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Road Safety In the News

 

MOT Rule Changes : 20th May 2018

 

From Sunday 20th May 2018, the MOT will be changing.

This includes 3 new defect catagories - Dangerous, Major and Minor. A dangerous or major fault will result in an MOT fail.

There will also be tighter limits on smoke for diesel vehicles to help improve air quality. 

Vehicles more than 40 years old without substantial improvements will be exempt from having an MOT. 

To find out more about the changes go to https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mot-changes-20-may-2018

 

Changes to the Theory Test


The Driver Vehicle Standards Agency have made an annoucement regarding changes to the Theory Test for British driving licences.

"From 1 May 2018, we'll be changing the way 78 theory test questions are worded, to make them more accessible to everyone.

We've worked with the British Dyslexia Association and the British Deaf Association to develop the changes. We trialled the changes with over 7,000 candidates, who found the revised questions easier to understand.

Main changes to the questions

We've rephrased all of the continuation questions in the test. This type of question asks the candidate to choose an answer from a list, to complete a sentence. We're changing the wording so that the candidate has to pick a statement to answer the question instead.

We've also removed long and complicated words, with shorter simpler words. This includes replacing words like 'increased' and 'decreased' with 'bigger' and 'smaller'.

You can find more information on helping candidates with learning difficulties take their theory test on GOV.UK or Safe Driving for Life. "

 

 

On This Day . . .

 

March 26th 1934 . . . The UK driving test was introduced!

 

 

Dangerous Tyres


It is estimated that almost 40% of cars in the UK are running on one or more tyres that are "dangerous" or "very dangerous".

Michelin and Kwik Fit carried out inspections on more than 500 vehicles in Tesco car parks around the UK to collect these figures.

Michelin classifies tyres that are between 7psi and 14psi below the manufacturer's recommendation as "dangerously underinflated", and 14psi or more underinflation is deemed to be "very dangerous".

Their technicians found over 27% of cars had one or more dangerous tyres, and over 12% with at least one very dangerous tyre.

According to Michelin in the UK, driving around on underinflated types costs money and can cost lives.

(Information from AIRSO New Press, Jan 2018)

 

To check your tyre pressure visit the Kwik Fit guide at:

https://www.kwik-fit.com/tyres/information/tyre-pressure-search

 

Older Drivers

 

GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging family members to be wise to the early signs of unsafe driving in their senior relatives. The call follows the tragic case of Gertrude Lister, the 95-year-old driver who put her foot on the accelerator instead of the brake following a visit to her husband's grave last February. She crashed into a hedge and killed a cemetery worker. Mrs Lister was sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, and banned her from driving for the rest of her life.

 

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth comments:

We want as many people as possible to enjoy the freedom of the open road for as long as possible, but only while they are safe. Warning signs relating to failing health or reduced ability can develop slowly and gradually in older drivers. This often means they won't be aware of their changing actions or the growing risks they may pose to themselves and to others on journeys. The only requirement in law for any driver aged over 70 is to declare every three years that they are fit to drive. In the absence of re-testing and mandatory eyesight checks, it's vital that family members and friends are willing to keep an eye on their senior relatives and take appropriate action if anything causes them concern.

There are more than 100,000 drivers aged over 90 in the UK, and more than 500 centenarians still hold licences.

 

(Excerpt from: www.grahamfeest.com)

 

 

The Blue Badge Scheme

 

The Department of Transport has launched a consultation into the clarity of the Blue Badge System

The Blue Badge scheme plays a vital role in allowing 2.4 million disabled people in England to maintain their independence through special national parking concessions. Blue Badges enable their holders to visit their families and friends and to access healthcare and leisure activities. The badges are no less important in helping to prevent social exclusion and isolation, and they contribute to the ability of their holders to secure and maintain long term employment. Without the scheme, 75% of badge holders have said that they would go out less often.

