Monthly Archives: June 2011

June 30, 2011
Get Your Insurance Right

When looking for learner driver car insurance it can be tricky to know what to watch out for, especially since a number of insurers will only cover you whilst you’re learning to drive. So buying the cheapest car insurance available could be a false economy, especially if you have to pay-out more for car insurance premiums once you pass.
Young drivers champion, i-kube, are one insurance provider who actually guarantees not to increase your young drivers insurance premium for simply passing your test, unlike a number of other car insurers who can offer cheap provisional insurance but will dramatically increase your premium once you pass your test.
Commenting on behalf of i-kube, Nigel Lombard, Managing Director, stated “the i-kube provisional insurance premium will not increase, as long as the policy holder’s test is not within the first 30 days of cover.”
Mr Lombard added that i-kube will even allow the young driver to keep any No Claims Bonuses they accumulate whilst learning to drive.
When asked how i-kube are able to keep learner driver insurance so low Mr Lombard responded that it was down to the i-kube telematics tracking device that is installed in the young driver’s car once they buy the car insurance policy.
He went on to explain that the device simply tracks the time of day the young person is driving ” if they’re found to be driving between 11pm ” 5am (the “red hours) they incur a £100 penalty to their premium. This is due to statistical evidence that road accidents are more likely to occur at this time. As long as the young driver stays off the road between these hours they will be deemed less of a risk and will be entitled to more competitive car insurance premiums. He added:
“With so many learner drivers taking lessons off qualified instructors and parents the chances are that they won’t be driving at these times anyway so this shouldn’t be a problem for the vast majority of them.”
As with any car insurance policy i-kube recommends that young drivers read through the terms and conditions of the policy to ensure the provisional insurance is right for them.


June 29, 2011

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) who provide licensing, testing and enforcement services have introduced a new text messaging service.

For a charge of around £1.50, drivers can be notified by text message when their MOT is next due. The reminders will come in three stages, the first 5 weeks before its due, the second two weeks before and the final message will come the day before the previous MOT certificate expires.

All drivers are responsible for ensuring their car has all the relevant up-to-date paperwork. However, this new service will prompt drivers to book their MOT before it expires and keep their car roadworthy.

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


June 28, 2011
Police Send Strong Warning

POLICE have warned drivers who drink before getting behind the wheel that they will remain vigilant as a summer drink drive crackdown comes to an end.
North Yorkshire Police’s month long campaign against drink drivers has proved successful, with a number of offenders charged and fast-tracked through the courts.
With one week of the campaign to go officers have arrested 66 motorists suspected of driving while over the limit, with 35 of those drivers charged.
Traffic Sergeant Ian Pope, of North Yorkshire Police’s roads policing group, said: “Although the campaign is coming to an end next week, there will be no let up in terms of targeting drink drivers and those who drive while under the influence of drugs.
“The campaign raises awareness that drink and drug driving is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. It lets people know that we are watching them and if they are caught they will be dealt with quickly and will lose their licences.
“Most people are getting the message but some people are choosing to be ignorant. We will continue targeting those individuals until they start taking responsibility for their actions and stop putting people’s lives at risk.”
The campaign has been assisted by members of the public who have passed information to the police about people they suspect are drink driving.
Among the people who have been fast-tracked through the courts is Keith Standen, 61, from Ripon, who was banned from driving for 12 months when he appeared before Harrogate Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
He was also fined £170 and ordered to pay £85 in costs after he was caught driving with 59 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.


June 27, 2011

A National Express bus driver from Birmingham has been exposed by a passenger to read a book whilst driving.

The passenger filmed the driver holding a small book which meant him steering with his elbows.

National Express was of course extremely concerned and took immediate action, suspending the driver who now faces disciplinary action.

They said “Passenger safety is always our priority and it is completely unacceptable for any driver to behave in this manager.”

Road safety campaigners are concerned that somebody like a bus driver who is responsible for the safety of so many passengers could behave in this way. Reading any material, even a map whilst driving is illegal and dangerous and whether you drive for a living or as an individual, distractions need to be kept at bay.

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


June 24, 2011

Eleven theory test centres around the country are set to close at the end of August.

The DSA are closing centres in Basingstoke, Bath, Birkenhead, Clydebank, Colchester, Dunfermline, Durham, Motherwell, Runcorn, Solihull and Workington.

With all these closures, theory test centres will have to merge. Campaigners are concerned with the distance pupils will have to travel to find their nearest test centre, which could end up being over 30 miles away.

The DSA have stated that it is not cost effective to have two test centres in close proximity with spare facilities, hence the closures are taking place.

Practical test centres are not thought to be affected.

