Friday, 30 May 2014

Self-styled cycling superhero . . . .

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Self-styled cycling superhero 

or 

London motorists' public enemy number one? 

  • Vigilante biker names and shames errant drivers using SEVEN video cameras mounted on his helmet and bike
  • Traffic Droid, aka Lewis Dediare, sets out to name and shame poor drivers
  • Cyclist carries a red card and a ruler to measure his distance from cars
  • Took to the streets of London after he was injured in a crash in 2009
  • 'It's a war of attrition', he says of battle against bad drivers
  • 39-year-old says he has the 'invincibility of the law' to protect him
Cited at:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2640420/Cycling-superhero-names-shames-errant-drivers-seven-video-cameras-mounted-helmet-bike.html


Traffic Droid: Lewis Dediare patrols the streets of London on the look out for bad drivers

This self-styled cycling superhero has been naming and shaming errant drivers using seven video cameras mounted on his helmet and bike.

Clad in black lycra, Traffic Droid, aka Lewis Dediare, describes his battle as a 'war of attrition' as he cycles around London, branding drivers 'idiots' if they get in his way.

As well as a camera mounted on a three foot pole protruding from his modified bicycle, the 39-year-old carries a ruler to measure how his distance from cars, before bellowing into the car window to admonish the driver and showing them a 'red card'.

He then uploads his footage to YouTube and Twitter, and will often hand it over to traffic companies and police so the drivers can be further punished.

Mr Dediare's antics were filmed for Channel 4 documentary The Complainers, which features some of the countries most persistent complainers, and the call centre staff who have to deal with them. 

So far, Mr Dediare says his naming and shaming video clips have resulted in around 200 police warnings every year, as well as several prosecutions.

The telecoms officer set out to take action against poor driving in 2009 when he was hit by a car which failed to indicate as drove into his lane while out cycling.

He broke two ribs and also injured his back and hip, but when he learned the driver had only been given a driving education course he felt more needed to be done to warn motorists of the dangers they pose to cyclists.

He now drives a modified bike, which features a camera on three-foot pole protruding from his handlebars, and as well as a further camera his helmet carries three bright lights.

Mr Dedaire films his journeys to and from his office, cycling as much as two hours a day, before uploading his footage when he gets home in the evening.

Warning: Mr Dediare rides a modified bike featuring a camera on a pole protruding from his handlebars, and carries a red card which he shows to motorists

'If you do something wrong I have the invincibility of the law which I feel protects me and that's why I confront people with the law,' he told programme makers.

But Traffic Droid admits that not all drivers are welcoming of his advice, and he says he has often been threatened by motorists.

'It's a war, a war of attrition,' he said.

'One has to be prepared to combat that.'



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Pensioner loses licence for reading map at the wheel . . .

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Pensioner loses licence for reading map at the wheel

Cited at:
http://www.independent.ie/videos/world-news/pensioner-loses-licence-for-reading-map-at-the-wheel-30312237.html



Peter Rigby from Skipton was captured reading at the wheel of his Honda Jazz for over 10 seconds. He was fined £1,080 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £108 and costs of £85. In addition to being banned for 12 months, he was ordered to take an extended driving test.


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Lorry driver caught on camera having Skype conversation while driving on motorway . . .

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Lorry driver caught on camera having Skype conversation while driving on motorway

Cited at:
http://www.getbucks.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/lorry-driver-caught-camera-having-7181986


Surrey Police pulled the driver over and discovered he was chatting via webcam while in control of the large vehicle


Police were stunned when they caught a lorry driver on Britains busiest motorway having a conversation on Skype

A lorry driver was caught on Britain's busiest motorway having a conversation - on SKYPE.

Police filmed the trucker holding the webcam chat with a computer on his dashboard as he drove along the M25 on Tuesday.

Surrey motorway cops pulled him over and ordered him to pay a £600 deposit towards a prosecution.

They tweeted yesterday: "Would you believe it, this foreign lorry driver was having a Skype call whilst driving along the #M25!"

