Saturday, 29 March 2014
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
The accident happened in central London when the motorist lost control of the new £80,000 Range Rover Sport.
It ploughed through railings at the junction of Fitzroy Square and Fitzroy Street and fell into a 14ft drop early on Sunday, according to a report in Mail Online.
Amazingly, although the car, which didn't even have 500 miles on its clock, was written off, none of the people in it were hurt.
Passer-by Farook Rahman was quoted in the report as saying: "I noticed the railing was smashed and there were some skid marks on the pavement, so I went over for a look.
"I couldn't believe it when I saw this posh car stuck at the bottom. That would either take a lot of skill or bad luck to land a huge car down there.
"I spoke to one of the neighbours who said the car had four girls in it and they were all right, which in itself is a miracle.
"I've never seen anything like that before."
The car, which ended up with a squashed and scratched roof plus broken and cracked windows, was later lifted out by crane and the accident scene was boarded up to prevent pedestrians falling down the gap.
Police said it was not a matter for them to investigate.
Saturday, 22 March 2014
Road hogs slapped
The stats sucked in various regional differences: for wheel-spinning and handbrake turns, head to Lancashire. Lancashire police recorded 143 of these offences, more than any other force. For road-hogging offences, the most chalked up - 48 in total - came from the Thames Valley.
"The encouraging thing," RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister told Autoexpress, "is that this new law is being used by police. The long-term test is whether accident rates fall."
Penalties now include on-the-spot fines and forcing drivers to take an educational course, similar to drink-driving and speeding schemes. The fixed penalty for careless driving is £100 with three points on a driver's licence.
"The most serious examples will continue to go through court, where offenders may face higher penalties," says the police.
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
Almost 700 £30 fines were issued during the charity run in 2012, as the city's traffic enforcement cameras snapped a barrage of motorists. According to a Freedom of Information request, £20,550 was generated from bus lane fines in that day.
Nigel Cameron, 35, told The Mirror: "A steward was directing traffic into the bus lane so everyone was going that way.
"A couple of weeks later I received the charge notice from the council."
He refused to settle the £30 fine – that doubles to £60 if it is not paid within 14 days – and instead opted to appeal.
"I appealed but it was rejected. After speaking to a colleague they suggested submitting a freedom of information request," Mr Cameron told The Mirror.
"The results were alarming and the amount of money taken in by the council on that one day was over £20,000 due to someone directing traffic down the bus lane.
"I eventually won my appeal but what about the other motorists who had enforcements that day?"
Motorists in Glasgow have already accused the council of using traffic enforcement cameras to generate revenue rather than improve traffic flow and this case has further angered residents.
A city council statement told The Mirror: "The adjudicator stated the circumstances of this case are unique."
Appearing on online bidding site eBay, the silver hatchback became an enduring image of the plight of Somerset residents, as it appeared on regular news bulletins due to its situation on a main strip used by rescuers in inflatable boats.
The stricken £600 car was eventually rescued from the water and returned to its owner
"It was shocking, seeing my car on telly and in the international news. Everyone was talking about it, including the Prince of Wales," he said
Quite how much money is expected to be raised is unclear, given the extensive damage the car has suffered being underwater for nearly two months.
The eBay advert reads: "Genuine Seat Toledo from the floods in somerset.
"Obviously NOT in working condition, but my aim is to sell the car and donate the money to a Charity which is helping with the floods.
"Any Questions please message me. Collection Only"
Bidding on the ruined Toledo is currently at £410.00. If you fancy owning it, the auction closes on March 19
Friday, 14 March 2014
So is this a good deal?
You can choose to spend your discounts as you go along. Alternatively you can save them within each calendar month for a bigger discount. So, for example, if you have one shop of £100, one of £50, one of £30 and one of £20, you'll get them all added together for 8p off per litre.
There aren't any vouchers with this scheme. You just need to swipe your Clubcard each time you shop, and the points will be added to your card. Then if you swipe your Clubcard when you pay for your petrol, the discount will come off automatically.
So how does it compare?
There are those who highlight that when Asda announced its price cut in January it said that motorists would pay no more than 126.7p per litre for petrol - and when it announced another 1p cut in March it still said motorists would pay no more than 126.7p per litre - so it would appear that in between the price has been allowed to drift up unnoticed.
However, the supermarkets remain incredibly competitive for fuel even without a special deal. The AA says that at the moment the average supermarket fuel is 1.6 pence per litre cheaper than the overall UK average - and that the gap is growing.
More recently, the supermarkets have run more complex schemes. Morrisons, for example, ran a deal in February where anyone who shopped at least once a week in the store - and spent at least £40 each time - would get £10 off their shopping in the fourth week - plus a fuel coupon worth 10p off per litre.
