How Two Seconds Could Save Your Life

How Two Seconds Could Save Your Life

Analysis of more than 100,000 miles of driving of British drivers has shown that there is a cause for concern for safety on the road. During the 8,500 hours of driving, many drivers were found not to be keeping safe distances from the vehicles in front.

Or worse, the drivers were cutting up other drivers, dangerously close.

The report highlights that many British drivers are putting their lives on the line with these dangerous driving practices. Other reports have shown that more than 6000 accidents a year are because drivers haven’t kept to sensible ‘breaking distances’. This figure doesn’t include accidents where other factors (like distracted drivers, icy road conditions or excessive speed) could also be blamed for an accident.

A result of an accident can be life-changing, and some 30 drivers lose their lives on British roads every year. So, how much space should you be leaving between you and the car in front?

What the Highway Code states

Rule 126 of the Highway Code states that you need to leave enough distance between you and the vehicle to your front so that there is enough time to pull up safely if the vehicle in front suddenly stops or slows down.

This safe rule states that you should never be closer than the total stopping distance, which is the total distance it takes for you to react and the car to stop.

The Highway Code does state that a two-second gap should be adhered to between you and the vehicle to your front when you’re on roads with fast-moving traffic or in a tunnel.

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If there is water on the roads, this should be doubled (at least). In icy conditions, you should increase this distance even more.

The report found that when driving in icy conditions, the gap between cars should be about 20 seconds. Yet many British drivers don’t follow that basic rule.

Are drivers sticking to these rules?

Despite the obvious dangers of an accident, British drivers aren’t complying with the Highway Code. One in five drivers will cut between cars when there is insufficient space to allow for a one-second gap between them and either the car in front or behind them. This is really dangerous as this is shorter than the reaction time of a human.

The average gap being left by many drivers is in fact just 1.35 seconds and this has been recorded at any speeds higher than 25 miles per hour.

Sticking to the two-second rule

Sticking to the two-second rule is something challenging for drivers. Mostly because there are few ways to determine what distance that is on any given road. However, there is a simple way to measure the distance between you and another vehicle. You simply pick a stationary point on the side of the road, or on the road, and count the time it takes between the two vehicles to reach that point.

This simple method of determining the distance between vehicles could be a life-saver

You should also be on the lookout for drivers around you who aren’t paying attention to their distances. On motorways and dual carriageways, use your mirrors to see if there are drivers who are too close or are regularly cutting other drivers up. Be more prepared to break around these drivers to protect yourself.

Finally, remember your driving lessons. If you had cut someone up or changed lanes in your driving test, then you would not have passed.

That rule is there for a reason, it is to get you into a good habit of keeping you and other drivers around you safe. Don’t be tempted to pick up the bad habits of other drivers and put yourself in unnecessary danger by being careless with your distances.

33 New Drivers Are Losing Their Licence Every Day

Young drivers have historically been given a bad name and new statistics suggests why this is.

On average, 33 people are losing their licence each day in the UK with nearly 70% of these being new drivers between the ages of 17 and 24.

It isn’t surprising that new drivers often have to pay a higher insurance premium, and younger drivers even more so.

Why are so many people losing their licence?

The statistics follow the introduction of the New Driver Act that was put into practice in 2018. Some may believe that the act is unfair on new drivers, but all new drivers have a responsibility to keep the roads as safe as possible.

Under the act, if a new driver obtains six points on their licence in a two year period (within two years of passing) their licence will be revoked.

However, this doesn’t mean that the new driver is banned forever, instead, the driver is banned temporarily and has to apply for their provisional licence again.

After they have obtained their provisional licence, they will then need to retake their theory test and practical driving test and pass these before being allowed back on the roads.

Are the new rules fair?

It is difficult to argue with the statistics that show young drivers are the most dangerous group when compared to others. For example, those aged between 17 and 24 make up just 7% of drivers on the road, yet the age group make up 20% of serious injuries or deaths on UK roads.

With numbers like this, it is easy to see why extra precautions need to be taken.

Whether the New Driver Act is the most successful method of giving extra protection to road users or not is debatable, and the act hasn’t yet been in place long enough for a true conclusion to be made.

Will I be penalised for being a new driver?

If you are looking to take your test in the near future then it is likely that you may have to adhere to additional rules initially.