Would you believe it, this foreign lorry driver was having a Skype call whilst driving along the #M25! pic.twitter.com/8fyUW8ym01— Surrey Roads Police (@SurreyRoadCops) May 27, 2014

A spokesman said: "The driver is going to be reported for the offence and £600 taken as a deposit towards the prosecution.

"We have no power to seize the vehicle, and the roadside deposit negates the need to arrest the driver.

"The image is a still taken from our in-car video which will be used in evidence.

"When he pays the fine at the roadside he will be allowed on his way. The case can be heard in his absence."

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'Reduce speed by 10 mph' . . .

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'Reduce speed by 10 mph'

Cited at:
http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/wider-political-news/reduce-speed-by-10mph.24366029


MOTORISTS could be asked to drive 10mph slower to protect the environment and stay safe in extreme weather.

Former transport minister Stewart Stevenson has asked ministers to urge people to drive more slowly.

His successor Keith Brown and Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse will meet to discuss how this could help with their harmful emissions targets, which have been missed two years in a row.

In response to Mr Stevenson, Mr Wheelhouse told MSPs: "Reducing speed will have a benefit of reducing emissions. We are enabling people to become responsible drivers, reducing emissions, through not only speed control but measures like gear selection."

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Three quarters of motorists would fail driving test . . .

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Three quarters of motorists would fail driving test

Cited at:
http://recombu.com/cars/articles/news/three-quarters-of-motorists-would-fail-driving-test

Study highlights the fact you're probably not as safe behind the wheel as you think you are.

If you had to take your driving test again, would you pass? For the majority of you, the answer is no – if statistics are anything to go by, that is. Three quarters of motorists failed a mock driving test in a recent study.

Remember the fear of test day?

50 experienced motorists participated in the Direct Line study, out of which just 12 passed. The remaining 38 motorists managed an average of three major faults and 16 minors between them. 15 minors would result in a fail in a real practical test situation, as would any number of majors.

No special training was given prior to the test to ensure each participant drove how they would normally. The most severe faults were awarded for touching the curb during a three-point turn, doing 40mph in a 30mph zone and failing to check a blind spot, causing a pedestrian to backtrack onto a pavement.

Common mistakes included speeding to a lesser degree, lack of observation when reverse parking, failing to check mirrors and using the wrong gear ─ a reoccurring mistake that earned one participant a whopping 14 points.

The study said complacency and lack of concentration were largely to blame for the high number of failed tests, in part thanks to an over-reliance on devices like sat navs and driving aids such as automatic parking.

“Driving aids are becoming increasingly common and when used correctly, can result in a safer, more comfortable driving experience," Direct Line's Rob Miles commented.

"However, it’s important that drivers don’t rely too heavily on these aids, as it can be to the detriment of both their overall ability and concentration on the road ahead," he added.

RED Driving School conducted the re-tests. The driving licences of those involved were unaffected, regardless of whether they passed or failed.

Another study found male drivers were statistically more likely to pass first time than women.

Would you be part of the one quarter that passes or the three quarters that fail? Either way, you will have to try hard to fail 105 tests like this woman.

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Resurfacing on the A303, Hampshire . . .

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Resurfacing on the A303, Hampshire

Cited at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/resurfacing-on-the-a303-hampshire


Work will begin on Thursday (29 May) to resurface the A303 in Hampshire, resulting in smoother journeys for drivers.


The work will be carried out overnight from Thursday 29 May until the morning of Wednesday 9 July on the A303 between the A34 at Bullington Cross and Micheldever Station.

Guy Watts, Highways Agency Project Sponsor said:
The work will involve the complete resurfacing of the A303 in both directions, providing a new smoother road surface for drivers and maintaining safety by improving skid resistance. This means our infrastructure will continue to support the economy in Hampshire.

To minimise disruption we have planned work to take place overnight, when traffic flows are at their lowest, and a clearly signed diversion will be in place so that drivers can continue their journeys.

Work will take place between 10pm and 6am with no work over weekends. On Thursday 29 May, work will take place on the eastbound carriageway for eight nights. This will then be followed by work on the westbound carriageway for 15 nights from Tuesday 10 June, returning onto the eastbound carriageway for six nights from Tuesday 1 July.

