Monthly Archives: March 2010

March 31, 2010
Police told “Santa” driving speeding car in Deeside

A man told police “Santa” was driving his car when it was snapped by a speed camera travelling at 79 mph.

Paul Ellard, 24, from Connah’s Quay, wrote on a formal notice it was not a VW car, but a sleigh “pulled by Rudolph and the rest of the gang at 379 mph.”
A court heard the car was travelling in a 30mph zone at Pentre, Deeside.

Ellard denied failing to provide the information but did not attend a trial at Flintshire magistrates’ court where the case was proved in his absence.

Magistrates heard he had crossed out his name on the form and replaced it with Santa Claus and crossed out the make of car and replaced it with a sleigh.

In a section asking for the driver’s contact details Ellard wrote the driver lived at “Santa’s Grotto in the North Pole” where he said “the town is freezing and full of elves.”


March 29, 2010

The law at present allows an average built man to drink approximately 2 pints of beer and a woman a large glass of wine without exceeding the drink drive limit. The new proposed law will be half that making the legal limit 80mg of alcohol per 50mg of blood.

The tougher laws are thought to help reduce accidents and serious injury. It is not only the driver who puts themselves at risk when drink driving, but other road users and pedestrians as well.

This new limit could see the economy saving millions of pounds yearly in healthcare costs. However, some pubs especially country pubs could see their business drastically reduce.

While the new law could see more drivers being caught under the influence of alcohol, those who are over the new legal limit but below the old one will receive watered down penalties. Those who exceed the old limit will continue to face a 12 month ban.

Natasha Simper of Britannia Driving School said: “The new rules cannot be implemented until after the elections. However, once in place drivers should be aware that even one alcoholic drink could mean being pulled over by the police.”

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


March 26, 2010

Cars can be expensive to run if you don’t know how to use them properly. There are a number of easy to apply rules when driving to help save not only your pennies but the environment too.

The simplest one of them all is do you need to drive or can you walk? When you pop to the corner shop or drop the kids to school, do you really need to drive or could you walk the short distance. Not only will your car pollute the planet but driving short distances can contribute to the general wear and tear of the car.

For most of us keeping the car clean can take time and money to achieve. However, it improves the cars efficiency. Any extra weight in the boot or under the seats, even dirt on the outside of the car will increase the cars fuel consumption costing you more in the long run.

A healthy car = saving money. By spending a little money on having the car serviced regularly, you could potentially save a fortune when a big problem evolves.

By choosing when to have the air conditioning on could save you pounds when filling the tank. By leaving it on for long periods of time it can lead to expensive bills however, by blasting the air con for short periods of time on a regular basis (even in the winter) will make sure its kept in good working order. Leaving the windows and the sunroof open can also increase consumption, so when you don’t need them open, wind them up!

Making sure you are aware of your surroundings and other road users can also save you money. By driving smoothly without changing speed greatly or braking harshly could not only prevent accidents but will have a noticeable effect on your wallet.

Planning your route and listening to traffic news can also help save you money and fuel. But just as importantly it will also save you stressing out. If you see the traffic is not moving, switch of your engine and wait for the queue to move. You could even try planning your route to include picking up colleagues on the way to work and splitting the cost and responsibility.

Tyres are the only part of the car that comes in contact with the road surface therefore its essential that they are in proper working condition. Not only is it important to check the tyre pressure for safety reasons but also as the correct air pressure will reduce fuel consumption and will allow the car to steer properly.

Make sure when you choose a car that you shop around and consider other factors other than just the model and colour. Make sure you shop around for the best deal on insurance and don’t just use the first garage you find, make sure you find a bargain. By spending a little of your time doing research you could save a LOT of money.

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


March 25, 2010
Budget 2010: £100 million to fill potholes

The cash has been allocated following the most severe winter in 30 years, amid complaints from motoring organisations over the quality of the country’s roads.

Lord Adonis, the Transport Secretary, said the money would be allocated to councils as soon as possible, to enable maintenance staff to tackle the problem.

According to one industry survey by the Asphalt Industry Alliance, four out of five councils suffered severe damage, creating a £400 million gap in their maintenance budgets.

Councils estimate it will take more than 11.5 years to tackle the backlog of repairs in England, and 15 years in Wales.

The Government has been under pressure to act from motoring groups.


March 23, 2010
Flintshire’s only driving test centre set to close

FLINTSHIRE’S only driving test centre will close next week.

The closure of the Mold centre will be a blow to the county’s economy, it has been claimed.

The government has confirmed Mold Test centre on St David’s Lane will shut on Tuesday.

It will be replaced by a state-of-the-art facility in Wrexham, meaning drivers from Flintshire will have to take their tests either there, in Chester or Rhyl.