The Government believes that the Blue Badge scheme should not discriminate in principle between physical and non-physical disabilities. The current rules embrace all conditions, physical or otherwise, but it would appear that the regulations and guidance are not clearly understood by local authorities. People with hidden disabilities may be finding it difficult to access badges, even though their condition causes them very significant difficulties when undertaking a journey.

The Department of Transport has accordingly committed to look again at how the scheme works for people with hidden disabilities, to ensure that the rules and guidance are clear and that those with the greatest needs have access to a Blue Badge.

This consultation document discusses the key issues involved, and presents ideas for improving the rules. The challenge will be to ensure a scheme that is both sustainable and works for all who are eligible for it, whatever their disability.

A copy of the report can be found at

https://www.grahamfeest.com/home/resources/documents/latest-uploads/

(Excerpt from: www.grahamfeest.com)

 

 

Petrol Station Charge Points

 

ChargePoint Services is continuing its work on installing a UK-wide rapid charging network at petrol station forecourts, with an initial target of 60 expected by the end of Q1 2018. The overall aim is to have in excess of 200 50kW rapid chargers at forecourts by the end of this year. 14 triple-connector charge points are already installed, with a further 20 in January and 25 in February, and all locations are a part of ChargePoint Services,GeniePoint Network, ensuring 24-hour monitoring for minimal downtime. At the same time more Local Authorities are looking to install road side charging points as the aim to have more vehicles using electricity by 2030 than traditional fuel.

(Excerpt from: www.grahamfeest.com)

 

 

Driving Test changes

 

New 'Show Me, Tell Me' videos

 

With less than 3 months to go until the driving test changes, DVSA have published new videos about the updated 'show me, tell me' driving test questions.

During the exam 2 safety questions will be asked - known as the 'show me, tell me' questions.

Currently, both questions are asked at the start of the test, but from 4th December 2017, the examined will have to carry out the 'show me' question while they are driving.

You can:

- watch the 'tell me' questions video

- watch the 'show me' questions video

- view the full list of questions

 all on GOV.UK   GOV.UK Learning to drive

 

Updated Book

There is also the updated 'official DVSA guide to learning to drive' book to include all the new elements of the driving test. This version is available from Monday 18th Sept 2017 from https://www.safedrivingforlife.info/

 

 

Learn2Live Presentations

Learn 2 Live

 

 

Learn2Live South Devon College

More dates coming soon

 

Learn2Live Exeter College

More dates coming soon

 

Learn2Live Plymouth

More datescoming soon

 

Learn2Live Torquay

More dates coming soon

 
For more infomation visit Learn2Live website.




 

 

Life Sentances for Killers

 

The Government has confirmed that drivers who cause death by speeding, racing, or using a mobile phone could face sentences equivalent to manslaughter, with maximum penalties raised from 14 years to life and those who cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs will also face life sentences. In addition a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will be created.

The proposals now comprise:

  •  Increasing the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous

         driving from 14 years to life.

  • Increasing the maximum penalty for causing death by careless

         driving while under the influence of drink or drugs from 14 years to life.

  • Creating a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving.

 

(Excerpt from: www.grahamfeest.com)

 

 

Horseshoe Bus Seating Designed To Get Us Talking

 

A bus operator has installed U-shaped seating on some of its fleet to encourage passengers to talk to each other instead of staring into their smartphones. Go South Coast has added the innovative seating at the rear of 13 single-decker buses operating in the Wiltshire and Dorset areas. If successful, the seating which can accommodate eight people, could be rolled out across the regions, and could also discourage passengers from blocking vacant seats with luggage.

(Excerpt from: www.grahamfeest.com

 

Overgrown Foliage

 

Two out of five drivers say overgrown foliage is hiding speed limit and other warning signs and the same number feel that overgrown verges are blurring sight lines at junctions on local roads.