During the work, the A303 will be closed in one direction at a time between the A34 and M3. Road users travelling westbound will be directed to continue on the M3 to junction 9 or south on the A33 to access the A34 northbound, re-joining the A303 westbound at Bullington Cross. Road users travelling eastbound will be diverted onto the A34 at Bullington Cross to re-join the M3 at junction 9. Alternatively, non-motorway traffic can travel north on the A33 from the A34/M3 junction 9 junction.
General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000

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Bridge maintenance work starts on A47 near King’s Lynn . . .

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Bridge maintenance work starts on A47 near King’s Lynn

Cited at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bridge-maintenance-work-starts-on-a47-near-kings-lynn


A vital scheme to repair and maintain three bridges on the A47 in Norfolk keeping journeys safe and reliable for road users will begin next month.


The work will take place on the A47 River Great Ouse, River Nar and Harbour Junction bridges between the A47/A17 Pullover Roundabout and the A47/A10/A149 Hardwick Roundabout. It will involve replacing the waterproofing on the bridges, replacing the bridge joints- which are important components that allow structures to expand and contract with changes in temperature - and resurfacing the bridge decks.

Advance work on the eight-week scheme will start on 9 June; this will not affect road users. Main work will start on 21 June and will be carried out, between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week. For safety reasons a contraflow over 2 miles with 30mph speed restriction, enforced by speed cameras, will be in place throughout the work. There will be overnight closures of the road between 14 and 20 June, in both directions, to install the temporary road layout.

Highways Agency project manager Ranjit Mistry said:
This work will prolong the life of the bridges, maintaining safe and reliable journeys on this important route. Expansion joints do need replacing from time to time, and the current waterproofing is coming to the end of its life; replacing it now and carrying out any necessary concrete repairs to the bridge reduces the need for future maintenance and the associated disruption to road users.

During the work we advise people to allow extra time for their journeys and be patient as they drive through the road works.

In order to install the contraflow system the A47 will be closed in both directions between Pullover Roundabout and Hardwick Roundabout overnight between 8pm and 6am from 14 to 20 June. A clearly signed diversion route will be in place.

During the closures, westbound traffic will be diverted from King’s Lynn to the A10 to Downham Market, A1122 and then A1101 to Wisbech; eastbound local traffic will be diverted in the opposite direction. Wide loads will also be required to use the temporary diversion.
General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000

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Weekend closures on A14 eastbound between junctions 7 to 9 in Kettering, Northamptonshire . . .

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Weekend closures on A14 eastbound between junctions 7 to 9 in Kettering, Northamptonshire

Cited at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/weekend-closures-on-a14-eastbound-between-junctions-7-to-9-in-kettering-northamptonshire


Road users are being advised of a three-night closure of the A14 eastbound in Kettering, between junctions 7 and 9 eastbound this weekend (30 May – 1 June).


The work involves widening the road and forms part of a £42million Highways Agency scheme to improve safety and relieve congestion on the A14 Kettering bypass.

From this Friday (30 May) there will be closures for three nights. The road will be closed from 8pm to 8am on Friday night, 8pm to 9am on Saturday night and 8pm to 6am on Sunday night.

In addition to the night closures, the eastbound off and on slip roads will be closed throughout the weekend from 8 pm Friday (30 May) until 6am on Monday (2 June). Diversion routes will be in place and will be clearly signposted.

Raymond Chitwanga, project manager for the scheme, said:
Along with safety and congestion benefits, the improvements are expected to make journey times more reliable.

We are carrying out the work overnight to minimise disruption to road users. A diversion will be in place taking motorists through Kettering from the A14 at junction 7 eastbound, to rejoin junction 9 where they will then be able to continue down the A14.

Road users are asked to plan their journeys, leaving extra time if necessary.

