Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Highway Code: Hot weather . . .

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Hot weather 

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

Rule 237 

Keep your vehicle well ventilated to avoid drowsiness. Be aware that the road surface may become soft or if it rains after a dry spell it may become slippery. These conditions could affect your steering and braking. If you are dazzled by bright sunlight, slow down and if necessary, stop. 







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Monday, 29 June 2015

Highway Code: Motorway signals . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Motorway signals 

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

Rule 257 

Amber flashing lights. These warn of a hazard ahead. The signal may show a temporary maximum speed limit, lanes that are closed or a message such as 'Fog'. Adjust your speed and look out for the danger until you pass a signal which is not flashing or one that gives the 'All clear' sign and you are sure it is safe to increase your speed. 





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Sunday, 28 June 2015

British tank crushes German teenage learner's car . . .

___________________________________________________________________

British tank crushes German teenage learner's car

  • 18-year-old German driver drove into a column of British tanks travelling through the small town of Augustdorf, but escaped unharmed

Cited at:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11645219/British-tank-crushes-German-teenage-learners-car.html



The woman's Toyota hatchback did not fare so well against the 62-tonne Challenger tank

A learner driver in Germany had a narrow escape on Monday when her car was crushed by a British tank.

The 18-year-old driver made the mistake of turning into a column of British tanks that were travelling through the small town of Augustdorf.

The British soldier at the controls of the tank behind her had no time to stop, but managed to turn so that he crushed the engine of the car, just avoiding the driver.

The 18-year-old woman, who has not been named under German privacy laws, escaped unharmed.

Her Toyota hatchback did not fare so well against the 62-tonne Challenger tank.

The car was completely flattened forward of the steering wheel.

The damage was estimated at €12,000 (£8,500).


Police cleared the 24-year-old British soldier driving the tank of any blame.

“The soldier had no chance to slow down,” a spokesman told reporters.

The area where the accident took place is well known for tank convoys passing through.

British army bases at Herford and Paderborn are nearby, and it is used as a military training area by the German army and its Nato allies.

The name of the road could have provided the young driver with a clue: Panzerringstrasse translates as “Tank Ring Road”.

The incident is the second in Germany involving a British tank in recent months.

In February a tank based at Paderborn crashed into an elderly German couple’s front garden.

The driver had lost control after a problem with the tank’s tracks.









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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Death Crash Teen In 142mph Snapchat Boast . . .

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Death Crash Teen In 142mph Snapchat Boast

Cited at:
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/death-crash-teen-142mph-snapchat-boast-174010986.html#fCTJnEN


Death Crash Teen In 142mph Snapchat Boast

A teenager bragged about clocking 142mph on a motorway hours before he sped through a red light and killed another driver.

Addil Haroon took a photo of his Audi A6's speedometer while racing at double the speed limit on the M62 in November last year.

He then sent it to a friend via Snapchat, saying: "Leeds to Rochdale 11mins catch me."

In the early hours of the next day, the 19-year-old drove the hire car through a red light in Bury Road, Rochdale, at more than 80mph.

He smashed into an Audi A5 with such force the vehicle was cut in half.

The 25-year-old driver, Joseph Brown-Lartey, died instantly from multiple injuries.

Experienced traffic officers said it was the worst accident scene they had dealt with.

Haroon, from Essex Street, Rochdale, was jailed at Manchester Minshull Street Crown for six years on Thursday.

He had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to causing death by dangerous driving and driving without a licence or insurance.

Sergeant Paul Higgins, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "Haroon's dangerous behaviour put innocent members of the public at risk and his irresponsible actions have devastated a family.

"He was uninsured, unlicensed and driving dangerously but he paid no heed and sadly Joseph paid the price for this.

"Many of the experienced traffic officers who were first on the scene described the collision scene as the worst they've witnessed and it will stay with them throughout their time in the force.

"Haroon is off the road and behind bars and I hope today's sentence goes some small way to bring some closure for the family."

Following his death, Mr Brown-Lartey's parents issued a statement, saying their "lives will never be the same again".

"Joseph is a great son, brother and friend to many people with his whole future ahead of him which has been tragically and suddenly taken away from us far too soon," they said.

"He will be sadly missed but never forgotten."










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Friday, 26 June 2015

Shocking footage shows driver completely lose it in amazing foul-mouthed road rage row with cyclist . . .