The findings come in a poll of more than 16,000 drivers carried out for the AA, which said obscured road signs have become more problematic in the last year. The poll found that 42% of drivers thought sight lines at junctions were now a problem because of overgrown shrubs and long grass while 39% said obscured direction signs due to overhanging branches were a problem.

 

(Excerpt from: www.grahamfeest.com)

  

LEARNER DRIVERS WILL BE ALLOWED

ON MOTORWAYS FROM 2018


Following a period of consultation the Department of transport has announced that Learner drivers will be allowed to take motorway driving lessons with an approved driving instructor in a car with dual controls from 2018. The exact date in 2018 will be confirmed nearer the time. The change will apply to England, Scotland and Wales.

Learner drivers will need to be:

Accompanied by a fully qualified Approved Driving Instructor (ADI)

Driving a car fitted with dual controls

(Trainee driving instructors will NOT be allowed to take learner drivers on the motorway)

Any motorways lessons will be voluntary and it will be up to the approved driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough to have a motorway lesson. This change will only apply to learner drivers of cars.

(Learner motorcyclists will NOT be allowed to have motorway lessons 

The change will be well-publicised so driving instructors and learner drivers are prepared for the change, and other road users know what to expect. The Highway Code rules on motorways will also be updated.

Driving instructors will be allowed to decide whether or not to keep their driving school roof-top box on during motorway lessons, based on the manufacturer�s instructions. However, the car will still need to display L plates on the front and rear if the rooftop box is removed. It is not intended to provide driving instructors extra training on providing motorway lessons, but learning materials and the car driving syllabus will be updated to incorporate motorway lessons. DVSA will also work with driving instructor associations and Highways England to provide extra guidance and advice for driving instructors.

Until the law is changed, it's still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.

 

(Excerpt from: www.grahamfeest.com)

 

Dangerous Cycling

 

Theresa May has indicated that the Government will consider introducing new legislation to address dangerous behaviour by cyclists. The Prime Minister made the commitment at Prime Minister's Questions when asked about the recent trial of the cyclist who knocked over and killed a female pedestrian.

On that occasion the cyclists whose fixed gear bike had no front brakes - was cleared of manslaughter but convicted under the 19th century offence of wanton or furious driving.

The Labour MP for Lewisham East, said the law was "hopelessly out dated and wholly inadequate". To which Mrs may replied saying it is important to ensure legislation is kept up to date, and added: "I am sure this is an issue that the secretary of state for transport will look at."

(Excerpt from: www.grahamfeest.com)

 

Multi Tasking at the Wheel

 

A poll by IAM RoadSmart of more than 2,300 visitors to their website has revealed some of the worst motoring distractions drivers have spotted on the road. It would seem that UK drivers appear to treat the driving seat as an extension of the bathroom mirror with a wide range of personal grooming activities going on behind the wheel.

The three most frequently observed activities are smoking, eating and drinking - all of which have been observed by more than 95% of those surveyed. But more surprisingly 'telling off children' and 'styling hair' were also high in the list with this being witnessed by 82% and 55% of responders respectively. Some 63% of those surveyed had seen a driver look at a laptop or tablet screen. In addition were those trying to control a pet (seen by 46%) reading a book at the wheel (seen by 3%) and shaving (seen by 24%).

Most worryingly many of these distracting behaviours are being witnessed time and time again on nearly every journey. Of those surveyed a quarter saw someone drinking at the wheel every day and a fifth saw someone eating. One in seven said they had seen people looking at their laptops or tablets every day, and one in ten daily saw parents telling off children whilst driving.

(Excerpt from: www.grahamfeest.com)½

 

New Mobile Phone Penalties

 

The "MyCarNeedsA.com" survey of more than 1,000 motorists, carried out in April 2017, found that just 37% of motorists said that the tougher penalties will stop them using their phones while driving. The survey suggests that despite the introduction of tougher mobile phone penalties, as many as two thirds of motorists still appear to be using their device at the wheel with 66% of respondents admitted to texting when stationary in traffic along with 37% confessed to checking social media and 18% to making calls. While the vehicle is on the move, 20% of respondents admitted to making calls, 6% to checking social media and 2% to texting. When asked if the Government was doing enough to curb mobile phone usage, 41% of respondents said that the new measures were not tough enough.

