we are just as car dependent to day as we were in the early 1990’s, according to a new research paper released by the RAC Foundation.
The study finds that those using public transport in the early 1990 are the only ones who have used it more since. People who have never used a bus have not been persuaded to give it a go. The number of people driving a car has risen steadily over this time and the number of frequent car drivers is also on the increase.
The Foundations Fact File on Car Dependence finds that over the period between 1993 and 2005.
  • The percentage of the population with a valid driving licence has risen from 67 to 72 per cent.
  • The total mileage driven has increased by 17 per cent across the country
  • There has only been a slow down in car usage in London since 2002
  • The number of women driving has risen rapidly from under 50 to over 60 per cent
  • The number of men driving has risen more slowly (75 to 80 per cent)
  • In London the proportion of frequent drivers has fluctuated around 80 per cent
  • Car use peaks amongst the 35-44 age groups
Bus usage in the UK (outside London) has declined by 13 per cent over the past ten years and only 19 per cent of people frequently use a bus; a figure which has hardly changed over the years. An increasing number of people never use the bus-currently standing at 50 per cent.