People can find out more about the A14 junctions 7 to 9 Kettering Bypass improvement work by visiting the Highways Agency’s website, Facebook page or by calling the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

The Highways Agency is also carrying out a large programme of work, as quickly and efficiently as possible, investing in the economy and support growth within the region. Major projects currently under construction in this area are:
  • M1 J19 improvements
  • A45/A46 Tollbar End Improvement
  • A45/A509 Wilby Way Roundabout Improvement Scheme
General enquiries
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000

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Improvement scheme at M6 junction 6 Salford Circus roundabout in Birmingham . . .

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Improvement scheme at M6 junction 6 Salford Circus roundabout in Birmingham

Cited at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/improvement-scheme-at-m6-junction-6-salford-circus-roundabout-in-birmingham


Work to enhance safety and improve traffic flow at a busy M6 roundabout in Birmingham gets underway next week.



The Salford Circus roundabout at junction 6 will be widened and new traffic signals will be installed to reduce traffic congestion and improve journey times.

The eight week pinch point scheme begins next Monday (2 June) and will take place overnight from 8pm to 6am.

Jess Kenny, Project Manager for the scheme, said:
This £800,000 pinch point scheme has been designed to make the junction safer and improve journey time reliability for road users.

The improvements will reduce traffic congestion which, in turn, will reduce journey times, particularly during peak periods, and benefit the environment by reducing slow moving and queuing traffic.

Although we have scheduled most of the work to take place overnight, to minimise disruption to road users, some work may have to take place in the day. We will publicise all diversions and lane closures in advance and they will be clearly signposted.

During the course of the work, there will be various lane closures at the roundabout, including a full closure of Slade Road, the A38 link road approaches to the roundabout, the A5127 Lichfield Road and Tyburn Road approaches. Diversion routes will be in place during all closures. The lanes and approaches to the roundabout will remain open out of the scheme’s working hours.

The work is expected to be completed in early July.

General enquiries
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000

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Smoother journeys for M66 drivers north of Bury . . .

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Smoother journeys for M66 drivers north of Bury

Cited at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/smoother-journeys-for-m66-drivers-north-of-bury

A £256,000 Highways Agency project to tackle wear and tear along the M66 north of Bury in Greater Manchester will start next month.


The repairs – which include resurfacing and renewing road markings and road studs along the northbound carriageway between junction 2 at Bury and the end of the motorway beyond junction 1 at Edenfield - will be taking place between Monday 16 June and Thursday 31 July.

Highways Agency project sponsor Jakub Malaj said:
This is routine work to tackle wear and tear along a section of the M66 where customers have told us they would appreciate a programme of repairs to provide smoother journeys.

All the work will be done overnight and will require some overnight carriageway closures between 10pm and 5am each night with clearly-signed diversions in place using the parallel A56 local road.

Drivers are also advised that work will also be taking place at the roundabout with the A56 at Edenfield where the end of the M66 and the A56 meet the A676 local road. This £101,000 scheme will also be delivered during late July and the end of August with some overnight closures of the roundabout and clearly-signed diversions in place. The repairs here also include resurfacing and renewing road markings and road studs.

General enquiries
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000

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Overnight work on A46 at Alcester, Warwickshire . . .

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Overnight work on A46 at Alcester, Warwickshire

Cited at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/overnight-work-on-a46-at-alcester-warwickshire

Overnight improvement work on the A46 at Alcester, Warwickshire, will take place from Monday 9 June to Wednesday 25 June.


The work between Wixford overbridge and the Stratford Road junction includes resurfacing, reinstatement of road markings and installation of tactile paving at the bridleway crossing on the A46/A435 Oversley Mill roundabout.

It will be carried out in three phases, all involving full closures of the A46 from 8pm to 6am Mondays to Fridays.

The first phase will see the A46 closed in both directions between the B439 Salford Priors Roundabout and the A435 Oversley Mill Roundabout. Traffic will be diverted along the A44, B4088, the A422 and A435, or vice versa.

Phase two requires the road to be closed between Oversley Mill Roundabout and Stratford Road, with traffic diverted via the A435 , A4189, A3400, or vice versa.

