Monthly Archives: December 2009

December 31, 2009
Tories call for drugalysers to be used on Scotland’s roads

The Scottish Conservatives are calling for police to be issued with devices which can test whether motorists are under the influence of drugs.

Justice spokesman Bill Aitken said that ‘drugalysers’ were already in use in Australia and on Thursday, he urged the UK Government to ensure similar equipment be made available here.

The move would allow police who already test people’s blood alcohol to also check if they have taken illegal substances before getting behind the wheel.

Mr Aitken said his party had been pressing the Government on the issue for for three years. And he claimed the Conservatives had previously been told the “best case scenario” was that a testing kit would be available by the end of 2007.

However, he said: “Two years later nothing has happened.”

He demanded: “The sooner this equipment is available for use in Scotland, the better it will be for the safety of everyone on our roads.”

Mr Aitken said there had been a significant change in public attitudes towards drink driving, but insisted action will have to be taken if the public attitude towards drug driving is to move in the same direction.

He continued: “The existing system for dealing with drug drivers is laborious, involving road side tests where the suspect is asked to walk in a straight line and do mental arithmetic. If it results in an arrest, the police vehicle is off the road whilst the police surgeon is summoned and this can take two hours.

“The Westminster Government must ensure the appropriate technology, similar to the breathalyser apparatus used in drink-driving cases, is available for roadside drug testing. Drug-driving is in many respects now more serious than drink-driving.”


December 30, 2009
Accidents rise after speed cameras go

ACCIDENTS on Swindon’s roads have continued to rise since speed cameras were scrapped but the number of speeders has halved.

Swindon Council leaders claim the figures prove they made the right decision by deactivating fixed speed cameras at the end of July.

But motoring groups and opposition politicians have warned that it is too early to claim Swindon’s roads are now safer.

According to figures released by Swindon Council there were six injuries on Swindon’s roads between August and October of this year. Two of these were serious injuries, while four were slight.

Over the same period in 2008 there were four slight injury accidents and one fatal.

The council also said that over the same three-month period in 2009 1,033 motorists received prosecution notices after being caught by mobile cameras. The figure for 2008 was 2,227.


December 29, 2009

With the present economic conditions, it is thought that around half of all motorists (46%) are failing to have their car serviced, repaired and maintained. 

Car-related expenditures are deemed not as important as other expenditures such as Christmas.

Some non-essential car expenditures such as the latest Satellite Navigation and alloy wheels can be overlooked, but worryingly some individuals are delaying the purchase of things such as replacement tyres and scheduled services. These are crucial for safety and have an impact on the warranties and insurance and also on the resale value.

Simon Bush of Britannia Driving School said: “It does not help that petrol and insurance remain at an all time high. Cars can be expensive to run at the best of times but with the economy the way it is and the government not easing on motoring costs many people are gambling with their safety, not to mention other road-users safety.”

What are your thought on this article? Send your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:


December 23, 2009
Car insurance customers worried by wintry weather

Almost half of British drivers are concerned about driving in wintry conditions, a survey by Saga Motor Insurance has found.

Researchers polled 2,021 adults in September and found that 48% of drivers would be reluctant to drive in bad weather.

Nearly two-fifths of motorists admitted that they were most afraid of driving in snow and ice; one-quarter strongly disliked taking their car out in heavy rain; and 32% would prefer not to go motoring in fog.

The survey also revealed that 25% of women tend to drive less during the winter months, while 23% of over-50s avoid driving in the dark.


December 22, 2009
Driving conditions treacherous in Devon

Driving conditions ‘treacherous’ in Devon

Motorists have been warned about treacherous conditions on roads in Devon after temperatures plummeted again overnight.

Snow, sleet, rain and severe hail showers have caused several accidents across the county.

The eastbound carriageway of the A38 has been closed at Buckfastleigh after an accident involving a large van.

A police spokesman said there are believed to be injuries, although it is not yet known how serious.

In neighbouring Cornwall, two people died and 47 were injured when a coach crashed on sheet ice near Hayle.


December 21, 2009

Road crashes cost the developing world billions of pounds per year as they are fast becoming the leading cause of premature death and disability, especially in younger people. 

The Make Roads Safe Campaign called for the first ever UN conference to be held in Moscow in November 2009. Their aim is to launch a Decade of Action for Road Safety, which will hopefully cut road deaths by 50% (roughly five million) by the year 2020.

The global programme looks to make safer vehicles, to design roads to be safer for motorists and pedestrians, to tackle speed and drink driving amongst other criminal motoring offenses and to home in on belt and helmet use. All of these points need to be addressed both individually and as a combined factor.

Simon Bush of Britannia Driving School said: “Money is put towards combating killers such as malaria and cancer, let’s now spend money on reducing road deaths and put the money that will be saved in the long-term to better use, for things such as education and healthcare.”

What are your thought on this article? Send your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:


December 18, 2009
Winter drink driving figures up

The number of drivers and motorcyclists caught drink-driving during the first two weeks of the PSNI’s winter campaign has risen by 15%.

Two hundred and thirty drink-drivers were detected, 31 more than in 2008.

Six people were detected at four times the legal limit. The youngest person detected was 16 years and the oldest, 73 years.

The average age of people to fail the breath test is 36, and to date, 199 men and 31 women have been detected.


December 17, 2009
More drivers using mobile phones since penalty change

More drivers are using hand-held mobile phones than before tougher penalties were introduced two years ago, the Transport Research Laboratory has said.

It found 2.6% of car drivers used hand-held phones in 2006 – when fines rose to £60 and three points could be added to licences – compared with 2.8% now.

Phone-using drivers are four times more likely to crash, the TRL added.

Ministers say work continues to highlight the dangers. The TRL study involved more than 14,000 vehicles.

The report’s authors believe there is no reason to think the picture at the 30 sites studied in London is not the same right across the UK.



December 14, 2009

The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) have tried to overcome the vast amount of problems they experienced when they introduced the 0300-prefixed telephone number and eradicated the 0870 numbers however, call volumes are nearly back to expected levels.

The telephone system has not just been improved to help deal with pupil enquires but new measures have been put into place to help with instructor enquiries.

A new fast track telephone system has been put in place to serve the needs of ADI’s. When an instructor calls the DSA for whatever reason they won’t have to listen to all the options but simply press 25, which will prioritise their call over others and be directed to staff that have the ability to deal with the call.

Even better they have introduced a call back system whereby if there is a queue of calls longer than 60 seconds the caller can leave their name and telephone number and somebody will call them back. It is important to understand that despite ADI calls being prioritised, the system keeps the call in the same place in the queue.

Simon Bush of Britannia Driving School said: “This is brilliant news for all instructors as it will save a huge amount of time skipping through the options and holding for somebody who would inevitable transfer your call to a different department, where you would have to repeat your story once.”

What are your thought on this article? Send your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:



December 10, 2009
Online games promote safer driving

Traffic safety organizations in the US and Europe have this week released online games in an effort to promote safer driving from the comfort of the home.

American non-profit organization the AAA (American Automobile Association) Foundation for Traffic Safety has launched the AAA Roadwise Review, designed to allow senior citizens to test their driving health, whether independently or supported by others. The program measures physical and mental abilities in eight key areas shown to be the strongest predictors of crash risk among older drivers. These include leg strength, visualization of missing information, field of view and working memory. No personal data is stored, but the program provides feedback to guide users on their ability to drive safely.

“AAA is dedicated to keeping seniors driving for as long as safely possible and mobile thereafter,” said Jake Nelson, director of AAA Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research. “Roadwise Review allows seniors to check their driving ability conveniently and confidentially – something that is vitally important as we age.”