 

The Motorist's View:

 

Pet hates

When asked which behaviours of other drivers they found the most irritating the top pet hate was tail-gaiting with around a quarter (26%) claiming this is their biggest irritation when driving. This is closely followed by other drivers using a mobile phone (25%) and middle lane hogging (23%).

 

POINTS ON YOUR LICENCE AND INSURANCE

 

Recent research conducted by RAC Insurance has found the nearly a quarter (23%) of motorists did not inform their insurer the last time they received penalty points on their licence,.

As many as 2.8m drivers have points on their licences which means around 654,158 drivers may be putting themselves at risk of their insurance policy being declared invalid should their insurer discover the information they have on record is not true.

The problem could, however, be far greater as 18% of those surveyed said they would not inform their insurer if they were to receive penalty points this equates to nearly 7m of Britain's 38.5m full driving licence holders.

The RAC Insurance research also found that one in 10 (10%) of those surveyed claimed to know of someone who had incurred penalty points themselves and then got their partner to take them instead an offence which was highlighted in the national media in 2013 when former Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne was jailed for perverting the course of justice as a result of getting his ex-wife Vicky Pryce to take his penalty points which would have caused him to be banned from driving.

Although motorists can be given penalty points for a variety of offences, speeding tends to be the one which leads to the most points being added to UK driving licences. This is no doubt due to the use of speed cameras, particularly as Government statistics for 2015 show that since 2010 there has been a 27% drop in the number of full-time roads policing officers in England and Wales from 5,338 to 3,901 or 1,437 fewer officers.

 

Research carried out online among 2,076 members of the RAC Opinion Panel

 

Driving Test Changes From December 2017

 

The driving test in England, Scotland and Wales will change from Monday 4th December 2017.

The Changes are designed to make sure new drivers have the skills they'll need to help them through a lifetime of safe driving.

The 4 main changes to the test are:

- The independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes

- Most candidates will be asked to follow directions from sat nav

- The reversing manoeuvres will be changed

- Answering a vehicle safety question while you are driving

DVSA test updates April 2017

 

Horse and Road Incidents

 

Over the last five years, there have been 2000 reported road incidents in the UK involving horses. Most - over 1500 - involved vehicles passing the horse too closely; over 180 resulted in the death of a horse, and 36 caused the death of the rider.

                                   Excerpt from Traffic Safety Roads Graham Feest Consultancy

 

Western Morning News Article


 

 

Plymouth Herald

 

 

Our blue light services deal with trauma every day, so who is there for them?

 

By WMNHFinch Posted: December 23, 2016

M5PileUp

The M5 tragedy cost seven lives and affected countless others Our blue light services deal with trauma everyday, so who is there for them?X

Every day our emergency services are called to help in some of the most traumatic events we will ever face. But who is there for them? Hannah Finch talks to trauma specialist Rosemary Pell about her work helping people rebuild their lives in the most tragic of circumstances.


The 2011 M5 pile-up involving 34
vehicles remains one of the UK's worst road traffic disasters. Seven people were killed that day, 51 others injured and countless lives destroyed by the loss. It was devastating for survivors and witnesses and never became 'just another day' for the emergency services who were tasked to help in the moment of crisis.

Rosemay Pell, a counsellor in Exeter and founder of Road User Support Service, was called upon in the days that followed to debrief the paramedics and ambulance staff that were called to the devastating scene. She was there to tell them that the flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of anger or disbelief that they were or could be experiencing were entirely normal.

She explained: "For the paramedics, as with everyone, their experiences are individual. There were some who attended that day who have been in the job a long time and they felt able to deal with what they had seen but there were others who had not been with the service for so long.