The third phase will see the closure of the A46 between Salford Priors Roundabout and Stratford Road. The diversion route will be an amalgamation of those for the first two phases - the A44, B4088, A422, A435, A4189 and A3400, or vice versa.

Separate signed diversions will be in place for vehicles over 14’.

General enquiries
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000

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Bridge work to start over M5 and M6 in the West Midlands . . .

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Bridge work to start over M5 and M6 in the West Midlands

Cited at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/bridge-work-to-start-over-m5-and-m6-in-the-west-midlands

Two schemes to replace bridge expansion joints, which allow structures to expand and contract with changes in temperature, start above the M5 and M6 in the West Midlands on Monday 2 June.


The Lye Close Lane overbridge, just south of the M5 junction 3 near Frankley, will be closed for three nights, from 9pm to 5am with traffic diverted via Lapal Lane South, Manor Way, Manor Lane and Carters Lane.

Beechdale Lane over the M6, approximately three miles south of junction 15 in Staffordshire, will be closed for three days between 9am and 5pm, also from Monday 2 June. Traffic will be diverted via the A519, A51 and Winghouse Lane.

Highways Agency Project Manager Colin Jackson said:
These will be localised closures with no impact on motorway traffic. Road users who would normally travel along these bridges are advised to allow extra time for their journeys.

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Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency Daily Digest Bulletin . . .

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The Official Highway Code: fitness to drive 

Fitness to drive 

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

Rule 90


Make sure that you are fit to drive. You MUST report to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) any health condition likely to affect your driving.

Law RTA 1988 sect 94 


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Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency Daily Digest Bulletin . . .

___________________________________________________________________

The Official Highway Code: vehicle towing and loading 

Vehicle towing and loading 

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

Rule 98

Vehicle towing and loading. As a driver: 
  • you MUST NOT tow more than your licence permits. If you passed a car test after 1 Jan 1997 you are restricted on the weight of trailer you can tow 
  • you MUST NOT overload your vehicle or trailer. You should not tow a weight greater than that recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle 
  • you MUST secure your load and it MUST NOT stick out dangerously. Make sure any heavy or sharp objects and any animals are secured safely. If there is a collision, they might hit someone inside the vehicle and cause serious injury 
  • One or more lanes may be closed to traffic and a lower speed limit may apply. 
  • Works vehicles that are slow moving or stationary with a large ‘Keep Left’ or ‘Keep Right’ sign on the back are sometimes used to close lanes for repairs, and a flashing light arrow may also be used to make the works vehicle more conspicuous from a distance and give earlier warning to drivers that they need to move over to the next lane. 
  • you should properly distribute the weight in your caravan or trailer with heavy items mainly over the axle(s) and ensure a downward load on the tow ball. Manufacturer’s recommended weight and tow ball load should not be exceeded. This should avoid the possibility of swerving or snaking and going out of control. If this does happen, ease off the accelerator and reduce speed gently to regain control 
  • carrying a load or pulling a trailer may require you to adjust the headlights 
In the event of a breakdown, be aware that towing a vehicle on a tow rope is potentially dangerous. You should consider professional recovery.

Laws CUR reg 100 & MV(DL)R reg 43 

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Are you ready for the Driver CPC training deadline? . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Are you ready for the Driver CPC training deadline?

Cited at:
https://movingon.blog.gov.uk/2014/04/10/are-you-ready-for-the-driver-cpc-training-deadline/


Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world and one of the ways we keep them this way is by encouraging all drivers to keep their skills up to date. This is particularly important for professional drivers.

The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence – or Driver CPC – was introduced in 2008 for those who drive a bus, coach or lorry for a living.

From 2009, new lorry drivers had to successfully complete the Driver CPC initial qualification before entering the industry. After that, they must complete 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to continue driving professionally.

Existing drivers were awarded ‘acquired rights’ which took their previous experience into account and allowed them 5 years before their first block of 35 hours training had to be completed. The deadline for these drivers to have completed this training is 10 September 2014.

Nearly 700,000 hours of training were completed in 2013, and lorry drivers with acquired rights are well on the way to completing their first round of 35 hours of periodic training before the 10 September 2014 deadline.