Sainsbury's is currently running a deal for its pay-as-you-go mobile phone customers, offering 11p off a litre when you top-up £10 on your phone. As we reported at the time the deal was announced, customers who currently use a Sainsbury's phone stand to save up to £7 through the deal. Other customers can switch to a Sainsbury's SIM, but may end up saving far less when the cost of calls is added into the equation.
The Morrisons deal is likely to be more financially rewarding for those who manage to stick to the rules, and the Sainsbury's deal may be better for those who spend at least £10 a month on their phone and less than £300 a month at the supermarket. However, the Tesco deal has the advantage of simplicity, and the fact that if you already shop there, you don't have to change your habits at all to make a saving.
The answer, therefore, is that if you shop at Tesco already, and your Tesco is offering competitively priced fuel, then you're going to make a saving. However, it pays to keep an eye out for other deals which crop up in the interim, to check whether you can qualify for a bigger saving elsewhere
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
The scarlet Ferrari 458 Italia – which starts at over £178,000 new – was parked in a roadside bay when it was struck by a white DAF truck, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the bodywork.
Police officers attended the scene but no arrests were made. The driver of the lorry was said to be shaken but not seriously injured, following the smash.
The incident happened in Kensington Square, one of the capital's most exclusive areas, and where the average house price is around £8million.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Police were called at approximately 2pm to Kensington Square to a collision between a lorry and a parked vehicle. The parked vehicle is a red Ferrari and the lorry was a white DAF truck,"
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Youngster William Bateman won the specialist truck in an eBay auction after his mother, Fleur, left her computer logged in to the site.
Distraught Fleur immediately contacted the website in an attempt to retract her son's winning £3,500 bid.
The mum of three said "I had to beg them to retract my bid when I was congratulated on my win on the site. I can laugh about it now but at the time I was so shocked and angry."
The dustcart would have joined William's extensive collection of refuse collection memorabilia, which includes toy wheelie bins and miniature lorries.
The boy's love for rubbish began when he was a baby and he now dreams of becoming a recycling plant manager.
He eagerly awaits the weekly bin collection at his home in Great Paxton, Cambridgeshire, to see the bin men in action.
The schoolboy even lectures his parents' friends on recycling and tells them off if they do it incorrectly.
He said: "I think it's really important to recycle and put rubbish in the bin. I love all my bins and I know lots about it."
His mother says that she and her husband Paul spent months searching for a children's book about a binman, as William refused to read about anything else.
Consequently, Fleur took it upon herself to write 'Burt the Binman' which is due to go on sale in W H Smith
A new survey has revealed that a staggering amount of UK drivers are still unaware of motoring laws, with nine per cent not realising an MOT certificate is a legal requirement.
To compound matters, a further nine per cent of those questioned didn't realise car insurance was compulsory and ten per cent had no idea that a valid tax disc was also essential.
The study revealed widespread levels of ignorance with regards to motoring obligations from drivers in the UK, as at the other end of the spectrum, a fifth of those motorists questioned believed that a vehicle service was a legal requirement.
It seems a large amount of UK drivers believe the laws are stricter than they actually are, as 46 per cent of those questioned thought that the law required them to carry a spare tyre in the UK and 18 per cent incorrectly said the same about an emergency warning triangle.
"This widespread confusion amongst motorists is alarming and raises real concerns over driver safety and compliance with the law."
The research also revealed the general levels of confusion surrounding the MOT certificate, with many believing that oil levels and the condition of the battery were checked during the test.
"It's vital that car owners don't rely entirely on an MOT test for vehicle maintenance, as servicing is a fundamental part of maintaining both the safety and value of a vehicle, even though it isn't a legal requirement,"
Alexandra O'Shea, 35, from Bedminster Down, Bristol was spotted littering by the PCSOs as she drove through the Bristol suburb of Hartcliffe last summer.
She was immediately handed a £75 on-the-spot fine, which she refused to pay.
Bristol County Council decided to follow up the case and summoned O'Shea to court to settle the matter.
Carol Donovan, a street scene officer for Bristol City Council, said: "We wrote to her telling her that if she did not pay that we would take her to court.
"She ignored this, and failed to turn up when the case was heard, despite reminders, and then Magistrates obviously took her behaviour very seriously."
Bristol Magistrates' Court found O'Shea guilty of littering and she was ordered to pay a fine of £600, costs of £361.08, and a £60 victim surcharge.
Jonquil Maudlin, council neighbourhood enforcement manager, backed the decision, saying: "People should be aware that cigarette ends are just as much litter as anything else, and they take a long time to biodegrade, as they are made not of paper, but of plastic filament.