Community leaders who begged the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to reconsider the move said they were saddened to see the closure going ahead.

Mold town councillor Stephanie Hulley told the Leader: “We need every asset we can get in Flintshire while we’re coming out of a recession. The centre was a big help to us, a real bonus that brought business to the town.


March 22, 2010

It is not just illegal drugs that are causing carnage on the roads but legal ones to.

A campaign is in place to warn drivers of the serious side effects medicine can have whilst driving.

Some medicines can cause drowsiness, poor concentration, reduced visibility and impaired judgement amongst other things. Driving requires an individual to be alert and aware of not only themselves but others on the road.

Most individuals take medicine in order to treat or prevent illness, but how many of us read the labels and follow the instructions provided?

It is desirable to consult with your doctor before driving. There are plans to see warnings and patient information outlining the potential effects attached to medication.

Natasha Simper of Britannia Driving School said: “It is extremely important to be aware of the possible side effects, not just medicine can have but drugs and alcohol too. It is also important to have regular breaks if you are driving for a long period of time. Driving is a skill and this skill requires vigilance!”


March 19, 2010

It is reasonable to suggest that a crash helmet is a key safety feature for any cyclist, be it a motorbike or a push bike. However, recent research has shown that crash helmets could actually be very damaging to our health.

It is thought that the vibration and noise transmitted through the helmet when travelling at high speeds could cause hearing problems as well as our ability to concentrate, which is extremely important when riding a motorbike as it requires great attention to detail.

The noise at 70mph is higher than the legal limit for noise at work, which would suggest the danger it can have to a bikers hearing.

The research statistics and findings and the ongoing research is not meant to put individuals off riding or the idea of wearing a helmet but simply trying to identify the safest way to enjoy biking.

Despite these recent findings, it is still the law in most countries to wear a motorcycle helmet. The helmet is there to absorb energy and protect the rider from head injuries upon impact. It also protects the rider from any loose debris on the roads.

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


March 18, 2010
Up to 36,000 cash-strapped parents are fiddling their car insurance by putting their sons or daughters down as a ‘spouse’ on their motor policy.

The illegal scam, which helps families lower their car insurance premiums in the economic downturn is becoming increasingly popular, damning new insurance industry figures reveal today.

Yet most consider it just a ‘little white lie’ rather than a serious offence, and carry on with the insurance scam known to companies as ‘fronting’.

Cases of fronting have doubled in the past two years as the recession has bitten and cost-cutting drivers have sought drastic ways to reduce their premiums.

This is despite insurance fraud and uninsured drivers adding £30 to the policies of law abiding drivers.

The 36,000 parents are among more than 200,000 cash-strapped motorists committing the fraud, insurers believe.


March 16, 2010
Motorist caught by police driving with car bonnet up

A motorist was caught by police driving with her car bonnet wide open and peering through the tiny gap to see where she was going.

When incredulous officers pulled her over, the 53-year-old woman, who has has not been named, told them the bonnet was faulty and she was on her way to get it repaired.

The incident occurred in Weymouth, Dorset, during a county-wide “No Excuse” safety campaign to educate people about bad driving.

The woman had been using a four inch gap between her dashboard and the bonnet to steer her car through the seaside town.

Police have yet to decide whether they will press charges as they continue their investigations.


March 15, 2010
Pedestrians and Motorist Being Narrowly Missed by Trains

Safety measures at level crossings need to be largely improved however, this is largely due to motorists and pedestrians taking dangerous risks.

CCTV footage has captured pedestrians and drivers being narrowly missed by fast approaching trains.

12 people have died due to level crossing misuse or error this year alone, and the numbers have seen an increase every year since 2003.

Barriers, flashing lights and a warning sound seem to be insufficient. Pedestrians still jump the barrier and cars continue to stop on the tracks when queuing in traffic, surely common sense would tell you that the track needs to be kept clear at all times.

Network Rail is coming down heavy on anyone that breaks the rules. Fines up to £1000 are being handed out however, that is the lightest punishment, losing your life is a risk you take when you cross the paths of a train travelling up to 75mph. Railway companies are also pushing for the theory test to include level crossing safety.

There are a few key pieces of advice to remember when approaching and using a level crossing:

When pushing a wheelchair or pram across the track, keep the wheels at a right angle to the track so that the wheels don’t get stuck. Always carry bikes and skateboards across, don’t attempt to ride them.

Never queue on a level crossing, keep it clear at all times and then proceed with caution, checking in both directions.

Remember that it is illegal to climb over the barriers and walk across the track once the warning signs are in place.

Natasha Simper of Britannia Driving School said: “It is understandable when drivers rush to get across the level crossing before the barriers descend as they can be down for as long as 10 minutes at a time. However, what is 10 minutes compared to a life. Don’t run the risk!”

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