Whether or not the New Driver Act will remain is unknown, especially as the UK is currently in a potential parliamentary transitional period.

With the future of the UK’s laws uncertain, a new act or regulations may be introduced for new drivers. There has been some talk of introducing a graduated licence scheme with an ongoing trial in Northern Ireland set to end in 2020.

This trial could lead the way for new rules and regulations in the UK for new drivers. The trail is based on similar schemes that have been put in place in other parts of the globe and have been fairly successful.

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What would a graduated licence scheme look like?

Although it is currently difficult to say what the exact structure of the scheme would be (as these vary globally), the road safety charity Brake has given us some idea of how this could look. Brake support the idea of the UK introducing a scheme like this.

Furthermore, they have called on the UK government to consider making it a legal requirement for all new drivers to spend 12 months learning to drive before they are allowed to take a test. This isn’t all that Brake wants to see if the scheme is introduced, they also want the government to consider introducing a curfew for new drivers.

This would mean that new drivers would only be allowed on the roads between certain times.

Finally, Brake believes that drivers should be given a two year probation period once they are given their licence, and only be able to graduate to a full unrestricted licence after two years of safe driving.

Four Key Tips To Help You Find The Best Driving School Instructor

Passing your driving test in a timely manner depends on finding a high quality, reliable driving school that’s going to suit the way you learn. That’s all well and good as a concept – but how do you actually make it happen?

Simple! By following these top tips for finding the best driving school instructor for you.

1. Research your options

The first step to finding the best driving school is to know what your options are, because this will inform the rest of the decisions you have to make. Your driving instructor doesn’t have to live on your doorstep, so don’t be afraid to broaden your search a little bit if it means having more choices available to you. Though ostensibly getting pupils to pass is the goal of all driving schools, every single one is different. Each will go about achieving that goal in a different way. So it’s up to you to decide which driving schools appeal most to you.

2. Do some homework

Now you should have a list of local driving schools you can choose from. It’s time to whittle your choices down, and a great way to do that is to start doing your homework on each school. Do an online search for them and see if you can find any reviews – you want to see exactly the kind of service previous pupils who have paid for lessons have got. It’s also worth checking social media profiles, to get further insight into how the school operates. Remember, though, that it’s impossible to please everyone. Don’t let two bad reviews make eighty good reviews seem unimportant – then again, if there are more bad than good reviews, it makes sense to pass them by.

3. Know your circumstances

Before you start contacting driving schools, it’s a good idea for you to have a general idea already of the form you’d like your lessons to take. You should know, for example, how many lessons you’re going to want to have a week – you should aim for at least one a week. See if you can make a range of times in your schedule to best fit lessons. Taking care of this early will prevent you from getting flustered and confused when you actually come to make contact with the driving schools. Have a rough idea of your budget as well – the driving school should have their prices easily listed, so be sure you can afford the lessons before making contact.

4. Start booking taster lessons

Most driving schools should offer “taster” or “sample” lessons. They’re designed to give you an insight into how the driving school works. Everyone learns in different ways, so it’s important that you find an instructor who is going to complement the way that you learn.

A sample lesson will probably be around an hour and should be enough for you to determine if you’re going to be a good fit with that driving school. Remember, nothing is personal: if you don’t have a good feeling, you don’t have to continue your lessons. When you find a driving school you work well with, you can work together to map out the rest of your lessons and go from there.

As with anything, the preparation you do when it comes to finding the best driving school is going to determine the ultimate quality of the lessons you’ll get. Driving is a skill that lasts with you for a lifetime, so it’s worth investing the time into finding the people who will help you pass your test the first time.

Follow these four key tips, and you’ll do just that!

5 Steps To Make Sure You Pass Your Driving Test

If you are nervous the night before your driving test, then you’re probably not yet ready to get your driver’s licence. The number one obstacle to passing the test is the lack of adequate preparation.

To gain the confidence required, it’s mandatory to undertake several hours of intensive lessons behind the wheel and study relevant books.

So, what is the secret to passing the test? Here are the steps to follow.

1. Anticipate What Might Happen Next And Be Prepared

The task of driving a car is unpredictable since you never know what is waiting for you around the next corner, which is why driving tests are also unpredictable.

But there are several things that you should anticipate, for example, pedestrians wanting to cross the road, so be on the lookout for traffic lights and zebra crossings.