We are encouraged by the number of lorry drivers taking part in periodic training, but all professional drivers and their employers must be aware of the deadlines. Drivers can check on GOV.UK to see how many hours of training they’ve completed, and create a password to share the information with their employer.

Operators can use Driver CPC training to make sure their drivers are up to date with the latest on fuel-efficient driving techniques, defensive driving, first aid, health and safety, drivers’ hours and tachograph training. You can find training centres approved to deliver Driver CPC courses at www.jaupt.org.uk

DVSA’s Chief Executive, Alastair Peoples, said “DVSA enforcement officers already routinely check the Driver CPC status of professional drivers. After the deadline they’ll be able to check whether ‘acquired rights’ lorry drivers have completed their training or are driving illegally. Not being aware of Driver CPC is not an excuse for drivers or operators.”

The message is echoed by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner, who urged transport managers, directors and licence holders to recognise the importance of this qualification to their workforce and be aware of their drivers’ training hours and deadlines to avoid penalties.

Joan Aitken, lead Traffic Commissioner on Driver CPC, said “This is a critical time for the HGV industry. Driver CPC is not an optional extra – it is a must.

“Operators could find themselves before commissioners if there are issues around the circumstances in which a driver was working without their driver qualification card (DQC), or failed to produce it.”


Driver CPC statistics are also available.

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Keeping up with the Highway Code is easier than ever . . .

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Keeping up with the Highway Code is easier than ever

Cited at:
https://movingon.blog.gov.uk/2014/03/20/keeping-up-with-the-highway-code-is-easier-than-ever/


Professional drivers know the importance of keeping up-to-date with the Highway Code, and modern technology means that it’s easier than ever to do that. You can now:

Stay fresh

If you use social media, you can follow, like and join in the conversations on Twitter and Facebook.
It’s a great way for professionals to keep their knowledge fresh to benefit your business.

Want a weekly reminder?

You can also get a weekly reminder on everything about the Code, from reversing and overtaking to road works and tramways – just sign up to our news alert service.

The Official Highway Code is for everyone, all the time – help keep our roads safe and spread the word!

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Utility service maintenance caveat to EC drivers hours exemptions . . .

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Utility service maintenance caveat to EC drivers hours exemptions

Cited at: 
https://movingon.blog.gov.uk/2014/04/07/utility-service-maintenance-caveat-to-ec-drivers-hours-exemptions/



Vehicles which are used in connection with sewerage, flood protection, water, gas and electricity maintenance services may be exempt from the EC drivers’ hours rules. For interested readers, this is covered by EC Regulation 561/2006.

But there is also a maintenance caveat that limits how far this exemption goes.

The key word here is ‘maintenance’ – what does it actually mean? We have published an advice note on GOV.UK to define what ‘maintenance’ can mean in the context of the exemption.

Basically, for vehicles to qualify they must be directly involved in maintenance work, where part of the existing utility infrastructure is being repaired or replaced.

For example, a vehicle used when replacing an existing section of underground pipe would be exempt from the EC drivers’ hours rules, but a vehicle used when installing a new underground piping system would not.

Some electricity companies argue that all their vehicles are exempt because all their work goes towards maintaining the national grid. But this goes beyond the exemption, and some of these operations are in fact bound by EC drivers’ hours rules.

Some sewerage companies believe that vehicles transporting sludge from their plants should be exempt. Although removing sludge from the sewage system can be seen as maintenance, actually transporting sludge from the plant may not. If sludge is removed directly from the sewage system onto the vehicle and transported away immediately, this maintenance work would be exempt. However, if sludge is removed from the system then stored at the plant before being transferred onto a vehicle, the ‘maintenance’ element would have been completed before the sludge was transported, so this journey would fall under EC drivers’ hours rules.


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A load security guide – work has begun . . .

