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GM, Exeter

Road Safety In the News



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 - 31st October, 1st & 2nd November 2017

South Devon College, Torquay, Devon FOR SOUTH DEVON COLLEGE STUDENTS ONLY   Presentations will take place on

31st October, 1st & 2nd November.


Learn2Live Exeter College - 9th & 10th November 2017

Exeter College, Devon FOR EXETER COLLEGE STUDENTS ONLY Presentation Timings: 10:45 - 12:15 and 13:15 - 14:45


Learn2Live Plymouth - 23rd November 2017

Learn2Live at Plymouth Pavilions, Plymouth. Presentation Timings: 09:45 - 11:30 and 12:45 - 14:30  



Learn2Live Torquay - 28th November 2017

Riviera Centre, Torquay, Devon - Presentation Timings: 09:45 - 11:30 and 12:45 - 14:30

For more infomation visit Learn2Live website.

Reported Road Casualties in Great Britian 2016



The number of people killed on the roads increased in 2016 by 62 to 1,792 recording a rise of 4% on 2015 and the highest annual road death total since 2011. However the DfT describes the increase as "statistically insignificant"




Those people killed numbered 1,792 ...with those seriously injured numbering 24,101

Total Casualties 181,384

Children killed 69

Car Occupants 816

Pedestrians 488

Cyclists 102

Motorcyclists 319


People over sixty 533

(Excerpt from: www.grahamfeest.com)  






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)






Paying for Parking



People still like paying parking charges by cash. Seven out of 10 drivers are more likely to drive by than park somewhere they can only pay by phone, according to the AA. Their Populus poll of more than 16,500 members found that paying for parking by cash remains the preferred option although nearly two thirds (64%) of drivers said it is often a challenge to find the right change. Seven out of ten (70%) drivers said they are sceptical about using pay by phone systems as they often carry administration fees.

(Excerpt from: www.grahamfeest.com)














 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)  





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%).

















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  


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."
























    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)






    DVLA Statistics 


    DVLA statistics for the past 12 months have revealed that young drivers are amongst the least likely to be convicted of a speeding office in the UK.


    Only 7.69% of all speeding offences were committed by 17-24 year old drivers accounting for 2.14% of all drivers in that age group.  Whereas drivers aged between 25-34 were found to be the most likely to speed on the motorway.  Drivers aged between 45-54 clocked up the highest number of speeding offences.



    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)






























    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)






























    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.



    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)



    Prescription Medicines


    From March 2015 it will be illegal in England and Wales to drive with certain illegal drugs in the blood, even if you are not unfit to drive.


    It will also be illegal to drive with certain levels of certain legal drugs if you are unfit to drive.


    The advice is to talk to your doctor about whether you should drive if you have been prescribed any of the following drugs: 


    - clonazepam

    - diazapam

    - flunitrazepam

    - lorazepam

    - methadone

    - morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs

    - oxazepam

    - temazepam


    You can drive after taking these drugs if:


    - you have been prescribed them and advised how to take them by a healthcare professional

    - they are not causing you to be unfit to drive


    You could be prosecuted if you drive with certain levels of these drugs in your body and you have not been prescribed them.


    Penalties for Drug Driving


    If you are convicted of drug driving you will get:


    - a minimum 1 year driving ban

    - a fine of up to £5,000

    - up to a year in prison

    - a criminal record


    Your driving licence will show that you have been convicted of Drug Driving for 11 years.  14 years if death is caused by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs.


    Other probelms you could face


    - Your car insurance costs will increase significantly

     - If you drive for work, your employer will see your conviction on your licence

     - You may have trouble travelling to countries like the USA

                                                                (Excerpt from AIRSO publication 2015) 



    "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.