Be aware and observant because someone’s life might depend on your driving skills. Always think about your next move in case another car comes out of nowhere and you need to brake suddenly.

2. If You Make A Mistake, Don’t Assume You’ve Already Failed The Test

It’s normal to make mistakes during the test, for example, stalling the car when pulling over. Don’t start to over-think or worry.

If you continue the test while thinking about the mistake you made, chances are that you will make even more serious mistakes.

The examiner sees the situation differently, particularly if you stalled the car but restarted it without causing any danger to other road users.

If you make a mistake, forget about it and concentrate on driving the vehicle safely for the remainder of the test period.

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3. Focus On The Road, Not On What The Examiner Is Writing

During the test, the examiner will have a test sheet that they will be writing on occasionally.

Don’t be tempted to peek on the sheet as this could easily distract you from the main task at hand which is driving. The examiner does not always write negative things, so stay positive and focussed.

When there is not much going on, the examiner might start a conversation with you to help you relax. Be courteous but don’t shift your focus from the test.

Although it can be hard to concentrate when the weather is bad or there are other ongoing distractions, make sure your mind does not wander off.

4. Don’t Assume The Road Rules

For example, don’t assume that you’re still on a road with a speed limit of 40kmph without checking for speed limit signs.

Also, keep in mind that you should maintain the left-hand lane if you want to go straight in a roundabout. Check all markings and road signs when driving because if you fail to do so and something unfortunate happens, you’ll fail the driving test.

5. Have a good night’s rest the day before the test

The importance of having adequate rest cannot be overemphasised since it’s a well-known fact that the right amount of sleep will enable you to function at your best. If you stay up till late, you’ll wake up feeling tired and this will consequently affect your concentration levels thus putting you at a disadvantage.

According to a recent report, if you don’t sleep for the recommended eight hours, you double the risk of getting involved in an accident the following day.

If you make a series of dangerous or serious mistakes, you’re probably not ready for the test. Consider getting more practice and delaying the test. However, you can go ahead and book the test if you feel you’re ready. These tips will help you to pass and acquire a driver’s licence.

Stopping Distances Explained

Understanding stopping distances

Understanding stopping distances

Understanding stopping distances is one of the most important parts of learning to drive safely. Leaving enough space between you and the car in front will help to prevent accidents and avoid unnecessary incidents. Keep reading to discover what factors affect stopping distance and how you can easily adopt the best techniques to maintain safe driving practises.

Thinking distance

Stopping distance is the distance it takes you to stop your car, but it is made up of two components: braking distance and thinking distance.

Thinking distance is the time it takes you to realise that there is a problem before you can start applying the brakes. The faster you are travelling, the greater distance you will cover before being able to come to a full stop.

You may think that you would apply pressure to the brake pedal as soon as you notice a hazardous obstacle, but this is not true.

No matter how fast your reaction time, there will always be a delay between when you first notice a hazard, and when you take action.

There will even be a short amount of time between when you first see the hazard and when your brain recognises that it is a problem.

This is especially common when you are not paying attention to the road properly and if you are distracted by passengers, music, the radio or a speakerphone.

On average, thinking distance at 20mph is approximately 6m, but if you are travelling at 40mph this doubles to 12m!

So, as you double your speed, you are also doubling your thinking time. Ensuring that you pay close attention to the road and other road users is essential if you want to minimise thinking time.

Ho

wever, even under optimum conditions, it still takes time to take action when you notice there is a problem, so this must factor into your stopping time calculations.

Braking distance

Braking distance

Braking distance is the amount of distance your car will cover before coming to a complete stop after you have started braking.

Although at 20mph it will only be 6m, at 40mph the braking distance becomes a whopping 24m!

Remember, in order to calculate overall stopping distance, you will need to add the braking distance and thinking distance together. So, if you are travelling at a 40mph speed, then the combined stopping distance (on average) will be 36 metres.

Obviously, the faster you are travelling, the longer it will take you to stop, so at 70mph, the overall stopping distance is a massive 96 metres. Bear in mind that the average car length is around 4.5m, so at 70mph you will be driving the equivalent length of over 21 cars before you can stop!

The two-second rule

Most driving instructors talk about the two-second rule to help estimate safe following distances.

The two-second rule involves checking that you have left a two-second gap between yourself and the car in front.