___________________________________________________________________

A load security guide – work has begun

Cited at:
https://movingon.blog.gov.uk/2014/04/24/a-load-security-guide-work-has-begun/


Load security has been a hot topic over the past 12 months, mostly because once we started taking a closer look at this during our roadside enforcement checks, it became clear that this was a much larger issue – due to the variety of vehicles, loads, load positioning, securing devices and interpretations of what constitutes a secure load – than we first expected.

Our customer and stakeholder relationships are important to us. We have a policy of open involvement, particularly when we’re introducing new working practices. When we began to introduce our load security policy, we attended seminars and conferences and held meetings regularly with the trade and trade associations to exchange information on load security.

During these events we were often asked if we had any shorter or simpler guidance available for operators and drivers than the existing Department for Transport code of practice and the EU best practice guide.

This year we set up a working party with members from across the industry. We have included trade associations, vehicle manufacturers, operators, Health and Safety Executive and Highways Agency to look at what could be done to help you.

The first meeting held in January was very productive. Some excellent ideas were discussed, including the production of YouTube videos, pictorial leaflets and some simple guides. The hard work has now started on sorting out the details of what can be produced and who will contribute their expertise.

What load security issue would you most like to see addressed? Would you prefer a video, leaflet or short guide to help you? Email your thoughts to movingon@vosa.gov.uk to feed in to this process.

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Highways Agency warns tailgaters that 'only a fool breaks the 2-second rule' . . .

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Highways Agency warns tailgaters that 'only a fool breaks the 2-second rule'

Cited at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/highways-agency-warns-tailgaters-that-only-a-fool-breaks-the-two-second-rule

Drivers are being reminded to keep their distance as road safety charity Brake reveals that 6 in 10 drivers admit to risky tailgating.


The survey, by Brake and Direct Line, also shows that 95% of drivers are sometimes concerned about vehicles driving too close behind them.

Simon Sheldon-Wilson, Traffic Management Director for the Highways Agency, says:
Safety is our top priority and we are committed to continuing to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. Congestion on our roads is estimated to cost the economy £3 billion each year, and a quarter of this is caused by the 430,000 incidents we deal with annually.

14% of casualties on our roads are caused by people tailgating. That’s why we’re reminding people to stay safe and keep at least a 2-second gap from the car in front.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s Chief Driving Examiner, Lesley Young, said:
Keeping a big enough stopping distance is crucial to staying safe, particularly in fast moving traffic when you have less time to react. Always allow at least 2 seconds from the vehicle in front, and at least double this in bad conditions.

Not doing so could have tragic consequences. If in doubt, remember the saying, ‘only a fool breaks the 2-second rule’.

In dry conditions, drivers are advised to keep a 2-second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front. An easy way of doing this is by remembering ‘only a fool breaks the 2-second rule’.
The 2-second rule

As the car in front passes a fixed point, such as a sign or a bridge, start to say ‘only a fool breaks the 2-second rule’ at a normal rate.

The phrase takes about 2 seconds to say, so if you pass the same fixed point before you’ve finished saying it, you’re too close and should leave more room.

In wet conditions, this gap should be at least doubled. In icy conditions, it needs to be increased even further.

If you are being tailgated you should:
  • ease your foot off the accelerator
  • move into the inside lane, if it is safe to do so – make sure to apply the two second rule to any vehicle you move behind
Drivers are reminded that it is their responsibility to drive according to the conditions at all times.

Motorways in England have fewer fatalities than comparable roads in Europe, despite carrying more heavy traffic overall. But they are vulnerable to disruption when vehicles break down, crash, or lose their loads.

This video, presented by Sophie Raworth, explains more about the dangers of tailgating.


The Highways Agency urges all drivers to use its information services to plan their journeys, ensure their vehicles are properly maintained and ensure they have enough fuel to undertake their journeys before setting out.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

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Do you use a digital tachograph? . . .

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Do you use a digital tachograph?

Cited at:
https://movingon.blog.gov.uk/2014/04/28/do-you-use-a-digital-tachograph/


We have seen several recent cases at Public Inquiry where operators have been running vehicles fitted with digital tachographs, but with no idea how to use them. These are usually operators who hold restricted licences, who may not have a transport manager, and so the responsibility to make sure that the rules are followed sits with them.

