Monthly Archives: April 2013

April 30, 2013
Driving Offences Becoming More Acceptable?

Recent evidence suggests that almost two-fifths of young people consider driving a vehicle whilst under the influence of illegal drugs to be a more serious offence than drink-driving.

And over 1 in 10 of the age group 18-24 now believe that driving under the influence of alcohol is actually becoming more acceptable, with many stating that it is not deemed as serious as it was five years ago.

This is drastically contrasted with almost two-thirds of 45-54 year-olds who consider a DUI conviction as being much more embarrassing than it was five years ago.

This recent survey, conducted by insurers company 1st Central, asked 2,000 drivers about their opinions on driving offences, in order to re-evaluate their insurance strategies based upon risk views related to social views of acceptability in terms of driving offences.

1st Central’s chief underwriting officer had this to say on the issue: “Public attitude to driving convictions influences behaviour and can even act as a deterrent if a conviction is seen as a significant social stigma. We are interested in public attitude as this can be translated into generic risk indicators and helps to inform our on-going thinking related to different underwriting principles.”

The survey has also revealed that a vast minority (6%) consider using a mobile phone whilst driving as socially unacceptable – despite significant advertising campaigns by the Government.

It was also shown that the most acceptable form of driving-related felony is a speeding conviction – and don’t let men blame women for poor driving anymore, as it was based upon the views of both genders that this result was achieved. It was also proven that 1 in 10 of those surveyed had a driving conviction, and almost DOUBLE of this amount were male compared to their female counterparts (13% Male / 7% Female), with 15% convicted of drink driving being male, as only 9% were female.

Those most likely to commit driving offences were in the age range 25-34, with 11% admitting to a conviction, and 17% admitting to drink driving, compared to only 7% of drivers older than this admitting to a conviction, with 80% of 45-54 year-olds being convicted for speeding.

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April 29, 2013

Nicholas Lovell, 38 from Oldland Common has admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of driving whilst disqualified after he collided with two cyclists.

Ross Simons, 34 and his wife Clare, 30 both died at the scene after their tandem bike was struck. The pair had been together several years, married for 18 months and friends say where just embarking on IVF treatment to complete their family.

Lovell, was banned from driving at the time of the accident and fled from the crash scene. Louise Cox, 35 who was in the car at the time of the accident has admitted perverting the course of justice after she gave police a false name and description when asked who the driver of the vehicle was.

Det Ch Insp Rachel Williams of Avon and Somerset Police said: “This collision was caused by Nicholas Lovell, a disqualified driver who got behind the wheel of the car and drove at speed, before losing control and striking the couple while they cycled….Nicholas Lovell then ran away from the scene in a bid to escape.”

She hopes that the guilty pleas from both Lovell and Cox reflect that they have taken some responsibility and she hopes the pleas will provide some comfort to their families.

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April 26, 2013

A woman who crashed her car ten years ago, just six months after passing her driving test is calling for changes to be made to the driving test after she was left paralysed.

Sophie Morgan is part of a documentary called ‘Licence to Kill’ which she feels really sums up the power given to people when they pass their test.

She tells her story, saying she was driving too fast and lost control of the car, flipping the car and incurring many injuries including breaking her spine.

Statistics show that 1 in 5 young people will have a crash within the first six months of passing their test and Sophie feels that the whole process of learning fails to include valuable experiences such as motorway lessons, night time driving, being in a car with friends and music playing etc.

Although Sophie welcomes some of the new proposals which will restrict learner drivers and newly qualified drivers, she also feels young people need to be educated.

Sophie said: “Interestingly the part of our brain that processes danger analysis isn’t properly developed until we are about 25….the test needs to take into account the young person’s sense of invulnerability, focusing on attitude and behaviour as well as operational ability.”

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April 25, 2013
Welsh Drivers More At Risk of Being Pulled Over

Welsh drivers are at more risk of being pulled over for driving offences than any other UK drivers, official figures have revealed.

It shows that North Wales and Dyfed-Powys police forces breathalyse a higher number of drivers than anywhere else in Britain, with one in every 29 people undergoing the test, and one in 26 in North Wales. Over the 2011-12 year, this equates to over double that of England – however in England, there is comparatively a much higher percentage of drivers failing the test, or refusing to take it at all.

However these figures are not to be interpreted lightly; last year, almost 10,000 people were injured in accidents related to drink-driving, with 280 killed, almost a 10% increase on the previous year.

The drivers most at risk of being handed a Fixed Penalty Notice are those in Gwent County, South-East Wales, with 46 per 1,000 population – although it should be noted that this is mainly a technicality, as the local police force is one of the few left in Wales that still leaves it’s police responsible for handing out parking tickets. Without this loophole, that particular accolade is bestowed upon Dyfed-Powys Police, with 33 per 1,000 population. Gwent drivers are although more likely to be caught using their mobiles whilst driving, with a 71% rise in Fixed Penalty Notices between 2007-2012.

The Dyfed-Powys Police force are also recognised as being amongst the strictest when it comes to disciplining drivers against not wearing seat belts or using mobile phones whilst driving. From 2007-08 the force saw a dramatic rise of 150% of drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel, and 2,160 of these were apprehended in the 2011-12 year, and the same year seat-belt offences also surged 60% with 2,783 penalty notices being dished out to careless drivers.

