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New Guide For Young Drivers

A new publication 'The Young Drivers Guide' has been launched by First Car Ltd.

The information packed with hard copy guide covers most topics useful to new drivers from learning to drive, road safety, buying and owning and maintaining your car, through to insurance and maintaining and improving the skills of the young novice driver.

It's all delivered in a young, colourful and snappy format, including celebrity interviews and plenty of competitions.

Priced at £4.99, it is a comprehensive companion for any new learner or young driver.

For more information, go to:

The Car's Fault

Cycling campaigners are calling for a new law in Scotland to make motorists automatically at fault in an accident.

The UK is one of the five European countries that do not currently have the law, known as 'strict liability'.

Under a strict liability law, motorists would be held responsible in the civil courts for all accidents involving cyclists unless they can prove they were not to blame.

Supporters of the campaign say it would greatly reduce the time it takes for accident victims to win compensation.

However, opponents of the idea said cyclists and motorists should be equally responsible for road safety.

According to campaigners, only the UK, Cyprus, Malta, Romania and Ireland do not operate a system of strict liability for road users in Europe.

Va Va Vain

More than 2 million men have had a car crash in the past year while admiring themselves in the mirror, according to a survey of 3,000 male drivers by MoreThan Insurance.

'Metrosexuals' check out their reflection in the rear view mirror up to ten times in a single half hour journey.

All In A Day's Work

According to new research from car insurance provider Allianz Your Cover, a third of commuters don't feel guilty about driving dangerously or being distracted on the road, with a fifth of drivers (21%) blaming their habits on other commuters.  The top five bad commuter behaviours are:

- Speeding (30%)

- Careless driving (14%)

- Travelling too fast for the conditions (14%)

- Tailgating (13%)

- Not looking when changing lanes (13%)

More than half of British commuters (52%) claim to be in too much of a hurry to drive safely and are blaming their bad day driving on a lack of concentration (30%), and being tired (27%).  The commuting environment also impacts the workplace as almost half of drivers (43%) believe that their commute affects their mood and can negatively impact their work.

Epilepsy Rules Change

New DVLA rules for epileptic motorists mean drivers who've suffered seizures only while asleep can now apply for a licence one year after their last seizure, not three.  The rules are being relaxed to bring them in line with EU standards.

Pointing The Finger

Over 8000 UK drivers are still driving despite having 12 or more points on their licence according to new figures requested by the IAM under the Freedom of Information Act.  The top fourteen licence point holders with 25 points or more are all men, with only two women in the top thirty four.

2256 men and 351 women are still driving with more than 12 points on their licence.

The official upper limits for licence points according to DVLA is 12, or six for those who have held a licence for three years or less.

However, the request to the DVLA showed many male drivers with 23-36 points were still driving, including a male driver from Warrington on 36 points.

Drivers Fear Re-tests

More than 17 million drivers would struggle with taking a re-test, according to a poll by the AA.

The results revealed that up to a fifth of drivers consider parallel parking to be the hardest thing to get right.

Black Box Standard

Citroen is the first manufacturer to fit insurance 'black boxes' as standard, and is also offering free insurance for accident free drivers aged between 19 and 75 years, on their C1 model.

Tiredness Kills

About 300 people are killed each year as a result of drivers falling asleep at the wheel, and roughly 4 in 10 tiredness-related crashes involve someone driving a commercial vehicle.

A recent analysis of UK road casualty data showed that 17% of RTCs occurring on major trunk roads and which resulted in injury or death, were sleep-related.

Test Cheats Exposed

Up to 455 practical driving tests and 1,469 theory tests involved a suspected impersonator in 2011/12 as cheats had friends take tests for them, the Driving Standards Agency revealed following a Freedom of Information request.

On average, five learner drivers a day try to cheat their way to a test pass by sending someone to take it for them.

Cops arrested 273 scammers, leading 73 convictions, 119 police cautious and 837 licences being revoked.  Five learners tried to offer a cash bribe to an examiner in return for a pass last year, while 12 were reported for a physical attack and 175 for verbal abuse on an examiner.

A Driving Standards Agency spokesman said: 'At the end of 2011/12 financial year, there were 189 individuals in the criminal justice system and 891 suspect tests being investigated.

I'm Sorry, but ...

A hapless unnamed 28-year old, from London, has so far spent £3,317 trying to pass the theory test, at a cost of £31 each - a record 107 attempts.

A 40 year old determined candidate logged a record number of practical driving tests - passing on his 37th attempt.  The unnamed man from the area of Stoke on Trent forked out at least £2,294 trying to pass.

Not Insured And Not Bothered

One in seven (15%) of UK motorists have admitted to breaking the law and having driven at least once without insurance, with young drivers most likely to get behind the wheel uninsured according to research by  6% of motorists admit to knowingly getting behind the wheel of their own car with no cover.  

Shockingly, 14% of those who owned up to having driven without insurance admitted they did so because they were unaware for the need for insurance behind the wheel, and 7% simply couldn't be bothered to arrange insurance cover.  12% couldn't afford the insurance compared to 6% in 2012.

A cause for concern is the 7% who believe there is no point having insurance as they don't think they will have a crash.

Call To Raise Driving Age For Teenagers

Most motorists think the Government should raise the legal driving age in a bid to make Britain's roads safer, according to a new survey by Admiral insurance.

Almost one in four driver believes the age should increase to 18, while a further 20% want a more dramatic increase to 21.  A clear majority of motorists (59%) also thought the Government should introduce mandatory re-testing of drivers when they reach the age of 70.

Over a quarter said drivers of all ages should be re-tested every 10 years, yet almost a third said they weren't sure they'd pass.

Expensive Jam

Major gridlocks in the UK could be costing families nearly £500 a year.

The figures from traffic data provider INRIX claim £4.3 billion is wasted through extra fuel costs and lost work hours every year because of the jams.

Budget Facts

The chancellor has frozen fuel duty again, cancelling a 3p rise planned for September.

The tax free personal allowance will increase to £9440 from 6 April 2013, and will again increase to £10,000 from  6 April 2014.   i.e. you will not be taxed on earnings below these levels.

From April 2013 you have the option to prepare your accounts on a simplified, cash, basis, meaning you can claim certain flat rate expenses in place of the actual costs.

Film Duffs

Two lorry drivers were caught watching DVDs while on major roads in Leicestershire in a police operation.

Officers used a heavy goods vehicle of their own to spy on drivers on M1 and A1 in a three-day operation, catching 90 drivers for a variety of offences.

The aim was to cut down on drink-driving, not wearing a seatbelt, using a phone and speeding, known as fatal four.

Of the 90 drivers caught during the operation, 52 were not wearing a seatbelt and were given £60 fines.  

Another 21 were using a mobile phone, 6 were said to be not in proper control of their vehicles.

All were given a £60 fine with three points of their licence.


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