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Shocking footage shows driver completely lose it in amazing foul-mouthed road rage row with cyclist

Cited at:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/shocking-footage-shows-driver-completely-5802921



This is the shocking moment an angry driver exploded with rage at a cyclist after apparently thinking he hit his car.

Captured on a camera mounted to the unnamed cyclist's bike, the incredible footage shows the moment a driver gets out of his Land Rover Discovery - and completely loses it.

The footage begins with a group of cyclists driving down a road in Roehampton, south east London.

Although unclear when it was taken, the footage was uploaded to the internet on Saturday and shows a yellow car pass the cyclists and a Land Rover follows behind.

As the 4x4 passes by, the cyclist knocks on the car and say: "Come on" - apparently unhappy at how close they two had got.

Angry: The driver got into an explosive row with a cyclist

A man inside the car then screams an obscenity at the cyclist, shouting at him that there is a cycle lane nearby before stopping his car in front of the cyclist.

What follows is an amazing foul-mouthed tirade between the two men, which results in the driver apparently growling: I'll f****** kill you c***."

As the two square up to each other, the balding driver snarls: "Put your bike down you ****. ******* idiot. I’d ******* eat you for breakfast. You simple ****."

Fuming: Other cyclists stopped to try and calm the situation down

He then threatens to call police and asks the cyclist: "Did you thump my car you ****? I’ll ******* kill you, ****.

"I’ll smash your ******* teeth down your throat."

A peacemaker arrives and tries to calm the situation down, before the man gets back in his car and drives off.

The video has been posted onto YouTube where it has been viewed more than 30,000 times.











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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Drink-drive offences fall after lower limit introduced . . .

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Drink-drive offences fall after lower limit introduced

Cited at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-32940408

The change has brought Scotland into line with most of the rest of Europe

Drink-driving offences have fallen in Scotland following the introduction of a lower alcohol limit.

New figures show that the number of offences fell by 17% in the first three months of the year.

In December a lower drink-drive limit came into force, meaning just one drink could mean a driver was breaking the law.

Police data shows the number of offences fell from 1,209 to 997 over the same period in 2014.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "Since the introduction of the new lower drink-drive limit six months ago, Scotland is starting to see a real change in behaviour.

"The 17% reduction in drink-driving offences indicates that Scottish drivers are avoiding alcohol when they are driving.

"Fewer drink-driving offences is a positive story for Scotland and shows that we're leading social and legislative change in the UK."

'No grey area'

The figures were revealed as Police Scotland launched its summer drink-drive campaign.

Ch Supt Iain Murray, head of road policing, said: "Police stop more than 20,000 Scottish drivers a month. That's one vehicle every two minutes.

"If you have committed an offence, or if we have reasonable cause to suspect that you have been drinking, you may be subjected to a breath test.

"Even if you're just over the limit, you're still a drunk-driver in the eyes of the law - there is no grey area."

He added: "This may affect your current and future employment, and can have wider implications for other areas of your life including overseas travel, even just for family holidays. If you drink and drive, you won't just spoil summer."








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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

23% of speed cameras 'not used'Nearly a quarter of the speed cameras in the UK are not being used and drivers in the UK are more likely to be caught speeding by a mobile camera than a fixed one . . .

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23% of speed cameras 'not used'Nearly a quarter of the speed cameras in the UK are not being used and drivers in the UK are more likely to be caught speeding by a mobile camera than a fixed one.


Cited at:
https://home.bt.com/lifestyle/motoring/motoring-news/23-of-speed-cameras-not-used-11363983174523


Nearly a quarter of the speed cameras in the UK are not being used and drivers in the UK are more likely to be caught speeding by a mobile camera than a fixed one.

Despite 23% of fixed speed cameras not being switched on, 5% of drivers say they have had an accident as a result of a speed camera.

There are 345 mobile speed camera units in operation in the UK and 1,714 fixed camera sites. The fixed cameras caught 968,715 speeding drivers in 2014, while the much smaller number of mobile cameras were not far behind with 774,537 drivers caught for driving above the speed limit.

This information was obtained by insurance firm Confused, which also found that 66% of drivers admit to speeding regularly.

However, there are those within law enforcement who are sceptical about the current use of speed cameras in the UK.

Roger Reynolds, who was the policeman who first brought speed cameras to the UK, said: "Speed cameras have not always proven an effective method of tackling speeding offences. Enforcement agencies have been too strict with minor offenders and one in eight (13%) motorists say they have been sanctioned for driving just 1-4 mph over the limit.

