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All drivers over 55 need to focus on their eyes

New research released has uncovered the potential risk to the United Kingdom’s road safety posed by Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

AMD is the United Kingdom’s leading cause of blindness. And it affects people who are aged 55 and over. The symptoms of AMD are very often taken as part of getting older, which means people are on the roads without knowing the risk to themselves and other drivers. When getting a motor insurance quote it would never cross anyone’s mind that they may be hit by another driver with AMD.

The findings have been released to coincide with AMD awareness week and show that more than half of the over 55’s drive at some point everyday, while 45%  admit that they have never spoke to their optician about driving, and a huge 62% did not even know about AMD.

Worryingly, AMD is often only detected once someone has lost a significant amount of their sight. The research showed that one third of those questioned were unable to correctly identify any of the symptoms of AMD, this even when a list of possible symptoms were shown to them. With AMD inevitably going to increase along with the number of older people on the roads, this is a problem that will only grow. Thankfully with early diagnosis, AMD can be managed or treated. Every day in the United Kingdom, 100 people will start to lose their sight. There are currently about two million people with some kind of sight problems.

Sonal Rughani, an RNIB Optometrist, stated “Good vision is essential for safe driving so all drivers should have regular eye tests and follow the advice given, including wearing glasses or contact lenses if required. Think of it like an MOT for your eyes, which could detect early signs of eye diseases.”

Ferrari preview APERTA ahead of major show

In a move that has surprised motoring journalists around the globe, world famous car manufacturer Ferrari has unveiled its new model just a week before the Paris Motor Show.

The new model honours the contribution of the Pininfarina family to Ferrari and is called the SA APERTA. The SA representing Sergio and Andrea, the forenames of the father and son team who have an 80 year association with the famous name.

There are to be just 80 models made of the roadster which is based on the V12 engined 599 type. The SA APERTA has a stiffened chassis; a front mounted 6 litre engine that produces over 660 bhp and a very impressive 475 lb of torque to the rear wheels. It also has a lowered windscreen and a fabric hood that Ferrari insists will only have to be used in the most freakish weather conditions. Amazingly all 80 cars will have a different interior trim.

All 80 cars will already have attracted motor insurance quotes because a private viewing of the model at a Pebble Beach show in California solicited enough offers to sell all the cars. Apparently a sale price of around £350,000 did not deter the prospective owners in the slightest.

The model will be on view to the public and motoring journalists at the prestigious Paris Motor Show which opens to the public on October 2nd and will run all the way through to October 17th. The show will open from 10 am to 8 pm and on two Thursday evenings will actually stay open until 10 pm. The press will get a sneak preview of the event on September 30th and October 1st with the scramble for press badges starting the day before. l will be looking for cheap landlord insurance as they look to buy more properties to take up the slack in the housing market. derly people and we are delighted to be working with them. Charities need to keep a close eye on their running costs, so we hope the New Master can help thanks to its huge capacity and incredible fuel economy in its class, achieving up to an impressive 870 miles on a single tank.”

Age UK came about with an amalgamation of two well known charities, Age Concern and Help the Aged. The charity is well known for its sterling work with old people throughout the land which includes advocacy advice, help in the home, day centres and other help and advice schemes.

Car production soars in August

In a timely boost for the motor industry a leading motor trade organisation has released figures that show car production is on the up.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released figures showing that in contrast to car sales in August, which saw a big dip, car production has increased by 37% compared to August 2009. In all almost 80,000 vehicles were produced in the UK last month, giving a 41% increase in year on year comparisons with 2009. The big hope now is that motorists will visit car showrooms in their droves and get motor insurance quotes on the new models awaiting sale.

Close inspection of the figures show that over 57,000 of the cars produced will go for export, while around 20,000 will be moved to garage forecourts in the UK awaiting eager car drivers to take them on a test drive. Further good news came from commercial vehicle production which saw an increase in production of around 22% in August and 40% for the year.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT and long time cheerleader for the UK motor industry, said “UK vehicle and engine production continues to lead a strong manufacturing recovery. The UK is an important part of the global automotive industry, exporting cars, commercial vehicles and engines to markets around the world. There are still significant challenges ahead and government must do all it can to encourage continued international investment in UK-based research and development, skills, plant and machinery.”

Hospital car park is using too many spaces

Bosses at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital are going to ask planners to lift a restriction on the number of car parking spaces that can be used.

The hospital has breached the rules set out in its planning permission by making 1,812 of its 2,041 parking spaces available to staff, patients, and visitors. The hospital trust say that even though they are in breach of the rules, the number of spaces currently available is still not enough for staff and patients, some are still finding it impossible to park and many are arriving late for appointments.

