Monthly Archives: October 2017

October 31, 2017
‘Thousands’ Driving Without Crucial Diesel Filters

Thousands of drivers are breaking the law by using diesel cars without pollution filters, experts have told BBC 5 live Investigates.

The DVSA reports that just under 2000 cars have been caught since 2014 – but experts believe the number is much higher, claiming the current MOT test, which requires only a visual inspection, isn’t fit for purpose.

The DVSA plans to introduce new changes to improve the MOT test in 2018. All new diesel cars produced after 2009 have specially designed diesel particulate filters to help reduce pollution, but they can sometimes clog up and break down, costing a great deal to replace. It is illegal for people to drive a car with the filter taken out, however it isn’t illegal for garages to remove them.

5 live Investigates followed the progress of a car which had its filter removed through MOT tests at three different garages.

A spokesman for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said: “DVSA is making further changes to the MOT manual and to the diesel emissions limits for modern vehicles, in May 2018.
“These will make the test more robust and better able to detect where emissions control equipment has been tampered with.”

Safe driving from Britannia!


October 30, 2017
How to Deal With and Prevent Windscreen Damage

Restricted visibility through your windscreen is a common reason for your car to fail its MOT. This could be due to worn wipers, a dirty windscreen or no washer fluid – but cracks and chips caused by stones and road debris, extreme cold or structural weakness are a major cause.

A small crack of about 1cm in size might not seem like a big deal, however if in the driver’s line of vision it can easily obscure vision and distract you while driving. Furthermore, if you go over a road jump or pothole the small chip could dramatically increase to a much larger crack which becomes a bigger (and more expensive) problem to contend with.

Most cracks that are 4cm or smaller can be easily repaired. The area is cleaned and dried, then a clear resin is used to fill the gap. You might want to considering purchasing a DIY windscreen repair kit for under £20, however you need to be confident you can use the kit correctly as a botch job can result in making the damage worse. There are plenty windscreen repair services like Autoglass who can do the job for you while you wait.

To help keep your windscreen in best possible condition, make sure you always have working window washers and there is plenty of fluid in your washer tank. Also be sure that your wipers are in good condition and leave a clean surface.

Safe driving from Britannia!


October 27, 2017
Teenager Banned From Driving Before Getting Full Licence

A teenager has pleaded guilty to five motoring offences including a hit-and-run collision – with a vehicle he was not yet legally allowed to drive.

Appearing at Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, the 18-year-old man from Torquay was informed that the most serious of the five offences was driving without due care and attention, while the other offences included failing to stop and provide details after an accident, using a vehicle without third party insurance or a valid MOT, and driving without a licence.

Prosecutor Phil Sewell said a silver Ford Fiesta struck a wall and was driven away. The vehicle was later found unattended near the defendant’s address, leaking liquid and missing its front bumper.

Mr Sewell said: “It was a sharp corner and the car struck the wall. After the accident the driver stopped around a corner to examine the vehicle. His friend then parked the vehicle in Lower Warberry Road and they both ran off.”
Anthony Gillies, mitigating, said there was only ‘minor damage’ to the wall, with one brick being dislodged.

Unfortunately there are still far too many people out there who think it’s OK to drive without a full licence or motor insurance – which is why it’s important to always keep your wits about you and stay safe when behind the wheel.

Safe driving from Britannia!


October 26, 2017
Beware the Middle Lane Hogger!

For many drivers out there, middle-lane hogging is one of the most frustrating habits.

The Highway Code states that when driving along a three lane motorway you should always drive in the left-hand lane if the road ahead is clear. When you are overtaking slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you have safely passed.

Middle-lane hogging is when drivers choose to stay in the middle lane, even when there aren’t other vehicles in the inside lane to overtake. This terrible driving habit can cause congestion as traffic funnels through the outside lane to pass a middle lane hogger, particularly during busier periods.

Many motorists believe that staying in the middle lane is a selfish act, because if someone is correctly obeying The Highway Code and driving in the inside lane when they approach a middle-lane hogger, they need to move across two lanes to overtake, so as to avoid ‘undertaking’. It also means the person overtaking has to change four lanes in total, instead of two.

Bear all this in mind when taking the motorway; have firm lane discipline, try not to be the cause of delays and especially don’t contribute to road rage!

Safe driving from Britannia!


October 25, 2017
Dangers of Drivers In A Hurry

Throughout the daily articles on our website we regularly discuss the variety of dangers posed to a driver when behind the wheel – From poor weather conditions rendering roads unsafe to drive on, to the risks of losing concentration when you’re driving. However one major topic we don’t often discuss is the danger of other drivers being in a hurry.