"This is in order to raise revenue and ignores those who really pose a danger on the roads."

One in five drivers say they have witnessed erratic driving in the vicinity of speed cameras as others slow or swerve to avoid being caught.

This has led to one in 20 drivers admitting to have crashed near a speed camera.










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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Only a 'small minority' of lorries fitted with technology to protect cyclists and pedestrians . . .

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Only a 'small minority' of lorries fitted with technology to protect cyclists and pedestrians

Cited at:
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/only-a-small-minority-of-lorries-fitted-with-technology-to-protect-cyclists-and-pedestrians-10280379.html

Safety fears: cyclists are at risk of being hit by HGVs in London (Picture: Glenn Copus)

Road safety campaigners have criticised lorry companies after a survey revealed only a small minority of them use technology to protect cyclists and pedestrians.

A study by road safety organisation Brake found just one in five lorry companies use rear-facing cameras on all of their vehicles.

Only eight per cent have side-facing cameras and just 12 per cent have side sensors on all vehicles.

HGVs have been involved in all five of the deaths of cyclists in London this year.

Brake said that HGVs make up only 5 per cent of vehicles on UK roads, yet are involved in 23 per cent of cyclist deaths and 13 per cent of pedestrian deaths.

Dr Tom Fisher, senior research and communications officer at Brake, said: "Employers whose staff drive for work have a duty of care both to their own employees and other road users.

"While not a panacea, technology can play a big part in helping them improve safety and exercise that duty, so it is disappointing to see that so many are not taking full advantage of new safety technologies on offer."

Les Owen, compliance consultant at Licence Bureau, said: "Surely it is obvious that the cost of a crash makes it sensible to consider fitting some of the safety technology items."









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Monday, 22 June 2015

Is this Britain's worst driver? Terrifying moment OAP drives wrong way up busy dual carriageway . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Is this Britain's worst driver? Terrifying moment OAP drives wrong way up busy dual carriageway

Cited at:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/britains-worst-driver-terrifying-moment-5763910

A dashcam among the oncoming traffic caught the dramatic moment on film as a Ford KA steered clear of the Volkswagen Golf at the last minute

This is the moment an elderly man drove the wrong way up a busy dual carriageway.

His black Volkswagen Golf was captured on dashcam heading towards oncoming traffic on the A8 Glasgow Road near Edinburgh.

The driver of a black Ford KA has to take evasive action to avoid a head-on collision.

The video, posted by website Scotland’s Worst Drivers, shows the Volkswagen driver carrying on regardless, reports the Daily Record.

Michael Gray, the driver who caught last Monday’s incident on video, said: “It was an elderly gentleman and I believe he drove from the South Gyle direction.

Scotland's Worst DriversLucky escape: KA swerves away from Golf at last moment

“He didn’t make any attempt to stop after passing me and just continued towards the Maybury junction.”

A spokesman from Learn Driving Skills, a driving tuition company, said: “The driver could have caused a serious collision as the last thing you expect coming towards you on a dual carriageway is another vehicle.

“Although road marking may be hard to see, directional signs usually are clear and visible in good time.”

The video was posted online by Scotland’s Worst Drivers, a website aimed at “shaming bad driving north of the border”.









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Sunday, 21 June 2015

Myth - roadworthiness prohibitions can only be removed at DVSA goods vehicle testing station . . .

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Myth of the moment

Cited at:
https://movingon.blog.gov.uk/myth-of-the-moment-2/



Myth - roadworthiness prohibitions can only be removed at DVSA goods vehicle testing stations.

This isn't true. Prohibitions can also be removed at an Authorised Testing Facility (ATF), although you will have to make an appointment. Look for your nearest ATF at www.vosa.gov.uk/find-nearest-atf










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Saturday, 20 June 2015

HGV cameras to cut cyclist death toll say campaigners . . .

___________________________________________________________________

HGV cameras to cut cyclist death toll say campaigners

Cited at:
http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/HGV-cameras-cut-cyclist-death-toll-say/story-26585183-detail/story.html


HGV cameras to cut cyclist death toll say campaigners

Few freight companies are using new technology to protect cyclists and pedestrians on the roads, according to a new survey.

