Monthly Archives: August 2012

August 31, 2012

A consultation with regards to introducing a charge for all HGV vehicles driven on the UK road network is still ongoing.

The proposals are aimed at a fairer arrangement for UK hauliers. UK registered HGV’s already pay tolls and charges on our roads, whereas most foreign operators currently get fuel outside the UK so pay nothing at all towards our road costs.

The charge could be as much as £1000 per year per vehicle however, it is thought that 94% of the current UK vehicle fleet would be no worse off as the government are looking at ways of reducing other costs to UK hauliers. Reductions in taxes, duties of charges are all possibilities however, it is thought that a reduction in VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) will be the answer.

Non payment of the charge would be a criminal offence and the DVLA will monitor vehicles.

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August 30, 2012
Young Drivers.

The news is full of stories regarding young drivers. Stories about how they need to take more care, and how they need to driver slower, or unfortunately, talking of awful stories regarding fatal accidents.

The news, whether it be from the TV, radio or newspapers, is great medium, we all rely on the news. Yet, I don’t really see how much has changed by the news reporting on these trends. I believe to make a real change we need to be part of the solution. I believe, and I don’t for one moment think that this is the only solution or that this has not been tried. But I believe, that a key difference can be made when parents are in the car with their children and discussing safer driving and demonstrate safe driving. We all learn by example. We have to remind our kids that they don’t need to follow what their friends do. We must remind them about the fun driving experiences that they can have, but also the nightmares that they can encounter should they want to feel “cool.”

These are of course only ideas. We know that our kids have a mind of their own, but we have to try something.


August 29, 2012

From January 2013 new rules for lorry and bus licence holders will come into place.

Licences issued from 19th January 2013 onwards will be valid for a period of 5 years.

For drivers under 45 years of age, every five years when you renew the licence you will be required to sign a declaration to confirm you meet the medical standards necessary.

For all drivers over the age of 45, you will still need to renew your licence every five years but will also be required to provide a medical examination report before the licence is renewed.

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August 28, 2012
Right Shoes

A driving instructor is by nature, very observant. They not only need to see how you are driving but they need to be aware of the situation around them; at any point they may have to hit the brakes or grab the steering wheel. A driving instructor needs to assess your abilities and know when you are ready to go to the next step; such as when to take you on 60mph roads, or when to teach about night time driving.

However, there is one thing over and above everything else that our instructors notice: people wearing the wrong shoes. It makes such a big difference when you wear the right shoes for driving. Before you have your lesson make sure you slip into some trainers or plimsolls you need something that it comfortable and gives you a good feel for the pedals. And please, avoid wearing high-heels.

There’s often a joke, well rather a cry that we always hear from our driving instructors. Which is, if they had a £1 for every time they asked their pupils to wear the right shoes, they would have a holiday home in the Bahamas.

So please, wear the right shoes.


August 27, 2012

Bharat Keshwala, aged 48 did what I am sure most computer game users only fantasies about, when he went on a high-speed police chase, hitting high speeds and jumping lights all whilst the police pursued him. The only problem was it was through the busy streets of Manchester and it was for real.

Keshwala was spotted driving at speeds of 90mph, jumping red lights and not being in control of his car in the early hours of the morning last December. Police pursued him and finally ended the chase near Liverpool.

He was later sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work and will be required to sit an extended driving test. When asked why he had behaved like this he claimed that he was in a dream like state and thought he was in a computer game.

Keshwala is a recovering alcoholic and was thought to be suffering from insomnia, having not slept properly for the past month.

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August 24, 2012

Ben Westwood, 33 knocked up speeds of 180mph though the streets of Wolverhampton after an attempted robbery.

Police failed to keep up with the vehicle, which was also stolen and later found it abandoned at a block of flats.

Recorder Nigel Baker QC told Westwood: “You have an appalling record for a man of 33…I have come to the conclusion that the time has come to increase the level of sentencing that you have previously had.”

Westwood, was one of five involved in the robbery and he was given the largest sentence of nine years.

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August 23, 2012
Learner Drivers

I wanted to dedicate an article to learner drivers. Learning to drive, is for many people, a difficult task. You are learning a new set of skills, you are trying to handle a car at different speeds, and all of these things can be taxing. You should remember though, we have all been there. When you are having a bad day and believe me, many of us have had them, the best thing to do is to keep going. Book another lessons. Go for it again. We only learn through practice.

The biggest issue that people face is building up their confidence. Your confidence can get easily knocked when someone is driving up very close behind you or shouts, “move out of the way.” But as you will come to learn when you do pass your test, these drivers stills exist. But, your confidence will develop over time. We know this because it happened for us. When you do come in contact with annoying drivers just let them carry on their way. You can’t ruin your day because of their bad attitude.

Remember, driving is a life-long lesson. We are always learning: learning how to drive in adverse weather, navigating our way from one end of the country to the other, and driving on the motorway. Every lesson you have and each time you drive, you have a chance to enhance your skills. So please, keep at it and don’t be put off by one bad lessons – or several. We’ve all been there, and we have made it through. You can too! Just keep trying.


August 22, 2012

With the football season warming up Arsenal defender Andre Santos was sitting on the bench for Arsenals opening game last Saturday.

Santos also found himself sitting on another bench at a North London police station after police arrested him for dangerous driving.

He drew attention to himself when he was caught speeding in excess of 130pmh on the M25.

Santos was not breathalysed, he has been bailed due to return to a police station in mid-September.

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August 21, 2012
Motorway Driving.

How do you feel about driving on the motorways? It’s amazing how many people, who have 20 years plus of driving experience, yet dread going on the motorway. For some people, the idea of joining fast moving traffic is scary. For others, the fact that you are driving between 60-70mph is a little overwhelming. Learning to drive on the motorway though is beneficial.

Once you have passed your test ask your instructor about motorway driving. You would have already been on duel-carriage ways so you should be comfortable with driving at a higher speed. Your instructor will teach you a lot about motorway driving such as: when to best join the motorway, how to overtake and when not to overtake. You will also see the difference when you overtake a lorry as compared to a normal vehicle. Other things you will learn will be when to effectively use the outside lanes, what to do in case of an emergency and how to deal with other road users who are joining the motorway. As with the rest of driving, learning to drive on the motorway is on going and you will learn something new each time you step into your car. Just remember to stay safe!

On the whole, driving on the motorway is a great experience. It can take you to so many places so it’s something that should be enjoyed and not feared.

Here are some of my top tips

1) When you first start learning to drive on the motorway, drive during quiet times
2) Ask your driving instructor or an experienced driver for lessons on the motorway
3) Never, ever, take risks on the motorway
4) Remember to take breaks, there are any number of service stations to use
5) Check your oil, brake and clutch fluid, tyre pressure and windscreen washer fluid. These things make a big difference.


August 20, 2012

A road in Leeds known to be used as a ‘drag strip’ by boy racers, has seen two children get knocked down in a hit and run.

Raham Saleem aged two and his sister Sabam aged ten were knocked down on Saturday afternoon and remain in a critical condition following surgery.

Witness Inzimaam Sulman aged just 12 said: “I was playing in my bedroom and I heard a car driving really fast up the road…I saw the children walking across the street and the car just smashed into them.”

Residents say that cars often hit speeds of 50mph down the street as it’s a long road, the speed humps seem to be no deterrent and nothing seems to be done about it.

Police are urging the driver to come forward and are currently studying CCTV footage.

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