The infringements we’ve seen include failing to get a company tachograph card and digital download equipment after buying a vehicle with a digital tachograph.

So, to help operators – particularly those without transport managers – stay on the right side of the law, here’s a checklist of your responsibilities around digital tachographs.

Drivers must:

  • use a driver card to digitally record all your work and driving under EC rules
  • make sure the recording equipment and driver card are functioning correctly and use them properly
  • only hold one card – the only exception to this is during the month before your card is about to expire, when you may also hold a replacement card
  • allow your employer to download data from your card
  • apply for a replacement to lost, stolen, damaged or malfunctioning cards within 7 days, and take printouts at the start and end of each driving day before your replacement card arrives
  • not use a card which does not bear your own details
  • not use or be in possession of a forged or altered card
  • not record any false data on your card or any recording equipment
  • not suppress or destroy any data recorded on your card or any recording equipment
  • not make a false, forged or altered statement to obtain a card
  • carry your card when working and produce it for DVSA officers or the police when asked to do so, even if it has not been used

Operators must:

  • make sure drivers do all of the above
  • have a company card to download the recorded data from the recording equipment
  • download the data from driver cards at least every 28 days
  • download the data from the recording equipment at least every 56 days
  • analyse data from the recording equipment and driver cards to check for breaches of drivers’ hours rules
  • make sure the recording equipment is functioning correctly and is used properly
  • make sure the recording equipment is calibrated every 2 years
  • make sure defective recording equipment is repaired without delay

We check drivers’ hours and tachograph records, and those who are found to be in breach of the rules can be fined or, in the most serious cases, imprisoned for up to 2 years, and have their operator licence revoked, suspended or curtailed. As recent Public Inquiries show.

If you’re not sure about the rules for tachographs or how to use them, visit www.gov.uk/tachographs for more information.

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Self service licensing to improve . . .

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Self service licensing to improve

Cited at:
https://movingon.blog.gov.uk/2014/05/06/self-service-licensing-to-improve/


This article has been provided by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner

Self service operator licensing will be extended next year and you will be able to make new applications online and submit electronic paperwork for the first time.

In 2012 to 2013, you made over 75% of transactions online. If you’re a self service user, you can already make vehicle changes, apply for licence increases and pay fees – amongst other things – online.

We have already started work on developing the new services, including replacing the system behind operator licensing self service with a new database. The improvements will provide better services to you and better processes for applications, licences and public inquiry cases.

For the industry, new licence applicants will be able to apply online. The new system will also get data from Companies House automatically. And existing operators will be able to send in some paperwork electronically.

The project team – which includes the Traffic Commissioner for the North East of England, Kevin Rooney, and staff from DVSA – will update you through this blog over the coming months.

We will talk about the latest developments, show screens from the new system as well as asking you and the industry for feedback on the proposed improvements.

We want to hear your suggestions and thoughts on the latest developments. You can also see what has been developed so far on the new system, using our demonstration site – if you are interested, email us at operatorlicensing@otc.gsi.gov.uk for more details.

Operators can register for self service facilities at www.gov.uk/manage-commercial-vehicle-operator-licence-online

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Progress with HGV Road User Levy . . .

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Progress with HGV Road User Levy

Cited at:
https://movingon.blog.gov.uk/2014/05/19/progress-with-hgv-road-user-levy/


Since 1 April 2014, HGVs weighing 12 tonnes or more have had to pay a HGV Levy to use UK roads. Last year, we checked over 33,000 non-GB vehicles outside of a port boundary. This year, these checks will now include one to make sure the HGV Levy has been paid.

During the first month of enforcement, we inspected just over 4,000 non-GB vehicles on the road network and issued 306 fixed penalties for £300 for not having paid the HGV Levy.


We are increasing the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera estate around the strategic road network so that we can specifically target vehicles with no levy in force

Customers can find out more about the HGV Road User Levy through Twitter@HGVLevy, facebook.com/HGVLevy and on www.hgvlevy-info.org.uk.

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