Just one in five lorry companies have rear-facing cameras on all vehicles, the survey by road safety charity Brake and fleet management and licence-checking organisation Licence Bureau found.

Only 8 per cent have side-facing cameras on all vehicles and only 12 per cent side sensors.

The survey also revealed that hands-free mobile phone kits were mainly available in two thirds of lorry companies and in 80 per cent of car fleets.

The danger that lorries can pose for cyclists has been highlighted in recent months, with five cyclists killed in accidents involving trucks in London.

Brake said that heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) make up only 5 per cent of vehicles on UK roads, yet are involved in 23 per cent of cyclist deaths and 13 per cent of pedestrian deaths.

In 2013, a total of 78 people on foot or bike were killed by HGVs.

Dr Tom Fisher, senior research and communications officer at Brake, said: "Employers whose staff drive for work have a duty of care both to their own employees and other road users.

"While not a panacea, technology can play a big part in helping them improve safety and exercise that duty, so it is disappointing to see that so many are not taking full advantage of new safety technologies on offer."

Les Owen, compliance consultant at Licence Bureau, said: "Surely it is obvious that the cost of a crash makes it sensible to consider fitting some of the safety technology items."

A spokesman for Bristol-based cycling charity Sustrans said: "Although these new technological developments with sensors are very useful, at the end of the day you are still relying on instruments. We believe it is better to reduce the mixing of HGVs and cyclists in the first place. The best way of doing that is to have restrictions on the movement of HGVs during the rush hour, particularly in city centres such as London and Bristol."








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Friday, 19 June 2015

Dangerous overtaking 'risks lives' . . .

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Dangerous overtaking 'risks lives'

Cited at:
http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/national/12970415.Dangerous_overtaking__risks_lives_/


Nearly all drivers surveyed have seen a risky overtaking manoeuvre attempted, according to the research

Many motorists attempt risky overtaking, with men the main menace on the roads, according to a survey.

As many as 80% of drivers have felt endangered by their own overtaking or that of another vehicle, the survey by road safety charity Brake and Direct Line Insurance found.


Nearly all drivers (94%) have witnessed a risky overtaking manoeuvre and 53% see them monthly or more, while 18% admitted they had overtaken when they were not certain if they could safely do so.

The survey, b ased on responses from 1,000 drivers, showed that risky overtaking was most common among male and young drivers, with 21% of men and 39% of 17-24-year-olds admitting doing so when they were not sure the road ahead was clear.

The risky-overtake figure for women was only 15%, while 7% of men and 3% of women said they attempted a dangerous bit of overtaking weekly or more often.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: "Overtaking on single carriageway country roads is a huge risk, and one that ultimately just isn't worth it.

"Why risk it and rush? You could cause a devastating, high-speed, head-on crash that ends lives and ruins others. In spite of this, a significant minority are still taking the risk and performing this aggressive and selfish manoeuvre."

Rob Miles, director of motor at Direct Line, said: "People die on rural roads in the UK every day and many of these fatal crashes could be prevented. Our own data suggests that young drivers and their passengers are even more likely to be killed on this type of road."







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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Motorcyclist pulled over for allegedly riding at 111mph . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Motorcyclist pulled over for allegedly riding at 111mph

Cited at:
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/transport/motorcyclist-pulled-over-for-allegedly-riding-at-111mph.127067244

A motorcyclist has been caught allegedly driving at 111mph on a rural road during a police crackdown on speeding during the Bank Holiday.

The rider was pulled over on the A96 between Inverurie and Aberdeen yesterday as part of ongoing checks by Police Scotland officers carrying out Operation CEDaR.

The 40-year-old motorcyclist has been charged and will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

A number of other road users were stopped during CEDaR, which stands for Challenge Educate Detect and Reduce.

Four males, aged 19, 33, 35 and 54 were also pulled over for speeding offences and will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

A number of other motorists were also dealt with in relation to careless driving and mobile phone offences.

Roads policing Sergeant Steve Manson said: "Speeding can have devastating consequences and it goes without saying that being involved in a collision at high speed is highly likely to result in serious injury or a fatality.

"We are committed to keeping people safe and we would encourage all motorists to think about their actions whilst on the road and drive in a responsible manner.

"Anyone who has any concerns can report them to Police Scotland on 101."











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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Shed tyres are a common cause of lane closures on motorways and A roads . . .