"They were confronted with a terrible scene, of injured people, dead bodies and a mass of vehicles.

"My work has been to help them come to terms with what they have had to deal with and to make sure they are safe in their work. Even the smell of burning or the sight of a collision can trigger the memory."

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/images/localworld/ugc-images/276351/binaries/Pell2.jpg

Copy link to paste in your messageRosemary Pell has helped thousands deal with the aftermath of road trauma

Rosemary has gone on to work with members of Devon and Somerset Fire Rescue Service and Devon & Cornwall Police. She said that a challenge for those in the emergency services is finding an outlet to talk about the situations they are confronted with at the end of a 999 call. But for reasons of confidentiality or choice, it is not so easy to respond honestly when they get home and asked, 'So, how was your day?'

Rosemary said: "Inside that uniform is a human being with a range of emotions. These are people who have empathy and have chosen to help people in their profession, and they are presented with many distressing incidents on a daily basis."

Read more at http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/who-s-there-for-the-emergency-services-at-christmas/story-29989065-detail/story.html#g95g4GqpR33HepbW.99

 

Annoying Behaviours

 

Failing to indicate in time annoys British motorists more than anything else according poll of motorists by RAC Insurance. Nearly six in 10 of the 2,100 drivers surveyed said not signalling clearly or not bothering at all was the most inconsiderate behaviour on the road ahead of hogging the middle lane of the motorway and tail-gating. Every driver polled by RAC Insurance thought it was important to show consideration for other road users but nearly 46% didn't know that being considerate is in the Highway Code.

The Highway Code states: Be considerate. Be careful of and considerate towards all types of road users, especially those requiring extra care, nearly two-thirds 64% said most drivers need to re-read it.

In response to the question;

Which do you think are the most inconsiderate driving behaviours?

1 Not indicating clearly 58%

2 Hogging the middle lane on a motorway 56%

3 Not leaving plenty of distance behind the car in front 51%

4 Getting angry with other motorists 46%

5 Selfish parking not parking between lines 45%

6 Not saying thank you to other drivers for letting them out of a

    junction / giving way to them 43%

7 Not slowing down when passing horses 34%

8 Not adhering to speed limits 30%

9 Not giving cyclists plenty of space 29%

10 Using the horn in anger 27%

(Excerpt from Traffic Safety Roads Graham Feest Consultancy)

 

Call for the return of the Tax Disc?

 

1st October marked the second anniversary of the loss of the tax disc. The move was meant to save the DVLA 10 million a year but instead revenue from vehicle excise duty is reported to have fallen by some 93 million.

In a research study conducted by uSwitch, three quarters of the six thousand respondents called for the tax disc to be brought back!

The DVLA has confirmed that almost 99 per cent of all vehicles on the road are correctly taxed that's around 6 billion in vehicle tax passed to the Treasury every year. They write to every registered vehicle keeper in the UK to remind them when their tax is due and rely therefore on drivers telling them when they move house. The new system also means that you can pay in monthly instalments instead of one sum.

However some are asking if the loss of the tax disc is encouraging more motorists to evade the tax?

Kasey Cassells, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, said:

"A gap has clearly been left by the paper disc, but the move towards modernisation doesn't go far enough. Despite receiving reminders by post, motorists with the best intentions are getting caught out by forgetting their renewal date. The DVLA should consider more relevant notifications, like text alerts which have proved successful for the NHS."


(Excerpt from Traffic Safety Roads Graham Feest Consultancy)

 

EATING AT THE WHEEL

A new survey by Brake and Direct Line has found a third of drivers questioned sometimes eat food whilst driving. Just over a quarter of people (27%) have unwrapped and eaten the food and a third (33%) admit to eating food someone else has unwrapped for them. Drivers between 25-34 are the worst offenders. 55% in this age range admitting they have unwrapped and eaten whilst driving with just under a third admitting doing so at least once a week.