This can be worked out by choosing a landmark in the road ahead and timing how long it takes you to reach it, once the car in front has passed it.

Things that affect stopping distance

Stopping distances can be affected by many things, such as following distances, driver distraction, road condition and the condition of your car.

However, the most common issue affecting stopping distance is adverse weather. Rain, ice and snow can all have a dramatic impact on how long it takes your car to stop in the case of an emergency.

The two-second rule applies at any speed, however, should not be used if driving in adverse weather conditions.

In rainy driving conditions, for instance, you should employ the four-second rule in order to maintain a safe distance from the car in front.

When driving on icy roads, stopping distances can be unpredictable.

Therefore, driving speed should be dramatically reduced, and plenty of space should be left between vehicles.

Top 10 Most Difficult Theory Test Questions

Most Difficult Theory Test Questions

When learning to drive, everyone now has to get past the theory test as well as the practical one. Many people find the theory test daunting and something that they do not look forward too.

Your driving theory test should not really pose any problems though with the right preparation in place. One thing to watch out for is those annoyingly tough questions that seem designed to trip you up.

To help out, the below shows 10 of the most mind-bending theory test questions to look out for.

1. When should you not overtake?

– After navigating a bend
– On a road with a 30mph speed limit
– When driving down a 1-way street
– When the road you are driving down has a dip in it

This question is tricky because all of the answers may well be valid reasons not to overtake! For the purposes of your theory test though, it is the last answer which is right.

2. When travelling on a dry road at 50 mph in decent weather, what is the standard average stopping distance?

– 36 metres
– 75 metres
– 96 metres
– 53 metres

If you are not confident with math, then this could be a tough one for you. You need to remember that stopping distance is equal to thinking distance combined with braking distance.

At 50mph, your thinking distance is 15 metres while 38 metres is the braking distance which makes 53 metres the correct answer.

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3. What colour comes after Green on Puffin crossings?

– intermittent amber
– constant red
– constant amber
– intermittent green

Puffin crossings use sensors which can tell when people are crossing. This means there is no need for intermittent or flashing lights – the right answer is a constant amber.

4. When towing a compact-sized trailer on a packed 3 lane motorway, you notice all lanes being open. Should you:

– not go over 50mph
– decide not to overtake anyone
– fit a stabiliser
– stick to the centre and left lanes

While you may think all sound plausible, it is actually the last answer that is the one to pick.

5. In terms of road transport, what percentage of emissions does it account for?

– 20%
– 10%
– 40%
– 30%

This fools people as it is more of a general knowledge question than a pure driving one. While 10% would seem too little with so much traffic about but 40% may be too much, it is sensible to go more down the middle. 20% is the correct reply in this case.

6. If involved in a road incident, it is vital to care for any injured parties. After the scene of the incident is secure, you should:

– Help them from their vehicle
– Offer them something to drink
– Offer them some food
– Make them stay in their vehicle

This comes across as quite an easy one but it is key to not jump in without thinking it through. The last answer is correct as the area is safe in this particular instance.

7. When driving, you observe a pedestrian walking a dog. The dog has a burgundy or yellow coat. This tells you that the person is:

a) A senior citizen

b) Training the dog

c) Is colour blind

d) Deaf

This is quite an obscure one which is why it catches so many out! The correct answer is deaf – make sure to brush up on this kind of question before your theory test.

8. While waiting to turn left, you see a larger vehicle approaching from your right. You could go ahead and turn, but instead, wait. Why is this?

– The larger vehicle could be hiding others from the left
– It could be hiding a vehicle that is overtaking it
– It may decide to turn abruptly
– The larger vehicle may have trouble steering straight

The larger vehicle could easily be hiding another vehicle which is overtaking it so the second option is the answer you want.

9. When is it acceptable to overtake another road user on their left?

– Driving along one-way streets
– Coming up to a motorway slip road at which you plan to exit
– After a vehicle you are behind has signalled to make a left turn
– If a slow vehicle is in the lane on the right when traversing a dual carriageway

Although the presence of ‘right’ and ‘left in different answers may confuse you, do not let it. The right response here is the first.

10. Questions about road signs

While there is no specific example here, it is just a good idea to brush up on all your road signs. Any could crop up on your theory test and you could be asked what they mean. While the more common ones may be obvious, it is the less widely known examples that could trip you up.