Of course when you drive to work and back as part of your daily commute, timekeeping is vital – But consider the other drivers also rushing to get to work and back, who are more likely to take risks such as driving over a red light or speeding. Not only does this make them a risk to themselves, but also to anyone else in the close vicinity – Which could mean you!

Always keep an eye out during rush hour for drivers in a hurry!

Safe driving from Britannia!


October 24, 2017
Driving instructor banned after being caught drug-driving

A driving instructor has been banned from driving for 18 months after being found driving under the influence of drugs.

The 31 year old woman of Kingswood Chase, Leigh, was driving a black Ford Fiesta with a driving school board on its roof, at the junction of the A127 and A130 from Rayleigh to Southend when she was stopped by police at around 2.55pm on Thursday, 27th April. The police proceeded to perform a roadside drugs test which indicated she may be over the prescribed limit for drugs.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of drug driving and taken to Southend police station where blood tests revealed she had had cannabis and cocaine in her system. At Southend Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, October 19 the woman was banned from driving for 18 months, fined £100 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Sergeant Martin Allen, from the Casualty Reduction Unit, said: “Drug driving is completely unacceptable. It slows your reactions and could lead you to have a crash where you or someone else is seriously hurt or even killed. I find it hard to believe anyone would want to take that kind of risk with their safety. I find it particularly galling in this case as this woman was meant to be responsible for learner and inexperienced drivers and should have known better.”

Safe driving from Britannia!


October 23, 2017
New Charge to Hit London Drivers

According to The Metro, drivers of the most environmentally unfriendly vehicles will face a new T-charge of £10 plus the Congestion Charge (C-Charge) of £11.50 to enter central London.

The charge is applicable to Pre-Euro 4 vehicles in the zone every weekday between 7am-6pm. Pre-Euro 4 vehicles are typically those registered before 2006 that are around more than 12 years old, but Transport for London suggests that anyone who has a vehicle registered before 2008 checks if it is eligible for the charge.

The Mayor of London has launched the T-Charge to tackle London’s air pollution and prepare everyone for the early introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which he is proposing to introduce as early as April 2019.

Safe driving from Britannia!


October 20, 2017
Reversing Around a Corner – Key Things to Remember

The act of reversing around a corner is when the driver is required to pass a minor road at a junction, stop and then reverse into it – a manoeuvre that may be requested by the examiner during your practical driving test. For this reason, it is important that you perfect this manoeuvre (as well as all other manoeuvres) before taking your test.

Once you’re a qualified driver, you may need to reverse around a corner in order to turn your car around. The reason the examiner might ask you to perform this manoeuvre during your test is so that they can check that you do so with complete accuracy, without catching the kerb or straying too far into the middle of the road.

They will also be checking your ability to keep the car at a slow and controllable speed by using the clutch correctly.

Finally, the examiner will be assessing your observational skills to ensure you’re fully aware of what’s going on around you at all times.

Safe driving from Britannia!


October 19, 2017
Taxi Driver Watches News on his Phone While Driving

According to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, a taxi driver was caught watching the news on his mobile phone while driving. The phone was in a holder attached to the windscreen, playing a video, according to the passenger who reported the driver. Apparently it was not the first time he’d done it while she was in his car.

The 30-year-old woman, who got a five-minute lift from home to her daughter’s school, said: “I asked him, ‘Should you be watching that?’

“He just mumbled something I couldn’t hear and laughed it off as if it was okay and not a big deal. I just hope Royal Taxis do something about it this time before he causes an accident and someone is seriously hurt.”

It is important not to let modern technology become a distraction while driving, however tempting it may be. Things like phone calls, YouTube videos, news reports, texts and emails should wait until you arrive at your destination, but if they can’t, find a safe place to pull over. Remember, distracted driving is dangerous driving.

Safe driving from Britannia!


October 18, 2017
Driving in the City…

Driving in the busy city presents a great many challenges, no matter how experienced a driver you are. Traffic tends to be heavier and slower moving, you may find yourself in what seems like a maze of one-way streets, your view is often impeded and crossing pedestrians can seemingly appear from out of nowhere.

Despite that there are plenty of signs in the city centre it is still easy to get lost, so be sure to have a good idea where you’re going and allow extra time for any wrong turns. If you miss your exit on a roundabout it’s sensible to go around again rather than cut someone up.

Always keep a clear gap between you and the vehicle in front wherever possible. Prepare for anything, such as brakes being slammed on unexpectedly.

And it’s not just other motorists you need to worry about when driving in the city; you also have to watch out for pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooters. vulnerable users on pedal cycles and mobility scooters. Be patient and try not to lose your temper, as this is easily done when travelling in busy urban areas.

Pulling out at busy junctions with restricted vision also requires patience. In this case it’s a good idea to use the “creep and peep” method, moving forward very slowly, and gazing out as far as you can for incoming vehicles.

Safe driving from Britannia!