 

Research shows that drivers who eat and drink at the wheel are twice as likely to crash and this risk may be even higher if the food is hot, messy or you have to unwrap yourself. Whilst not against the law to eat while driving you do run the risk of prosecution for driving without due care and attention or careless driving the maximum penalty of which is disqualification.

The survey is available by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

                                             (Excerpt from Traffic Safety Roads Graham Feest Consultancy)

 

FILMING BAD DRIVER BEHAVIOUR

 

Police have stopped almost 2,700 drivers for unsafe driving over the past 16 months with the help of a HGV cab that allows officers to film from an elevated position. The cab has been loaned by Highways England to police forces across England, with footage recently released by Cheshire Police, showing a driver on the M6 using two phones at the same time, with one phone to his ear in his left hand while he texted on another phone in his right hand.

The elevated position of the cab allows police officers to film unsafe driving behaviour. Drivers are then pulled over by police cars following behind

Since the safety scheme began in April 2015, 3,494 offences have been spotted. Nearly half related to the unsafe use of mobile phones, and over a fifth involved drivers not wearing seatbelts.

A total of 25 police forces took part in the HGV safety cab initiative during its first 16 months. Officers gave verbal advice to 247 drivers, issued 693 fixed or graduated penalty notices, and filed 2,186 traffic offence reports usually requiring drivers to attend a driver education course. There were also 34 prosecutions for more serious offences.

Reasons for stopping drivers included:

Using mobile phones 1,663

Not wearing seatbelts 749

Not in proper control of vehicles 173

Speeding 160

Driving under influence of drink or drugs - 7

(Excerpt from Traffic Safety Roads Graham Feest Consultancy)

 

Grieving Husband calls for Compulsory Cycle Helmets

 

A 41 year old mother-of-two died following a bicycle crash moments after she took a smiling selfie.

Carmen Greenway, a graphic designer, was cycling home after having dinner at a pub to celebrate her mother's birthday when she hit a bump and lost control.

She was not wearing a helmet and fractured her skull and died six days later.

Her husband, Rufus Greenway, 47, said his wife who'd had a celebratory drink was not taking selfies at the time of the crash but called for wearing helmets to be made compulsory.

fï

Sleep Apnoea

 

Fatigue resulting in people driving whilst tired and falling asleep at the wheel is in its own way nothing new but is certainly something which receives greater attention the used to be the case. Whilst a great deal of fatigue is self-induced, brought about be sheer exhaustion or burning the candle at both ends so to speak, the prevalence of a condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is being more regularly diagnosed. However there is a great need for people to understand about this condition and know that is can be treated and controlled.

Eight out of ten businesses that run vehicle fleets say they would benefit from greater awareness of obstruction sleep apnoea sydndrome (ASOS), a condition that affects about 10% of the driving population.

Studies show that a driver with ASOS could be up to nine times more likely to crash.

(Excerpt from Traffic Safety Roads Graham Feest Consultancy)


"The Honest Truth"

This project (The Honest Truth) provides a resource pack for driving instructors, including a video, teaching cars, letter templates and leaflets helping instructors to deliver safer driving messages to their students and students' parents.

Approximately every 18 hours a young person is killed on UK roads, while every 90 minutes a young person suffers a serious injury.

Over 300 driving instructors across Devon and Cornwall are already associates of The Honest Truth. It's free for instructors to join and the first of it's kind in the country.

visit thehonesttruth.co.uk

email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

call 01626 215894

 

Online Driving Instructor Directory

A free online directory, launched by the Driving Standards Agency, is to make it easier for learner drivers to find qualified instructors in their area. Fully-qualified driving instructors can sign up to be listed on the 'Find your nearest driving instructors' directory.

 

Learners can search by postcode and will be able to see if instructors have signed up to the voluntary code of practice and are committed to continuing their personal development.