Monthly Archives: April 2010

April 30, 2010

A lady from Southwark ended up in a parking ticket feud with the council when the online payment system acted more than a little sensitive!

She was fined £40 when she was found lingering too long in a London car park. When she disputed the ticket and lost she decided to pay the fee and settle it once and for all.

However, a few weeks later she received a notice requesting £80 as she had not settled the bill in the allocated time. When she went onto the council’s online payment system and entered her reference number it stated she had no debt to them. She tried contacting them via phone but to no avail.

Several weeks later she went on to receive a further notice requesting £120, rather extreme in any case for a parking violation.

When she went on to pursue this, an equally bewildered council employee found that when she had entered her registration number online because she had typed it in lower case, it had not registered her entry however, if she were to type it in capital letters it would reveal the ludicrous amount of money owed.

The council have now reduced her fine back to the original £40 that she thought she had paid and has promised to look into the matter, before it spirals out of control.

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April 29, 2010
Student faces a £60 fine every time he tries to park on his own driveway

With a busy road packed with commuter traffic and a pedestrian crossing just yards away, simply driving to and from his house can be a major headache for Maxwell Cannon.

Whether he goes in forwards or backwards, a breach of the Highway Code is almost inevitable – and so yesterday the chemistry student achieved the unwelcome distinction of being fined £60 for reversing into his own driveway.

The 25-year-old, who lives with his mother, a Labour Parliamentary candidate, was spotted by police waiting for a break in heavy traffic so he could back up the drive of the family’s terraced home in Harrington, Cumbria.

They told him he was committing an offence because he was stationary on the zigzag markings of the crossing and told him to move on.

But when they returned after driving a mile up the road he was still there, waiting for his chance to reverse into the house, a court was told.

He was fined £60 but lodged an appeal, and yesterday a judge was told it ‘offended common sense’ that someone was not allowed to reverse into his own driveway.

However the argument was rejected, and afterwards the Manchester University student said he and his family had now been placed in an impossible situation.

‘It’s ridiculous, but I’ve taken it as far as I can,’ he said. ‘It leaves us with the threat of being prosecuted every time we try and get into our own driveway.

‘I understand the policeman has a job to do, but he could have showed some discretion.

‘I think he was just throwing his weight around, and as motorists we’re easy targets for them to get their crime figures up.’


April 27, 2010
Driving with eyes

The process called “eyeDriver” follows the driver’s eye movements to direct the vehicle in the same direction.

German researchers have developed a new technology that allows the driver to steer his car without touching the steering wheel, guiding the vehicle only with the eyes.

Raul Rojas, a researcher in artificial intelligence at the Free University of Berlin, said Friday that the process called “eyeDriver” was on the driver’s eye movements to steer the vehicle in the same direction. Mr. Rojas and his team presented a prototype in Berlin on Friday.

The Dodge Caravan minivan was circulated on the tarmac at Tempelhof airport decommissioned, its driver using only his eyes to check the vehicle. The steering wheel turned as guided by invisible hands.

For now, the technology can achieve the 50 km / h. “The next step is to drive 95 km / h,” says Rojas. But “the biggest challenge is of course driving in a city with pedestrians and many obstacles,” says researcher of Mexican origin.

For the moment, “eyeDriver” can perform relatively simple exercises. The car has pursued a pedestrian or another car on the tarmac. It may also decline: the driver must look in the mirror to guide the vehicle.


April 26, 2010

The day of your practical test arrives and you are feeling nervous. You have had lessons but feel ready to take on the examiners, but are you ready?

When you arrive at the test centre you need more than just your provisional licence. When the examiner calls your name you should have the following items: (1) Both parts of your driving licence – the photo card and the counterpart. (2) A vehicle which complies with the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) guidelines, most pupils will bring their driving instructors car which clearly displays L-plates and is an insured and licensed vehicle. (3) Your theory test certificate. (4) Your letter or copy of your email confirming the test.

And for those that have the old paper licence, you will need to ensure you bring your passport with you as proof of id – no other identification will be accepted

Without any one of these items, it could result in the DSA cancelling your test and result in you losing your fee. You could then face an agonising wait to re-book your test for another date.

Natasha Simper of Britannia Driving School said: “With the correct documentation and the experience and expertise gained from your Britannia Driving School Instructor there is no reason why you should not pass your test and go on to be a safe and competent driver for life.”


April 23, 2010
Conservatives Improves Lower Morden and Wimbledon Chase Roads

Road renovation in Lower Morden and Wimbledon Chase and Raynes Park are examples of the Conservative Councils achievements.

They are also, looking to remove the one-way systems in Mitcham and Morden, and have already begun taking out unsightly roadside guardrails where they don’t contribute to road safety. The Council have already planned improvements to pedestrian areas in Wimbledon, and the station forecourt is set for a facelift.