Get ready to pass with flying colours

The above are certainly the 10 hardest sorts of question which you could face on your theory test. When you really think about them though and do your homework, they actually aren’t that scary. One thing is for sure – if you get these right, then the other questions will be no problem.

Test Pass Rate Success For Drivers In Essex

Getting behind the wheel for the first time can be a challenging and nerve-inducing task and having the freedom to drive yourself around is something that definitely shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Understanding the rules of the roads and manoeuvring your way through your lessons to your driving test will come quicker than you know it and it will soon be time to don your test-taking hat and get those learner plates well and truly removed.

How do I know when I’m ready to take my test?

A good driving school will only advise you to take your practical driving test when they’re absolutely sure that you’re ready to do so.

Driving tests themselves can be costly – you have to pay both for the time of the examiner and for the lease of the vehicle you’ll be driving in – so taking a test when you have no chance of passing is only going to be detrimental to your confidence.

If you don’t feel ready for your test then keep practising and taking lessons until you’re confident enough to give it a go.

There’s no ‘right time’ to take your driving test, nor should you take a certain number of lessons before you book your test – everyone is different and everyone learns at a different pace.

At the same time, if you feel confident but your instructor advises you not to take your test just yet – listen to them. They have your best interests at heart and want to ensure that you pass your driving test at the first time of taking it.

Once both parties are confident then you’re much more likely to be in a position where you pass at the first time of asking.

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What should I expect on the day of my test?

Driving tests are rigid in their approach and focus on the same tasks. When you arrive at the test centre, you’ll need your provisional licence with you – if you don’t have it with you, you can’t take the test.

Once the test begins (that is, you have left the waiting room with the examiner) you will be asked to read a number plate from 20 metres away to test your eyesight. You will then be asked questions about vehicle safety and maintenance, and asked to drive for 20 minutes independently.

Whilst driving, you will also be asked to perform one manoeuvre – with parallel parking, bay parking or pulling up on the right being possible manoeuvre choices.

When you have arrived back at the test centre your examiner will talk you through any faults you made – minor or major faults- and inform you of their decision. They may also advise you to take a Pass Plus qualification to further strengthen your confidence on the road.

Whereabouts in Essex should I take my test?

Essex as a county has a wide range of testing centres which have excellent reputations for ensuring that their learner drivers get the best possible driving test experience. Pass rates, as intriguing as they may be, actually don’t mean an awful lot – just because another driver failed to pass their test on their first time of taking it – or vice versa- doesn’t mean that you will.

Whether you pass your test or not depends on your performance during the test itself so you should familiarise yourself with the area where your testing centre is before taking the test. If you’re looking for the best location in Essex to pass your test, then Clacton, at 50.8% pass rate, has the best reputation for first-time success.

Similarly, Hoffman’s Way in Chelmsford is a great bet – coming in at 42.9% (https://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/17336247.here-are-the-best-places-in-essex-to-pass-your-driving-test/). Practising on roads in close vicinity to the testing centre – as well as practising on a wide range of roads – gives you the highest possible chance of success.

Choose a test centre close to you, where you feel the most confidence and forget about the numbers.

Your Driving Test Report Explained

During your driving test, your examiner will mark any faults you make, which are divided into three levels – minor, serious and dangerous faults.

You can make up to 15 minor faults in different categories, but no serious or dangerous faults – picking up one of those is an automatic fail. You also fail if you make three minor faults in the same categories.

Once you’ve completed your test, your driving examiner will go through any faults they noted on your driving report, giving constructive feedback on how to improve your driving.

If you failed, these details may be hard to hear, but listening and taking on board the advice will help you succeed in the future.

The driving test report explained

The report will record your name, date and time of the test, as well as the type of test it is.

Below this is the marking criteria, which is split up into different sections with space for the examiner to note any faults.

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There are 28 sections on the driving report.

1(a). Eyesight test

Your eyesight is tested before leaving the test centre, with you reading a registration plate on a vehicle 20 metres away (20.5 metres on a vehicle made before 1 September 2001). You can use contact lenses or glasses if needed and must wear them whenever you’re driving.

1(b). Highway code/safety

This part only applies to certain vehicle tests where a theory test is not required and is not included in the practical driving test for a car.