"They are full of toxic chemicals and it has been found that many have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds and other animals who mistake them for food."
"This case also shows the importance of people taking these cases seriously and not just ignoring them," she added.
Andy Walker, from the Keep Britain Tidy Campaign, added: "People tend to think that littering is a victimless crime but the reality is it affects us all.
"According to research, littering costs the country around £1 billion every single year, and it is a major cost for councils such as Bristol City Council.
"Every time someone drops litter in the street, we are all having to pay to clean it up. If this person had paid the fine and not ignored the court letters then she would not have got herself in such a mess,"
One key principle of the Advanced Driving technique is to plan as far ahead as possible – a method which is also integral to eco-driving. By extending your observation, you can plan your actions sooner and avoid harsh braking. When approaching a roundabout, junction, queue or red traffic lights, ease off the accelerator and slow down sooner – driving at a constant speed is far more fuel-efficient than accelerating and braking.
If you get stuck in a queue of traffic during rush hour or following a collision, bear in mind that you may be waiting there for some time. If it is safe to do so, switch off your engine. But remain alert and prepare for the flow of traffic to resume.
As well as a legal obligation, sticking to the speed limit also brings with it a fuel-saving incentive. Driving smoothly at the speed limit can not only lower your fuel costs by reducing consumption by up to 25 per cent, but can avoid the fines incurred when you get caught speeding.
Rather than working your way through your gears one-by-one, block changing can save on fuel – e.g. going from 2nd to 4th gear when accelerating, or from 5th to 2nd gear when decelerating. This will also limit the time which you spend with only one hand on the steering wheel.
Try to make reversing into parking spaces common practice. If you do all of the manoeuvring before you leave your vehicle, when you return you can drive straight out, allowing the engine to warm up more quickly, as well as improving visibility.
We should all give our cars a quick once over each week, although this task often fails to take priority. Checking your car, and in particular your tyres, becomes even more important when thinking green. Tyre tread depth and pressure should be checked regularly to ensure that you are not burning excess fuel. Tyre pressure should be checked when the wheels are cold to get a true reading.
Although it is advisable to carry an emergency kit in your car in preparation for a breakdown, it is important to balance this with the minimisation of excess weight in your vehicle, as heavy unnecessary items can act as a hindrance to your green intentions. Roof racks should be removed as they add weight to the vehicle and increase wind resistance, both of which increase fuel consumption
Monday, 3 March 2014
Do you ever arrive at work and realise you can't remember anything about your drive there? Driving on auto pilot is a dangerous thing, but there are plenty of things you can do to make your daily commute safer.
Keep the car maintained. You may be driving with the low sun in your eyes, so make sure your windscreen washer fluid is topped up and that your windscreen and windows are clean. Check and adjust your tyre pressure regularly, and keep an eye on tread depth – this must be at least 1.6 millimetres – and their condition. You should also keep the oil at the right level and check all of your lights work.
The biggest problem with commuting is that everyone travels at the same time. People get frustrated and tired and will be inclined to behave unpredictably – watch out for people changing lanes suddenly as they try and get ahead of traffic. Be wary and anticipate the actions of road users around you.
Stay calm. Being stuck in traffic and late for work is stressful, so allow a lot more time than you're likely to need for the journey. I recently spent two hours on the M4 and only covered three miles. If you're going to be late and need to let a colleague know, pull over into a safe place not obstructing other traffic, switch the engine off and make the call before carrying on. Avoid rushing the rest of the journey to make up time. Better late than never, especially where your life's concerned. And please, don't be tempted to use your smartphone to check your work emails while you drive.
Check the weather forecast before you travel, especially when making a long journey. Heavy rain always slows traffic down, and in very severe weather conditions you need to consider if it's safe to travel. When you are on the road, listen out for traffic updates on the radio in case your route is affected, but never look for updates on your mobile phone or satnav while on the move. The Highways Agency has a useful app with up to date traffic information for incidents on its roads, but remember you are breaking the law if you access it on a hand-held device, while moving.
Knowing an alternative route in case of an accident or road closures is also useful.
Does your insurance cover you? Many policies will include commuting, but make sure they do, and if you start a job which involves commuting further remember to increase the mileage on your insurance premium. If you are expected to drive for work, you need to make sure your insurer covers you for business mileage too. If you have an accident driving for work, you won't be covered if you don't have this. Many employers will have driver risk assessment schemes in place, and company insurance, but they are not legally obliged to do so, so don't leave this to chance.
|Andrew Nicholls, Scott Westhead, Melcolm Smith and Philip Wallis|