The Council’s first “Home Zone” in Mitcham, on the Laburnum Estate next to the new Eastfields Station, is a shared road surface for cars and pedestrians.  Residents are delighted with it, and with improvements in St Marks Road, which have opened up access from the station to the Fair Green, which has also had a makeover.

In addition to this the Conservative Council are planting hundreds of trees thought the borough, and residents can look forward to seeing the results from further improvements in due course.

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April 22, 2010
Motorist gets three-year road ban for driving Barbie toy car while over the limit

A MAN has been banned from driving for three years after being caught drunk behind the wheel – of a toy Barbie car.

Paul Hutton, 40, was spotted by police crawling along the road at night in the tiny electric Barbie car, which has a top speed of 4mph.

After a low-speed chase, officers breathalysed him.

Hutton admitted being a “complete twit” after he was handed the ban on Friday.

After the hearing, the dad-of-four said: “You have to be a contortionist to get in and then you can’t get out.

“I was very surprised to get done for drink-driving. It is designed for three- to five-year-olds.

“Originally, it was a pink Barbie car but I put bigger wheels on it.”

Divorced Hutton found the car, used by Barbie and boyfriend Ken for dates, near his home 10 years ago.

Hutton, an ex-RAF engineer, started rebuilding it with his son about eight months ago.

He said: “When it was done, I couldn’t resist the temptation to take it out. I wanted to show my friend.”

Hutton, of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, said he had been drinking while working on the car but, when he to took it out, he didn’t realise how drunk he was.

The jeep, which he could only drive with his knees under his chin, is slower than a mobility scooter.

Officers warned Hutton not to drive the car when they found him in the road on April 4 but he ignored them and made a slow getaway.

Hutton said: “I knew it was daft, but I didn’t realise it was a criminal thing to do.”

Hutton was found to be twice the drink-drive limit.

Appearing before magistrates, Hutton was given a three-year ban because he’d had another drink drive ban in the past 10 years.

Chairman of the bench Neil Munson said: “I’ve never seen the like of it in 15 years on the bench.”


April 20, 2010
Mumbai Traffic cops to give college students traffic lessons

Spurred by dip in drink driving cases, the police now plan to teach college students all about traffic rules

Mumbai traffic cops will soon take over the role of professors in colleges to teach traffic rules and regulations.

After the dip in number of drink driving cases in Mumbai, traffic police now aims to bring down the number of drunken drivers between the age group of 18-25. The police say that most of the drink-driving offenders are in that category.

“The offenders of most of the rash driving and drink driving cases are youngsters in the age group of 18-26. So we have decided to conduct lectures for college students in the coming academic year 2010-2011. We plan to present examples of a few drink-driving cases and fatal accidents. The aim is to make the youth more responsible,” said Nandkumar Chaugule, DCP Traffic (City).


April 19, 2010

It is clear to see that our roads are suffering due to the bad weather experienced recently, but it is not so clear to see what the council are doing about it.

Council workers have been seen to paint white road markings over potholes. Surely they should be rectifying one problem at a time.

Many of our roads in the U.K. need work done on them and drivers would rather see and feel  a flat and even road when they are driving as opposed to a brighter white line.

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April 17, 2010

Halfords are now extending their services to the public by providing MOT’s. They claim to provide a fast and friendly service. However, they don’t make any promises to keep their prices low.

Halfords have bought out the Nationwide Autocentres chain and will be re-branding as Halfords Autocentres and believe to have over 220 garages nationwide. They hope to expand on this, doubling the number of centre’s over the next few years.

Halfords already provide a hands on service, fitting devices, light bulbs and carrying our minor repairs. However, they want to be a lot more than this and be able to provide a fully comprehensive car care system.

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April 16, 2010

Many collisions are a result of the driver not wearing the correct lenses or being in denial that they have a sight problem at all.

All new drivers are required to fill out a form to obtain their provisional license with health questions being part of the process. However, how well do the DVLA look in to our medical history and how do they have any proof that our eyesight is what we say it is.

The form asks:

Can you read a car number plate (with glasses or corrective lenses if necessary) from 20.5 metres?


Do you need to wear glasses or corrective lenses when driving?

Do these two questions that only require us to tick a box, really prove that we have the required sight to drive a car or could more be done?

Research has shown that around 20% of drivers that hold a full license would fail an eye sight test, which is extremely worrying.

Recommendations suggest that all those applying for a provisional should have a full medical and eye examination before obtaining their provisional. It should perhaps also state on their license whether they need to wear glasses in order to legally be allowed to drive.

Individuals should be rechecked every few years and older people should have a full medical and possibly even a retest after a certain age.

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