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Shed tyres are a common cause of lane closures on motorways and A roads

Cited at:
http://www.etyres.co.uk/news/shed-tyres-common-cause-lane-closures-motorways-roads-17631.html

More than 40% of all motorway and major A road lane closures in England in 2014 were caused by vehicle breakdowns, while 6,742 were due to shed tyres, according the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

In total there were 443,590 lane closures on motorways and primary A roads in England last year for 44 defined reasons by Highways England. Some of the major findings of the report revealed closures for the following reasons:

12,759 – pedestrians walking on a motorway live lane or active A road (three per cent of all incidences)
122 – unsupervised children
7,446 – ‘non-legal’ use of the hard shoulder (two per cent of recorded incidences)
3,990 – animals loose on the network
2,598 – abandoned vehicles
6,288 – injury collisions
29,656 – non-injury collisions also caused lane closures
567 – cases of a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road causing roads to be closed
152 – objects being thrown onto the roads

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “There are many worrying things that emerge from this information. Firstly, people are putting their own lives at risk and those of others by not maintaining their vehicles properly to the point they break down on our busiest roads.

“While we appreciate that a few breakdowns are unavoidable, such as a tyre blow out, the vast majority can be avoided or dealt with before taking a vehicle onto a key route.

“It also shows people do not treat our key economic arteries with the respect they deserve. Pedestrians, unsupervised children and objects thrown on the road should never be happening. It is clear an education and awareness campaign starting at school age is badly needed.”

Making sure tyres are properly maintained and are always safe and legal should be a priority for all motorists to help avoid accidents and putting road users lives at risk.










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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Better loos for lorry drivers, demands petition . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Better loos for lorry drivers, demands petition

Cited at:
http://transportoperator.co.uk/2015/05/13/better-loos-for-lorry-drivers-demands-petition/



The calls for the state of roadside toilet facilities for HGV drivers to be addressed have risen again in volume, with the launch of a petition by truck driver recruitment specialist Blue Arrow.

The ‘Drive with Pride’ campaign calls on the Department for Transport (DfT) to adopt and enforce a set of “unambiguous minimum standards for lorry drivers’ toilet facilities”.

Blue Arrow’s petition was developed in conjunction with Gillian Kemp, founder of Truckers’ Toilets UK, and has already garnered more than 2,500 signatures.

It states that: “Any toilet, shower or hand washing facility should be available 24 hours a day. It should be clean, well-maintained, appropriately stocked and have suitable lighting and non-slip floors.

“Separate toilet and shower cubicles should be available for both male and female drivers, and shower cubicles must never be communal.”

The recruiter is hoping to amass a total of 100,000 signatures, in order to provoke a government debate.

Mark Manaton, CEO of Blue Arrow, said: “Lorry drivers are the backbone of the UK’s infrastructure, and yet aren’t currently getting the basic right of access to clean, working toilets.

“We know first-hand that drivers are suffering. Our petition is the first step in our campaign to do something about it. It’s also vital in terms of the impending driver shortage – how can we attract young people to an industry that can’t even offer them a clean loo?’

The news follows recent remarks by Road Haulage Association (RHA) chief executive Richard Burnett (Transport Operator, May) on the state of facilities at motorway service areas.

“Professional drivers quite rightly object to filthy and ill-maintained washing and other hygiene facilities,” he said.

“This industry is heavily regulated and drivers, by law, have to take rest breaks. The current standard of facilities at many ‘official’ areas is so inadequate that parking in a layby is often a preferable option. This is unsafe for drivers, their vehicles and their loads.”










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Monday, 15 June 2015

Meta analysis finds self-braking cars reduce collisions by 38 percent . . .

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Meta analysis finds self-braking cars reduce collisions by 38 percent

Meta-analysis of data from Europe and Australia backs up safety claims of the tech.

Cited at:
http://arstechnica.com/cars/2015/05/meta-analysis-finds-self-braking-cars-reduce-collisions-by-38-percent/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+%28Ars+Technica+-+All+content%29

While we're still some way off seeing full-blown, self-driving cars winding their way across continental Europe, a more modest autonomous technology has found approval with safety bods. Research conducted by the European road safety research organisation Euro NCAP concluded that having a car automatically slam on the brakes to avoid low-speed accidents leads to a 38 percent reduction in rear-end crashes.