2. Controlled stop

Around a third of candidates are asked to make a controlled (emergency) stop during their test, marked on your promptness, and how well you control the vehicle when doing so.

3. Reverse / Left and 4. Reverse / Right

If you’re tested on this section, you must carry out the reverse around a corner manoeuvre and are marked on your vehicle control and your observations.

5. Reverse Park

For this section, you’ll carry out parallel parking and the bay park manoeuvre, and be marked on how well you control the vehicle and your observations.

6. Turn in the road

You’ll be tested on how you carry out a turn in the road, including your control of the vehicle and your observations.

7. Vehicle checks

This consists of ‘show me, tell me’ safety questions, to demonstrate the kind of checks you must carry out on a vehicle before driving it.

8. Taxi manoeuvre

This is for people taking the taxi driving test and demonstrates your ability to turn a vehicle around, with the correct observations.

9. Taxi wheelchair

Again for the taxi driving test, you show you can use a wheelchair ramp correctly and get a wheelchair user safely into a vehicle.

10. Vehicle and trailer combinations.

Not included in a standard car test, this section requires you to correctly uncouple and re-couple a towing vehicle.

11. Precautions

This ensures you can properly adjust your seat to reach all the controls while comfortably seated before you even start the vehicle.

12. Control

Throughout the test, the examiner is looking to see you can use all vehicle controls in a safe, smooth and effective manner.

13. Move off

Here you show you can move away safely with full control on level ground, on a slope and at an angle, while making the correct observations.

14. Use of mirrors

Throughout your test you’ll be marked on using mirrors safely and effectively, checking them every time you signal, change direction and change speed, and using rear observations to negate any blind spots.

15. Signals

Here you demonstrate you use signals according to the Highway Code, to clearly show others on the road your intentions.

16. Clearance to obstructions

This demonstrates you allow the correct amount of space for parked and passing vehicles and pedestrians, according to the changing situation, and slowing down or stopping as required.

17. Response to signs and signals

This section marks you on correctly reacting to traffic lights and signs, and road markings and crossings, and obeying instructions from police and other traffic controllers.

18. Use of speed

You are marked on driving at a safe and reasonable speed, according to the type of road, its signs, and weather conditions, and being able to stop with a safe distance if needed.

19. Following distance

This measures your ability to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and others, including doubling the distance in wet weather, and leaving the correct space when in traffic.

20. Progress

You need to ensure you keep an appropriate speed for the road and weather conditions, driving at a safe speed without being too cautious.

21. Junctions

Here you show you approach junctions (including roundabouts) at an appropriate speed, making safe observations with the ability to correctly position yourself to turn left and right. You can’t cut any corners while turning.

22. Judgement

You must show you make appropriate judgements when meeting other road users, overtaking, and crossing into the path of other vehicles, while making your intentions clear.

23. Positioning

This shows you can position your vehicle in a safe manner at all times, guided by signs and signals.

24. Pedestrian crossings

This demonstrates you recognise the different pedestrian crossings and how to take safe actions, including giving way where appropriate, and waiting for all pedestrians to cross.

25. Position and Normal stops

When you’re asked to pull over, you must show you can find a legal, safe, and convenient place to do so, without causing an obstruction or creating any hazards.

26. Awareness and Planning

Here you show you’re aware of other road users and can plan for what is ahead on the road. This means predicting actions other road users might take, and taking extra care around more vulnerable users such as motorcyclists and cyclists.

27. Ancillary controls

This shows your ability to use secondary functions, including windscreen wipers, demisters and heaters, safely and without taking your eyes off the road, and you know the roles of all the switches and controls.

28. Eco-Safe Driving

Here you show you understand the principles of Eco-Safe Driving, but it doesn’t affect the overall result of the test.

New Road Laws & Crackdowns For Summer

Summer is one of the best times to be on the nation’s roads. Long nights and warm weather make it perfect for a romantic drive or trip out with friends. If you have a convertible to get behind the wheel of, then the experience is even better!

However, new road laws and police crackdowns could spoil all that if you do not know about them. If you need to find out more about this, the below should help.