However, according to rules laid down in the planning permission, the hospital should not operate any more than 1,513 spaces until the proposed additional medical facilities are finished. And this is why the hospital can not use the top floor of its new multi-storey car park. In a bid to stop the threat of any enforcement action by the council, the hospital trust has now submitted an application which asks if they can fully open the car park and use all of the car parking spaces available.

Stuart Hunter, the hospital’s director of finance, said “Our current planning permission was granted by Bournemouth Borough Council with conditions to ensure that additional cars were not entering Castle Lane East between the peak times of 5pm and 6pm. Peak times at RBH are between 2pm and 4pm – during staff shift changes, afternoon clinics and visiting time. The additional spaces will mean we can better manage demand for parking during this time.”

A report has been compiled on behalf of the hospital. The report says that the hospital has made every effort possible to encourage everyone to cycle, walk, or even take a bus to the hospital. However some drivers say that they pay road tax and have any driver car insurance which allows another person to drive them to the hospital, so for them it is not an option. The planners will make a decision on the application sometime in the early autumn.

Big Brother fears increase as drivers asked to be human spy cams

The police are asking drivers to be on the lookout for poor driving in what is being called a worrying new extension of the Big Brother syndrome.

Motorists are being told to look out for any inconsiderate drivers or anyone making excessive noise with a vehicle. The details of any reports will be submitted to police who will log the information on a computer database. But critics say this can make it easy for anyone to make a malicious accusation against someone they do not like.  The details will also be cross checked with the DVLA database along with the Police National Computer. If anyone is reported twice in a year they may face police action despite never actually being caught doing anything wrong.

Police say that being reported twice in a year means the person can be considered as a repeat offender. This means a warning letter may be sent or police may make a visit to the home. Sussex Police force are piloting the new scheme and to date have received over 20,000 reports. These are made online and the accused driver will never know who reported them. So far 2,695 drivers have been sent letters and 1,047 drivers have had ‘sanctions imposed on them’. The sanctions have been taken against reported drivers who, when investigated, have been guilty of other motoring offences anyway. It appears many may well have got a motor insurance quote but not followed it up by actually purchasing a policy. Others had let their road tax run out. Police say it protects the public and if it is successful, the plan is to roll it out nationwide.

Dylan Sharpe, campaign director of Big Brother Watch, who uncovered the scheme, said “The whole process is based on unfounded accusations by untrained and possibly prejudiced members of the public. This scheme is wide-open to abuse; ranging from people with minor grudges against neighbours to busybody drivers who think they know what constitutes bad driving. It is the worst example of citizen snooping and clearly doesn’t work. Sussex Police would be advised to stop spending taxpayer’s money promoting this intrusive scheme.”


Crackdown on noisy exhausts

It is a sound that makes a lot of people very annoyed, and in Wales both the originator of the noise, and the complaints about it is on the increase. It is of course the sound of a modified exhaust fitted to a car.

The exhaust makes a vehicle constantly sound as if it is racing along at 70 mph when in truth it is only travelling at 30 mph. Complaints have been rising to a point where the police now consider it an anti-social act. The legal noise limit for a car exhaust in the UK is 82 decibels, however, this is being superseded regularly, and during police checks the loudest exhaust measured by one police force registered an incredible 107 decibels. This is the same noise level as a chainsaw, a pneumatic road drill, or an aircraft taking off from 300 metres away. One area of Cardiff is to have a clampdown on the noise keeping householders awake at night.

PC Jonathan Edwards, neighbourhood beat manager, said “People like to have their 1.2 litre Corsa sound like a tiger. But purely and simply it’s affecting people’s quality of life. People are not able to open their windows in the summer because it’s waking their kids up. There’s a lady in the area that has two disabled children and sometimes they are woken up in the middle of the night. I’m hoping that this can be implemented in Cardiff and rolled out to other areas of South Wales and neighbouring forces.”

Drivers should always inform their insurance company when adding one of these exhausts in case their motor insurance quote will need amending. The police are using a handheld vehicle noise measurement kit during the month long operation. PC Edwards has so far tested 25 modified exhausts at the roadside, of the 25 tested, 21 had illegal decibel noise, and some of the vehicles even had exhausts designed for a racing car. Even though the legal level of noise is 82 decibels, the police used 90 to take into account wear and tear. To date no fines have been issued. Drivers seemed unaware it was an offence, so for the time being police are concentrating on educating the drivers.