The notable statistic was the result of a meta-analysis of various Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) cars, comparing them to cars without the technology in accidents where the car either struck a car in front, or was being struck from behind. Euro NCAP, with support of Australian safety organisation ANCAP, pooled data from five European countries and Australia using a standard analysis format, as well as a prospective meta-analysis approach.

The only thing it won't do is transform into an autobot.

In non-AEB cars, the split between striking and being struck was close to 50/50, improving significantly for cars with AEB. However, despite the apparent success of the study, the researchers noted that in order to get the best results out of the technology, widespread adoption was required; slamming on the brakes to avoid an accident requires following traffic to be alert enough to react to the situation and not cause a cascade. They also noted that AEB cars might be more likely to be struck from behind, as an unintended consequence of AEB’s better reaction time, compared to a human driver.

AEB is becoming an increasingly common feature in new cars, alongside the likes of parking assist technologies and road-facing cameras. AEB works by bypassing the flawed hunk of meat behind the wheel and taking over braking duties in an emergency situation. Using radar, laser, or video technology, AEB monitors the area ahead of the car (usually around 6 to 8 meters, depending on the size of the vehicle) and automatically applies the brakes if it detects an obstacle in the way. Most AEB systems currently only work at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 kph), although some are being introduced that work at higher speeds.

While AEB technology has been around for a while, the NCAP study is one the few to put real data behind the safety claims. Indeed, NCAP has been banging the AEB drum for some time, with the organisation last year announcing that its five-star crash test safety rating would almost exclusively be reserved for cars with AEB.

One thing we know for certain: humans are messing up computers' track records.

Speaking about the study, Dr Michiel van Ratingen, secretary general of Euro NCAP, said: "These findings strongly support our decision to make AEB technology a key discriminator in the safety rating of new vehicles... we will continue to monitor the effectiveness in reducing real world crashes of the advanced systems that are promoted in order to validate and improve the overall star rating."

With AEB also helping to reduce insurance premiums (and hey, who doesn't want to save money?), the technology is likely to see increased adoption over the next few years. It also marks another baby step towards the fully-autonomous car seeing approval for actual road use, even if they are experiencing one or two hiccups along the way.











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Sunday, 14 June 2015

Belfast drivers facing £90 fines for illegally using city's bus lanes . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Belfast drivers facing £90 fines for illegally using city's bus lanes

Cited at:
http://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belfast-drivers-facing-90-fines-9247761

New bus lane cams are to be rolled out across Belfast

Drivers illegally using Belfast’s bus lanes are to be hit with a £90 fine thanks to six new spy-cams.

A roving cam-car is also being rolled out to help enforce the penalties as roads chiefs launch a new offensive against motorists breaking the rules.

Department of Regional Development officials told Belfast Live on Wednesday they believe around 50 per cent of people using the lanes are doing so illegally.

They insist they are not “anti-motorist”, but that the move is about improving public transport in the city by hitting drivers who hold up buses or leave law-abiding motorists fuming by driving past built-up traffic on rush hour roads.

The cameras, set up at key points around the city centre, will recognise number plates and a fine will be issued if you use the lanes when you aren’t allowed. DRD say people will monitor the footage and a common sense approach will be applied meaning people will not be fined for straying into the bus lane to avoid a broken down car for example.

The cost of the penalty will be £90 reduced to £45 if paid within a 14 day period and there will be a right of challenge for any driver who believes it has been incorrectly issued.

A close up of one of the new cameras being set up across Belfast city centre

DRD Director of Transport Projects, Ciaran de Burca said the move is to help the “vast majority” of road users who are law abiding. He added that they anticipate there will be between 10,000 and 15,000 fines issued in the first year and that the money from fines will be ploughed back into public transport projects.

He added: “A great deal of this is about public safety. We’ve invested a lot in cycling infrastructure and there are more and more people cycling and they are allowed in the bus lanes. It is important to ensure they are safe.”

Mr de Burca said 40 per cent of households do not have access to a private car so the new cameras is about helping make public transport work better for them and to encourage more people to use it.

The Department will operate six “fixed enforcement cameras” in Belfast City Centre. The sites are at Castle Street, East Bridge Street, Donegall Square East, Donegall Square South, Great Victoria Street and College Street East. The mobile camera unit will also enforce the “bus priority measures” across the greater Belfast area where there are 50km of lanes and in towns where bus lanes are in use.

