Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Official Highway Code: alcohol

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The Official Highway Code: alcohol

Alcohol

The Highway Code applies to 
England, Scotland and Wales 
and is essential reading for 
everyone.

Rule 95

Do not drink and drive as it will seriously affect your judgement and abilities. You MUST NOT drive with a breath alcohol level higher than 35 microgrammes/100 millilitres of breath or a blood alcohol level of more than 80 milligrammes/100 millilitres of blood. Alcohol will:

  • give a false sense of confidence.
  • reduce co-ordination and slow down reactions.
  • affect judgement of speed, distance and risk.
  • reduce your driving ability, even if you’re below the legal limit.
  • take time to leave your body; you may be unfit to drive in the evening after drinking at lunchtime, or in the morning after drinking the previous evening.
The best solution is not to drink at all when planning to drive because any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely. If you are going to drink, arrange another means of transport.

Law RTA 1988 sects 4, 5 & 11(2)



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Monday, 16 December 2013

Transport Manager Acquired Rights

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Transport Manager Acquired Rights

Any Transport Managers who missed the 20 November deadline to apply for their new Acquired Rights certificate should, visit GOV.UK for further information.

Transport Managers who have passed a Certificate of Professional Competence – CPC – exam do not need to apply for Acquired Rights. 

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Address-free driver tachograph cards

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Address-free driver tachograph cards

DVLA is improving the process for commercial drivers who need to change the address on their driving licence and driver tachograph card. From December 2013, if you move home and need to change the address on your driving licence, your tachograph card record will update automatically.

Any cards issued by DVLA from December 2013 will be a new card without an address.

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Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency named

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Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency named

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency name was announced on 28 November and replaces the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and the Driving Standards Agency with responsibilities for setting, testing and enforcing driver and vehicle standards in Great Britain.

The new agency name will be introduced gradually, ahead of the formal launch in April 2014, with no change to the level or quality of services during the transition period.

You can read the full announcement from the Department for Transport on GOV.UK.

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Monday, 9 December 2013

DVLA cuts unnecessary red tape for motorists

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Motorists will no longer need motor insurance policies to be checked when getting their vehicle tax.

The change, announced today by Roads Minister Robert Goodwill, is part of a package of measures to get rid of unnecessary red tape.

The changes, which come into force from 16 December 2013, also mean that motorists will only need to tell DVLA once when they declare their vehicle off the road. Currently, motorists who make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) have to renew their SORN every year. Last year, around 4 million SORNs were made, with over 1 million of those repeat renewals.

Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said:

“We want to make it as easy as possible for motorists to access government services.”

“Getting rid of needless bits of paper, making changes to free up motorists’ time, while saving money for the taxpayer, is all part of our commitment to get rid of unnecessary red tape.”

The changes to insurance checks have been made possible because DVLA regularly checks existing databases for insurance under Continuous Insurance Enforcement rules. DVLA’s records are compared regularly with the Motor Insurance Database to identify registered keepers of vehicles that have no insurance.

Ashton West, Chief Executive at the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) said:

“Motor insurance remains a legal requirement and these changes recognise the value and importance of the insurance records held centrally on the MID. The introduction of Continuous Insurance Enforcement in 2011 was always designed to provide a more robust and technology driven solution to ensuring that vehicles have insurance in place. The successful introduction of the new process by the DVLA and the MIB has enabled these changes to be made now, which will bring benefits to millions of motorists.”

Commenting on the changes to declaring SORN, Geoff Lancaster of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs said, “DVLA are to be congratulated for making sensible use of their technology to maintain their high standards of service while at the same time simplifying life for road users.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. Motorists must ensure that they have appropriate motor insurance in place.
  2. The Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) scheme to tackle uninsured motorists was launched in June 2011. Under the scheme it is an offence to be the keeper of an uninsured vehicle. Information is cross checked between the Motor Insurance Database (MID) and DVLA keeper records.
  3. Under CIE, keepers of vehicles which appear to be uninsured are sent reminder letters. Those who take no action receive a fixed penalty notice of £100, followed by enforcement action - wheelclamping, impounding and ultimately prosecution by the courts (the maximum fine in Court is £1,000).
  4. For the offence of driving without insurance the police can offer a fixed penalty of £200 plus six penalty points, or prosecution (maximum fine of £5,000), discretionary disqualification and mandatory endorsement of between six and eight penalty points. Since 2005 the police have had the power to seize uninsured vehicles. In 2011 they seized 140,000 vehicles.
  5. Drivers and owners can check their vehicle is on the Motor Insurance Database at www.askMID.com.
  6. The removal of the insurance check applies to motorists in GB; the removal of the need to SORN each year applies to all motorists in the UK.




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'Flash-For-Cash' warning for motorists...

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A new insurance scam targeting motorists is sweeping across Britain. Beware motorists 'flashing' to allow you to pull out. criminals running 'cash- for-crash' fraud rings have employed a new tactic dubbed 'flash- for-cash'. According to an article published by the BBC, criminals are now flashing their lights to grant you right of way from a junction. However, as you exit, the driver speeds forward deliberately causing an accident.

The adoption of this new scam results in a 'your word against mine' situation when it comes to apportioning the blame in court.

This latest warning comes from Asset Protection Unit (APU), a company that assists the police and the insurance industry with fraud investigations.

The APU's Director of Investigative Services said, "By appearing to offer the right of way, the criminal simply continues the journey into a collision, holding the victim at fault for turning across from which, of course, cannot be denied under law."

Unfortunately, 'flash-for-cash' and 'cash-for-crash' incidents are not limited to those directly involved.

According to Dave Hindmarsh, a Detective Inspector from the Metropolitan Police, these scams cost insurance companies around £392m a year.

Insurers recoup their losses by adding an extra £50-£100 on every driver's premium - a financial cost for everyone. This is another example of criminal gangs becoming sophisticated by exploiting loopholes in the insurance claim system. "Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal inviting you to proceed. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully."

Highway Code . . .

The Highway Code says, "Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users. Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal inviting you to proceed. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully." One way of combating the problem is to install a 'black box' accident recording system such as those supplied by Vision Techniques. These devices are mounted on the windscreen of the vehicle and effectively act as an independent witness in the event of a collision.

For more information visit www.crashcam.co.uk.   Article from to The Mover November 2013

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