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April 24, 2013

A man in Fife impersonating a police officer pulled over a woman driver, driving alone late at night.

The unknown man was driving an unmarked car and targeted the woman just after midnight on April 13th.

Luckily the woman smelt a rat and asked to see identification which of course he could not produce.

Ch Insp Jill Harper, of Police Scotland said: “I would like to emphasise that is it most unusual for a police officer in an unmarked car to pull over motorists…on the very rare occasion when it is necessary to do so, all police officers carry a warrant card and will happily produce it on request.”

Motorists may not be aware but should you find yourself being flagged down by an unmarked car, whether it is the police or not, you are within your right to not get out of the car but indicate that you will follow the vehicle to the nearest police station or public place.

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April 23, 2013
“Vladimir Putin” Jailed for Fake Driving Licence

A Lithuanian man has been jailed for five years for his part in an illegal identity racket, in which a variety of false identities were used on forged passports, driving licences and identity cards.

One of the many identities erroneously used was none other than that of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Tugusi – who shares his forename with the controversial Soviet Premier – used an assortment of names and nationalities, including Estonian and Polish passports, and ID cards alleged to be from Poland, Cyprus and Lithuania, in the falsified documents he produced.

31 year-old Tugusi was only caught by police when an altercation broke out between him and a fellow co-conspirator at his Ipswich home late one July night last year. Upon arriving at the scene, officers were quick to notice an elaborate forger’s laboratory.

The ambitious identity thief was also reprimanded for a further 10 offences, including money laundering throughout the first half of last year, to the amount of over £34,000.

One of the customs officers involved in the case had even said that the profits of Tugusi’s work were the largest haul of counterfeit documentation he had ever witnessed. However Judge Goodin, of Ipswich Crown Court had said that “None of the forgeries were professional” and that they were “pretty good” at best, and deemed them insufficient to allow the user access past passport control- a point that the investigation picked up on as a number of Tugusi’s illegitimate customers were apprehended with counterfeit documents at customs.

What are your thoughts on this article? Voice your opinions in the comments section below!


April 22, 2013

A driver from Luton was caught out by police all due to his tattoo.

Jason Swift, was pulled over last year when he was caught speeding. He told police that his name was Adam, claiming to be his younger brother.

But Jason made a fatal error, forgetting to cover his tattoo, the tattoo that revealed his name.

After checks they revealed which brother they were dealing with and in court Jason Swift admitted a number of driving offences and perverting the course of justice.

He was given a six month driving ban and jailed for 10 months.

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April 19, 2013

With vehicles being recalled by manufacturers a little more than we would like, the DSA are reminding candidates that bring their own car on test to check it is allowed on test.

All recalled vehicles must have proof that they have been checked and fixed if necessary.

Examiners will require either the recall letter or safety notice which has been stamped by the manufacturer or written proof on headed paper by either the manufacturer or dealer to state the care is safe for use on test.

Examiners will be very strict and without this proof your test will be cancelled and you will lose your test fee.

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April 18, 2013
Three Centuries of Driving Bans Dished Out to Racing Drivers

Motorists driving in illegal street races have been slapped with a combined total of over 300 years worth of driving bans, in a new crackdown by West Midlands Police.

Over 250 people have been clocked in such races, with some even reaching speeds of up to 120 mph. Many have already started their bans, whilst others have received fines of up to £2,000 after a visit to court.

Some of the offenders included a 60 year-old man from Solihull, a 53 year-old man from Birmingham, and a 26 year old man from Lichfield, who was fined £2,000 and slapped with an 18 month driving ban after being clocked in his high-powered BMW at speeds of over 100mph.

The crackdown began after a succession of innocent drivers demanded the police act on the issue after being caught up in the illegal street races. close to the M6 Motorway.  West Midlands Police then set up a variety of cameras nearby the popular Star City Complex in Birmingham, in a covert operation to apprehend the felons.

In order to stem the flow of traffic and reduce the risk of accidents caused by careless drivers, temporary traffic calming barriers have been erected in the vehicle racing hotspots.

PC Paul Bieliauskas warned others that the operations will continue to catch others travelling at excess speeds, as they are “dicing with death” and putting innocent lives at risk.

Are car racers a problem in your local area? Sound off in the comments section below!


April 17, 2013

Girls aloud star Sarah Harding was caught by police on the 4th April talking on her phone whilst driving her Range Rover and has been issued a six month driving ban.

After receiving three points for this offence, she had racked up a total of 12 points for three previous speeding tickets.

Harding’s Defence lawyer Nick Freeman argued that she should not be forced to use public transport however, District Judge Nina Tempia said: “…he is asking the court to deal with you as opposed to a normal person. Well, you are a normal person. I can see no reason why you shouldn’t be disqualified.”

After the hearing Sarah admitted that her offence was not acceptable and said: “I made a mistake by using my phone whilst driving, but I was lucky. I accept the court’s penalty but it could have been a lot worse. I have learned my lesson.”

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