Monthly Archives: December 2008

December 29, 2008
Hormones Linked to Bad Driving

Scientists from the University of Giessen, Germany, found that a lack of hormones affects spatial skills. Spatial skill is the ability to assess and orientate shapes and spaces – a key characteristic in tasks such as map reading and parking.

The research looked into the spatial, verbal and number skills of around 40 volunteers who were subject to tests such as the ability to think in 3d by mentally unfolding a complex shape and identifying which of five drawings could not be rotated to look like the other four.

It was stated that too little testosterone in the womb was a cause of this lack in spatial awareness.


December 27, 2008

Dave Armstrong – a Britannia driving school instructor- drive’s an altered drag racing car in competitions. Dave has been drag racing for more years than he would own up to. Here he gives us ideas of when and where you can drive your car at speed… with relative safety and without losing that licence you have worked so hard to get.
Dave is part of a drag racing team called PDP Racing which stands for Pete, Dave and Pet the three members of his team.
Dave’s motor vehicle currently runs an 8Ltr Chevrolet engine and a 2 speed gearbox it covers the quarter mile in 9.4 seconds (a Ferrari F40 takes about 12.5 seconds). For the benefit of those who don’t know – drag racing is all about acceleration. Drag racing tracks are straight and a quarter mile long with 2 vehicles racing at a time; this is the place to impress your mates – and not at traffic lights on public highways.
There are three main drag strips in the UK and they hold events over 1 or 2 days, this depends on the venue – you can run whatever vehicle you bring to the strip. Dave remarks: “Why not get your mates together and really go for those bragging rights where it counts… after every run you will get a print out on how well you have done, in terms speed and time, you can than compare this with your mates and see who really has the fastest car and reaction times.”
There are lots of websites where you can find information on drag racing the best according to Dave is:
There are plenty of places in the UK where you can have a go at drag racing – Dave recommended the following:
• Santa Pod –
• Shakespeare county raceway –
• York race way –



December 26, 2008
Drink Driving – The Morning After

A high profile drink drive campaign has led to an increase in drink driving arrests by police around the U.K. Targeting drivers who were on the way to work, between December 1st and December 23rd police in Bolton and Wigan stopped over 2,300 drivers, 55 of which were arrested for been over the drink driving limit.

A police spokesman stated that drivers were clearly unaware of the length of time it can take for alcohol to leave your system. It takes one hour for a unit to leave your body, one unit of alcohol is made up of half a pint of normal strength lager, a single (25ml) unit of spirit or a small glass of wine.

It is important to understand that after a heavy night of drinking it is possible you are still well above the drink driving limit in the morning and are putting yourself at risk of losing your license and receiving a heavy fine.


December 25, 2008
Driving Instructor from Tenby Walks Great Wall for Charity

A driving instructor from Tenby is walking the entire length of the Great Wall of China, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Research charity. Suen Andrews decided to take on this tremendous challenge and raise money for Macmillan after his mother, Jennifer, died from cancer. If you wish to make a donation, please send it to’ Macmillan Cancer Research’ to 1 St. David’s close, Tenby, SA70 8BT.
Have you ever raised money for charity?  What are your thoughts on this article? Send us your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:


December 23, 2008
Plans for new on the spot fines

New controversial proposals will be targeting distracting behaviour such as map reading, eating or drinking behind the wheel which have led to the cause of minor accidents by motorists. Drivers found responsible for these minor accidents could be given 3 penalty points and handed an on the spot £60 fine for their careless driving.

Campaigners have shown strong criticism, stating that police may be likely to hand out more tickets in order to meet targets and prove the success and cost effectiveness of the new proposals, however the department of transport has insisted the rules would only penalise serious offences, such as driving on the hard shoulder or colliding with a parked car.


December 20, 2008

The tumbling prices of crude oil, which has dropped by almost $100 a barrel since its July peak of more than $147, has resulted in forecourt prices dropping from around £1.20 a litre in July  to 94p, on average.
The price of petrol is now expected to drop to 87p before New Year. Morrison’s, the supermarket chain, has already cut the price to 89.9p a litre for unleaded at all its 287 UK forecourts, and Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have all said they will follow suit.
This has a significant effect for driving instructors. At 30mpg, and petrol at £1.20 a litre, 25, 000 miles costs £4, 542. At 90p a litre, the cost is reduced to £3,408-a reduction of £1134, or 25 per cent less.
At 25,000 miles a year, an increase or decrease of just 10p per litre-46p per gallon-in the price of fuel results in a difference of £384.
Britannia Driving School has held driving lesson prices to what they were in September 2007, in spite of the spike in petrol prices in July 2008.
Are you a driving instructor? How has falling petrol prices affected your business? What are your thoughts on this article? Send us your views using the comments link below:


December 19, 2008
The Motorway: 50 Year Anniversary

It was on Dec 5, 1958 that Harold Macmillan (the Prime Minister of Great Britain) official opened the country’s first motorway in Preston, Lancashire. At that time it was made up of four lanes covering a distance of only 8.26 miles.

With new concepts to drivers of the time, the thought of having large blue signs (motorway traffic signs) was seen as quite comical and the idea of a “central reservation” and “hard shoulder” were unheard of. All did not go well, the material used to make the hard shoulder was not strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of vehicles and caused the sinking of cars and lorries.

Britain now has a motorway network made up of over 2,200 miles with the M6 been 230 miles on its own.


December 18, 2008
Police Warn Drivers: Watch out for drunk pedestrians

The affects of drunk driving is well known and publicised but police in Scotland are now promoting the dangers of drunk pedestrians. With the lead up to Christmas under way more and more pedestrians are putting themselves into danger when leaving from pubs and clubs.

One in three pedestrian fatalities had alcohol levels over the legal limit for driving and nearly half of all pedestrians in road accident fatalities between the hours of 22:00 and 04:00 on Friday & Saturday nights have more than twice the drink drive limit in their systems.

It is important to remember as a pedestrian the dangers of stepping into the road without checking for any oncoming traffic, with cold and icy weather it can take cars up to 10 times longer to stop then in ordinary driving conditions.


December 14, 2008

UK Drivers are paying, on average, £31 a year more on their car insurance in order to cover for people who are uninsured, equating to more than £500m nationwide. The average fine for getting caught driving without insurance in the UK is just £250.
Britannia Driving School believes the Government needs to take action to reduce the number of illegal drivers on Britain’s road through more severe penalties.
Simon Bush of Britannia Driving School remarks: “It is high time the Government took decisive action on this problem. The average penalty for an uninsured driving offence is a fraction of the cost of a year’s car insurance, incentivising law-breaking. Motorists have had enough of footing the bill for uninsured drivers.
It’s clear that any deterrent to the problem of uninsured drivers in the UK would be welcome. It’s a major problem in this country and it’s an unfortunate consequence that legal drivers have to bear the cost of this type of crime.
Awareness of the potential penalties needs to be increased so it makes drivers think twice before taking to the road uninsured.”
Have you ever been in an accident with an uninsured motorist? What are your thoughts on this article? Send us your views using the comments link below:


December 12, 2008
First to pass driving qualification

A new qualification in driving science developed by alpha to omega motoring ltd has been passed by James Jefferies, 17, a sixth former at Leeds Grammar School. The qualification is taught in parallel to existing driving lessons and makes use of interactive software which enables the learner to engage in life-saving driving skills from their home computer.

Research has shown that this training improved the learners attitude towards risk, such as tailgating, overtaking and speeding. It has also shown that this method improved hand eye coordination and drivers’ eye movement patterns – which will help with hazard perception skills (a part of the current driving theory test).