During the first three weeks after the system becomes operational a driver who is detected committing an offence will receive a written warning, but offences detected after the June 21 will result in the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

The lanes have been in operation since the end of 2012, but it has been the PSNI who have been enforcing the law as a criminal matter not a civil one as it will be now. It is unclear how many people have been prosecuted by the police for driving in bus lanes.

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy said the “enforcement measures are aimed squarely at the drivers who illegally use bus lanes to jump queues and cut across traffic”.

He added: “These drivers can be a hazard to themselves, other road users, cyclists and pedestrians. They can also delay the progress of passengers opting to use our sustainable public transport service.”

Over the coming weeks CCTV enforcement cameras will be positioned at six points around Belfast.

Danny Kennedy added: “Bus lanes were introduced to help manage traffic, reduce journey times and improve our public transport infrastructure.

“Supporting this I want to ensure that everyone who travels on our roads does so in a responsible and respectful way. I am confident that these new measures will help achieve this.”










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Saturday, 13 June 2015

How careless motorists waste £700MILLION of fuel a year . . .

___________________________________________________________________

How careless motorists waste £700MILLION of fuel a year:

  • Using the wrong gear, hitting the air con and avoiding the handbrake
  • Poor driving techniques such as using the wrong gear are to blame
  • Saving is as simple as driving in the correct gear and with inflated tyres
  • Over 65's are the biggest culprits of uneconomical driving while nine in ten 17 to 24-year-olds make conscious effort to be eco-friendly 
Cited at:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3077269/How-careless-motorists-waste-700MILLION-fuel-year.html

British motorists waste a staggering £700 million a year on fuel bills through careless driving habits such as using the wrong gear and driving with under-inflated tyres, a study has revealed.

Research has shown a massive 636million litres of petrol every year is wasted thanks to non-efficient techniques on the roads such as accelerating unnecessarily and avoiding using the handbrake.

But surprisingly, youngsters are the most efficient - nine out of ten 17-24-year-olds make a conscious effort to be more eco-friendly behind the wheel.

If British motorists used more efficient driving techniques they would spend an estimated £700million a year less on fuel

Our wasteful habits also include leaving the engine running whilst stopped at traffic lights, over-using air conditioning and heating and not pre-planning the most economic route.

Over 65's are the biggest culprits of uneconomical driving as more than half (55 per cent) said they do not try and save fuel when on the road.

And just below half (44 per cent) of those aged between 44 and 64 admitted they aren't fuel conscious.

The study, by fuel company Barclaycard Fuel+, found that our most common bad habit is not using the handbrake when stationary.

Keeping the engine running unnecessarily for long periods of time is our second worst habit, followed by using air con unnecessarily.

The research also showed we're a nation of lazy drivers - half of us would take the car even if we're travelling somewhere just a mile away.

TOP TEN WAYS TO CUT PETROL CONSUMPTION AND SAVE A SMALL FORTUNE

Using the handbrake in traffic jams can help cut fuel consumption

1. Use the handbrake when waiting at traffic lights and in traffic jams, rather than using the clutch and accelerator.

2. Use up-to-date mapping tools to plot the most fuel-effective route for your journey.

3. Refrain from using air conditioning or heating unless you really need it.

4. Ensure that you’re driving in the correct gear.

5. Remove roof racks and roof boxes when they aren't required.

6. Ensure that you've checked your tyres are inflated to the proper pressure.

7. Try to keep the sun roof and windows closed.

8. Use cruise control whenever it’s appropriate to do so.

9. Don’t accelerate up to lights or traffic when you know you’re going to have to brake.

10. Drive along roads with speed bumps smoothly to avoid unnecessary acceleration and declaration.

However, Londoners are the most eco-friendly as they are willing to walk somewhere two miles away before thinking about taking the car.

Those from Scotland and Yorkshire came a close second, and would be willing to walk 1.9 miles rather than drive.

Sarah Sillars, from the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: 'If everyone was to maintain eco-driving as part of a driving style over the longer term, fuel savings would be around 10 per cent.

'People could benefit from driving in a more ecological and efficient way and find the experience reduces the wear and tear on their vehicle, making driving a much safer prospect.'

John Bostock, from Barclaycard, said: 'With such a huge amount of money wasted on fuel, we would benefit massively as a nation if we were more mindful when it comes to driving in a more eco-friendly way.

'We keep a close eye on our grocery spending, so shouldn't we do the same here when it's apparent how much we could save just by driving more efficiently?'








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