Don’t ignore ‘X’ signs on motorways

Anyone who heads out onto one of the UK’s motorways will have noticed a red ‘X’ appear over certain lanes at some point. These are not simply for show – they are used to signal that the lane it appears over is closed and you need to move lanes as soon as safely possible. The problem is that around 1 in 20 motorists are simply ignoring them currently! This has seen the authorities bring in a new penalty which took effect as of 10th June 2019. Now, overhead motorway cameras will take a photograph of the offender’s car if it stays in the wrong lane.

This will then trigger an automatic £100 postal fine before 3 points are put on your licence.

Crackdown on litter

Another area of concern for the authorities is more and more people throwing litter from cars. Existing laws stated that it must be proved who threw the litter from the vehicle before any action could be taken.

A new update, however, has seen this change. If any person travelling in a vehicle throws any litter out of the window, the driver will be fined £150 and held responsible. It is hoped this will cut down greatly on the unsightly litter that clogs up the UK’s roadsides.

Don’t drink and drive

Did you know that the amount of people killed in accidents on the road which involved a drunk driver has risen by 45% in a couple of years?

This and the fact that it is summer has seen the police carry out their annual crackdown on drink driving. As well as people driving straight after drinking alcohol, it seems many are still getting caught out the morning after a big night out.

The simple advice is not to have any alcohol before driving and make sure it is out of your system before you do the next day. Penalties for this crime can range from prison to large fines so it is just not worth it.

Police targeting tailgating also

Drink driving is naturally very dangerous to other road users but tailgating is just as bad. This is the practice of following the car in front of you too closely. Not only is this aggressive in its intent but it can also lead to accidents. Police on the M6 are now clamping down on this in a bid to make it safer for all. Those caught tailgating in this operation will be penalised £100 and be given 3 points on their licence.

To avoid this, simply leave a couple of seconds gap between you and the car in front at least.

Stay safe on the Summer roads

As you can see from the above, there is a range of new rules and clampdowns that UK road users will see this summer.

To stay safe and stay out of trouble, it is worth not only knowing about them but following them too. Hopefully, this post has given you enough information to do just that!

New ‘Noise Cameras’ To Fine Drivers Of Illegally Loud Cars

Noise Cameras

The environment is becoming more of a pressing issue in the UK and this is not solely based around plastic waste and greenhouse gases. Noise pollution is also high on the agenda to be dealt with.

This has seen new plans announced which will affect UK motorcyclists and motorists.

The UK Government has recently announced steps to trial a new ‘Noise Camera‘ across the nation which will spot drivers causing unacceptable levels of noise as they pass by.

Who will be targeted by the trial?

From information released by the UK Government, it would seem only a certain section of motorists or motorcyclists need to worry.

These include ‘boy racer‘ types who enjoy revving their engines up loudly, motorists whose exhausts or engines are damaged thus making lots of noise or bikers who take the silencers off their motorbikes. But what is the point of all this?

In simple terms, it is a way of the authorities trying to cut down on noise pollution in quieter residential areas.

It will see the new ‘Noise Cameras’ fitted to ANPR systems already in place across the country. If the new detectors pick up excessive vehicle noise, a photograph of the offending vehicle will be taken. This will then see a fine automatically posted out to the owner.

Many residents will welcome the move

Although this may seem a little draconian, many feel it is about time steps like this were taken. Indeed, official guidelines from the UK Government state that exhausts and silencers must not be altered to increase noise and also must be kept in good condition.

This has been allowed to slide somewhat in recent times but the new cameras may be about to redress the balance. The new system is set to be trialled at several different locations and if it proves successful, will see it rolled out to more.

What do current laws advise?

Within Europe, the current legal limit for noise is 74 decibels. If you create noise north of 90 decibels, then the authorities will officially record it as a nuisance.

There are some more detailed rules around excessive vehicle noise which include:

– The Police Reform Act of 2002 includes Section 59 where the Police can seize your car if they deem you causing distress or annoyance to the general public.

– Road Vehicles regs from 1986 state that you could be given a fine on the spot if you have fitted custom engine or exhaust products that produce excessive noise.

– if Police think loud music is distracting you when driving, they could prosecute you for careless driving. This could, in turn, see a £100 fine and 3 points added to your licence.

Cut down the noise and stay out of trouble

For most road users, this new technology will have no impact at all on their daily lives. If, however, you think you may fall into the categories of people it is targeting, then you need to beware.

If you are deemed to have caused noise pollution which the new cameras pick up, a fine could be winging its way to you in the post before too long!