Monthly Archives: January 2009

January 31, 2009
More Vetting for Driving Instructors

In December 2008, the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) highlighted the fact that there is to be a new “Independent Barring Board” set up under the “Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006” implying that driving instructors would have to register to the scheme from 12 October 2009, despite already having undergone CRB checks.

Are you a driving school or a driving instructor? How will you be affected by these changes? What are your thoughts on the DSA PROPOSAL? Send Britannia Driving School your views using the comments link below:


January 30, 2009
Private Registration 1 O, minimum bid £10,000

Drivers wishing to own a piece of history on their motor vehicle will need to find a minimum of £10,000 when a very rare, short registration plate 1 O goes under bid.

This is not the only high-value plates up for grabs from the DVLA, with 3 S and 1 HRH having reserves of £8000 and £3200 respectively. Around 1600 registrations will be featured at the 3 day auction at Whillebury Hall, Northamptonshire.

The £10,000 bid is believed to be a small fraction of the expected sale price by industry insiders, considering the fact that 1 RH was purchased by Rob Harverson for £247,000 at the final auction of 2008!


January 27, 2009
Increase In Un-roadworthy Cars Expected

As the credit crunch tightens belts of many drivers, Auto Trader state an increase in the number of un-roadworthy vehicles will become apparent.

A recent survey found that 51% of motorists were worried about paying for repairs which were found during MOT examinations, and a further 10% had waited till after the MOT due date before they had an MOT done, another 7% of motorists admitted to being late in renewing their road tax.

The report went on to discover around 32% of motorists who had found a problem during their MOT examinations were putting off the repairs, nearly 15% of these were described as quite major and 5% very major.


January 20, 2009
Winter Weather Driving Notes

January is a particularly bad month for motoring accidents, due to bad weather conditions causing heavier traffic volumes causing delays for commuters, there is a 68% increase in accidents then average claims.
Some general tips to help motorists stay accident-free during winter are:

  • Adapt your driving style, in poor weather conditions you need to be a more defensive driver giving yourself more space between vehicles and adjust your schedule for longer journey times
  • Try not to brake suddenly, as this can cause your car to skid and lose control. Make use of engine braking, if you do start to skid, turn into the skid to try and keep in control.
  • As you are de-icing your car, never leave it with the keys in the ignition or unattended as this is an invitation for thieves.
  • Make sure your are confident and calm, if you are unsure about your skills then it’s best not to get behind the wheel, seek further advice from one Britannia Driving Schools qualified driving instructors.

January 19, 2009
Cold Weather may mean tyres need additional care!

As a motorist it is important to note that cold weather puts extra strain on your tyres. When temperatures drop below freezing point tyres have to work harder so it is important drivers make sure they are well maintained and in good condition.

Protyre have given advice to motorists saying that the misconception that tyre pressure should be reduced when driving in snow was both dangerous and illegal. It went on to note that drivers should check their vehicle’s handbook in order to find the optimum tyre pressure for their particular car. When weather conditions are bad motorists should avoid driving when possible and be aware of upcoming weather conditions by checking weather reports before journeys.


January 15, 2009
Obama’s Presidential Car Revealed

U.S President, Barak Obama’s transport has been revealed. Nicknamed “The Beast”, the Cadillac is a state of the art machine. A few of the vehicles features include; bullet proof glass, a separate oxygen supply, sealed interior to protect against chemical attacks, run on flat tyres and much more.

As well as having the best protection available, the car also comes with state of the art electronics allowing the president to keep in touch with a wi-fi data and mobile communication connection. Other safety features include 8in thick armor-plated doors (each weighing the same as a cabin door on a Boeing 757), Obama’s personal blood storage and night vision cameras.


January 11, 2009
An Enterprising Driving Instructor Uses Sat Nav as a Teaching Aid

ADI mark whitcombe programmes routes into his sat nav for pupils to follow as part of a lesson for advanced pupils. Acting as a virtual examiner; the voice of the sat nav leaves mark free to concentrate on the pupils driving, as well as introducing them to the concept of using sat nav in a safe way.
Mark explains how the process works:

“We are living in an increasingly technological world and I think nearly all cars in the future will have some form of sat nav. This means we will have to get used to relying on it more for finding our way around. Teenagers today are mad on the latest gadgets and gizmos so I thought it would be useful to start using my sat nav as a teaching aid for certain pupils to navigate themselves around on a driving lesson.
“For the sat nav to be most effective, the level of the pupils driving must be fairly close to test standard so that my voice does not compete too much with the sat nav’s.

“At home pupils are normally pressing buttons and screens on their mobile phones, I-pods, TVs or computers anyway, so to actually use sat nav on a driving lessons is very interesting for them and generally they understand it very quickly.

“It is also an opportunity for me to explain to them the safe way of using sat nav and how useful it can be. I wonder how many ADI’s use sat nav as part of the complete professional teaching package.”    

Do you know of any driving instructor that uses new technology as a teaching aid in their car? What are your thoughts on this article? Send us your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:


January 8, 2009
In-Car Hands-Free kits just as dangerous as mobiles when driving.

New research suggests that regardless of the device used, all telephone conversations when driving are dangerous, simply because of the fact that they affect our attention and visual processing skills significantly.

Previously it was believed that because hands-free kits were safer because they enabled you to have both hands free at the wheel, but the hazard does not relate to your hands, but it is in fact your brain, David Strayer, who led the research stated “It’s not that your hands aren’t on the wheel. It’s that your mind is not on the road.”

It is currently still legal within Britain to use a mobile phone while using a hands-free kit, previous experiments and road-side surveys indicated that drivers talking on a mobile phone are four-times more likely to be involved in an accident.


January 6, 2009
8x More Men Than Women Drink Driving

It was stated that men accounted for nearly eight times the number of women caught drink driving in a study in North Wales over the last five years. 19 year old males made up for the largest number of males caught drink driving with the highest number of women drink drivers stopped by police being 20 and 36.

Since 2003 a staggering 8,484 drink drive offences have been committed by men 13 to 88 in comparison to 1,276 by women aged 14 to 81 – quite shockingly a total of 131 boys and girls under the legal age to drive were also arrested for being in charge of a vehicle while having intoxicants in their breath. The Freedom of Information Act revealed 429 males who were caught for drink driving were aged 19 years old.


January 2, 2009
Mr Loophole Lawyer – Makes U Turn

Celebrity Lawyer, Nick Freeman, who has represented Jeremy Clarkson, Sir Alex Ferguson and David Beckham, has stated that he wishes to help the government improve road safety by helping to remove the gaps in the law he has previously used.

Mr Freeman or Mr Loophole which he may better be known (his registered trademark) became well known in 1999 when he helped David Beckham avoid a speeding ban after stating he was being pursued by the paparazzi. He has also protected a person who was driving a Porsche at 176mph by arguing the prosecution could not prove who was driving.

Surprisingly he recently showed that he was in support of cutting the drink drive limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg as per the European levels.