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


June 23, 2011
Big Changes Being Made

A major change to the driving test has been announced by the Environment Minister Alex Attwood.
Candidates will now spend 10 minutes of the test driving to a destination without step by step instructions from the examiner.
The aim of this is to assess whether the candidates can drive safely whilst making decisions independently.
The change, the most significant since the test’s introduction 50 years ago, will come into effect on 27 June.
Mr Attwood said: “The change I am launching, while a significant addition to the familiar driving test, should hold no fear for candidates.
Confidence”In fact the new test reflects what they want. It is designed to ensure that novice drivers, once they acquire a licence, have the skills, knowledge and confidence to be able to drive on their own,” he said.
“Once they pass the test novice drivers will have to make their own decisions regarding when to drive, where to drive to, how to get there, and who to drive with whilst driving safely – these are all issues that will be addressed in the new independent driving section of the test.
“Independent driving assessment will encourage a sense of responsibility, awareness and individual decision-making amongst learner drivers, in order to prepare them when driving on their own.”
Research has shown that many people who have passed their test still lack confidence to drive independently because they are used to step by step instructions.
The Chairman of the Driving Instructors stakeholder group, JJ Doherty said it was a very positive development.
“It gives the candidate the opportunity to experience what it is like to drive unaccompanied by presenting a realistic future driving requirement as an integral part of their test.”


June 22, 2011

A 59 year old doctor from Prestwich has received a 12 month driving ban and a £650 fine when caught driving almost four times the legal limit.

He was stopped by a passerby who snapped the key in the ignition, after he hit three parked cars.

Mr Clegg was dressed in his nightgown and slippers at the time and claimed to be in a state of auto-autonomy and not conscious of his actions, therefore could not be held accountable for his actions. He pleaded with the court to suspend his driving ban however, considering his blood alcohol reading, he should have received a three year ban and 12 months was a light sentence.

This is not the first time he has been caught driving under the influence of alcohol, eight months earlier he crashed his car into a tree on his driveway. His wife is now said to hide the keys from him.

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


June 21, 2011
Young Drivers ‘Forced’ Off The Road

A survey of young drivers has revealed that 93 per cent feel they are being priced off the road, with many complaining of unrealistic insurance premiums once they go on to pass their test. The survey of more than 3500 learner drivers also showed that only 15 per cent of people that had passed their test had bought and insured their own car.

The poll was carried out by learner driver insurance firm Provisional Marmalade with learners who have been sent a new style of logbook designed to help co-ordinate the interaction between private practice with family and professional tuition with driving instructors.

In fact one learner driver is so concered about rising costs that he has petitioned his local MP. Seventeen year-old Joshua Deacon was quoted between £3000 and £9000 a year for his ten year-old 1.0-litre Vauxhall Corsa.

The teenager took his case to Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell, who endorsed his online petition and tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons. Mr McDonnell called on the Secretary of State for Transport to negotiate reforms with the insurance industry. He also suggests using excess costs as opposed to up-front premiums to mediate the cost for responsible young drivers. So far, more than 20 MPs have backed the motion.

“This is a very concerning trend as it will have a damaging effect on the economic mobility of this age group,” said Nigel Lacy of Provisional Marmalade. “Young people cannot afford to leave the parental home, tuition fees are scaring many away from further education and now we have restricted mobility through exceptionally high motoring costs,” he added.

The survey also highlighted a worrying trend with 84 per cent of respondents ignoring the advice of the Driving Standards Agency and spending twice the amount of time a week practising with family rather than a driving instructor. On the plus side 95 per cent gave a thumbs up to the way that they are being taught, while just 3 per cent thought they were being given just enough tuition to pass a test ­.

The Young Driver logbook which is modelled on the Australian version) was well received and more than 90 per cent of people who used them found them useful. Logbooks are not compulsory in the UK but following what is one of the biggest surveys aimed at new drivers, Provisional Marmalade hopes to collect further information about the learning process.


June 20, 2011

How in touch are we as drivers with the Highway Code and do we pay attention to signs and road markings.

A lifeboat volunteer in the popular tourist area Holy Island – Northumberland has had to attend a rescue operation when tourists have driven on a tidal causeway outside safe crossing times and become submerged under water.

The RNLI crew has carried out eight rescues this year alone when tourists have ignored the signs and got into trouble.

The causeway here is under water twice every 24 hours, locals are of course aware of this but those visiting the area are ignoring warning signs, with one visitor ignoring verbal warnings from local residents.

Not only are you putting your life in danger, if you do get caught the sea water entering the engine will more than likely write the car off.

Traffic signs and symbols are there for a reason and it is important we know what they mean and what they are trying to inform us off.

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


June 17, 2011

Statistics show that the number of vehicles stolen in 2010 has gone down more than 64,000 since 2006.

It appears that criminals have learnt that hotwiring a modern car, is not as easy as it used to be. With complex mechanical and electronic security systems, trying to break into a vehicle and actually move it is becoming near impossible.

The first step criminals must overcome is breaking the window, many cars have a dead-locking mechanism, meaning the door will not unlock even from the inside and criminals will have to squeeze through the window.

Most cars have car alarms and immobilisers as standard, with some newer cars having even more advanced technology such as remote key disabling, making starting the car without being noticed or simply starting the car at all a real struggle.
As technology advances even further, crime rates are thought to drop even more in the following years.

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