Thursday, 29 October 2009

Call For Tougher Drink-Drive Rules

Campaigners are to step up their bid for a lower alcohol limit for motorists after tighter drink-driving legislation was announced in Ireland.

From the end of this year, the Irish level of 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood will be cut to 50mg, with a lower limit of 20mg for learner drivers and people who drive for work.

The move leaves Britain and Malta as the last two European countries with drink-drive limits of 80mg, saiys Brake, the road safety charity.

The new rules in Ireland could see a driver over the limit after just one pint of beer while the lower limit is effectively a ban on any alcoholic drink.

'Once Ireland's new drink-drive limit comes into effect, all other European countries will have limits of 50mg or lower and in the wake of this announcement, Brake calls on the UK Government to follow the example of our Irish neighbours by lowering the drink-drive limit and stepping up enforcement of the law," said a Brake spokesman..

'During November, our Road Safety Week will highlight the risks of drink and drug driving to challenge the behaviour of drivers who think it is acceptable and put a stop to the carnage they cause on our roads.'

According to Brake, research shows drivers are two to 2.5 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash between 50mg and 80mg and that driving is impaired by even a very small amount of alcohol in the blood stream.

'Last year, 430 people were killed by drink-drivers, an increase of 20 fatalities compared to 2007. In addition, 1630 were seriously injured and 10,970 suffered lesser injuries from crashes involving drivers over the 80mg limit," added the spokesman.

'Experts have estimated that reducing the drink-drive limit in Britain to 50mg/100ml blood could save about 65 lives and 230 serious injuries per year but the Government is still dragging its heels on cutting the UK limit.'

Source: Maurice Glover -

L-Plate Law Breakers

More than 300,000 learner drivers are thought to be breaking the law by driving without insurance

In most cases, this is as a result of the 'extortionate costs' involved in adding the names of learner drivers to insurance policies held by their parents, claims insurance firm Young Marmalade.

'Traditional car insurance policy holders have to pay a surcharge of between £2,000 and £50,000 per year to add a 17 year learner driver to an existing policy," says a spokesman.

'Rather than pay, thousands of people are risking their own and other people's lives by driving uninsured,'

The firm claims to have revolutionised car insurance for 17 year old learner drivers with a new cover called Provisional Marmalade. Purchased over the internet, it is in the name of the learner so as not to risk parents' no-claims bonus arrangements and is paid monthly in advance.


Friday, 16 October 2009

Young Drive More Dangerously With Friends In Car

Young drivers are dangerously influenced by peer pressure when carrying friends as passengers, a leading car insurance provider showed.

A third of motorists aged 17-21 admitted driving differently when friends were in the car, the poll by a leading car insurance provider revealed.

More than 20% paid less attention to the road, a quarter took their hands off the wheel and 15% performed illegal manoeuvres, according to the survey.

Also, 11% of male drivers aged 17-21 and 6% of women motorists of the same age group did not wear seatbelts when in the car with friends.

Yet nearly all (97%) of the young drivers followed rules of the road more strictly when their parents or grandparents were in the car, while 44% drove more slowly.

The poll also showed that 39% of women motorists aged 17-21 were not confident of driving on motorways, while 29% were unsure about driving on their own.

Just 27% of young drivers had paid to have driving lessons and of these, 50% took more than four attempts to pass the test.

A spokesperson said: “Young drivers remain the age group with the highest proportion of insurance claims, accidents and fatalities on our roads.

“According to claims data, injuries increase exponentially in relation to the number of passengers being carried.”

He went on: “In order to reduce these statistics young drivers and passengers alike need to take personal responsibility for their own actions. This means wearing a seatbelt at all times regardless of who is in the car, driving with fewer passengers and not conforming to peer pressure while behind the wheel.”

Source : Tom Scott -

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Government Drops Plans To Force Driving Instructors To Sit In On Their Pupils L-Tests

Radical plans to force driving instructors - whether parents or paid-for professionals - to sit in on
their pupils' L-tests have been 'put into reverse' by the Government.

Ministers announced last May that a revamp of the driving test would 'require' candidates to take with them during their practical driving test an observer who could be their instructor, a parent or a friend.

The idea was that this 'observer' could give valuable feed back to candidates who fail the test.

But that mandatory requirement has now been dropped, though candidates are free to have their instructor on-board if they wish, the Daily Mail can reveal today.

As a result, new driving test regulations being drawn up by the Government's Driving Standards Agency and which were planned originally to be introduced in October 2010 could now be accelerated and introduced sooner.

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis denies the reversal is a road safety u-turn - insisting that the decision had been taken to 'avoid unnecessary regulation' and arguing that the measure was too bureaucratic, would slow up introduction of the new test, and that 'education not regulation' was needed to improve standards.

The original Driving Test revamp consultation unveiled by former Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly in May 2008 said: 'We propose that the person presenting the candidate should have to sit in the car with their student when the candidate takes the practical test, and to stay as the examiner gives their pupil feedback.'

Last night Transport Secretary Lord Adonis told the Daily Mail that the plan to insist that driving test candidates are accompanied by an observer 'have been reversed to avoid unnecessary regulation.'

The Department for Transport has now ruled that 'Candidates will be encouraged to take an observer – who could be their instructor or a parent or friend – in the car for the test to help them understand feedback from examiners and tailor further learning. But after a review of the proposals the Government will not regulate to make this mandatory.'

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said: 'We want all learner drivers, from the start of the process, to consider the benefits of having an observer with them on their test.

'Having someone sitting in will enhance their learning experience and, in turn, improve road safety. An observer who has witnessed the test can give far better advice to the learner on how they performed and what areas of their driving they need to work on - whether they pass or fail.

'But after reviewing plans we have decided that encouraging candidates to take an observer is much more appropriate than introducing regulations to make it compulsory. It also means we can take this forward much sooner than previously planned – delivering the road safety benefits without the delay and costs of new regulation.'

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