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Police start nationwide drink-driving campaign

The other day we discussed how police in Lancaster have said that during the summer months more people are likely to drive over the limit, and so they have created a number of checkpoints around the county in order to crack down on drink and drug drivers. Now, police across the UK have followed suit and have announced that they too are launching summer campaigns using a £740,000 fund provided by the government. Continue reading

Clamping law may have too much wriggle room

With the deadline for the outlawing of clamping on private land in England less than a fortnight away, one of the UK’s leading motoring organisations is welcoming the move but warning motorists there are still ways they can fall foul of sneaky charges for parking.

The Automobile Association (AA) have long campaigned for clamping to become outlawed and are delighted October 1st 2012 will see the end of clamping on private land under most circumstances. The AA’s President, Edmund King, welcomed the move saying “We are delighted that cowboy clampers will have to hang up their clamps in a fortnight. This campaign had become a personal crusade for me over the last decade. Too many clampers have been acting like modern-day highwaymen for too long. Many elderly and vulnerable people have been ripped off by these callous cowboys.”

In fact the AA has collected evidence from members over the years detailing the outrageous demands and actions some clampers have embarked on. They include one firm threatening to take a 3 year old girl hostage until her mother paid up, another demanding sex from a lady in exchange for freeing her car and a third group leaving a teenage girl stranded overnight when they demanded £300 from her for overrunning her stay by 10 minutes. The AA received many complaints where drivers had ended paying sums that were often in excess of their 12 month car insurance premiums for overstaying their welcome by just a few minutes.

From October 1st parking enforcement companies registered with the British Parking Association will still be able to ticket vehicles parked on private land and also locate non-paying motorists via the DVLA. However, the maximum fine will £100 and the Government are keen to bring into play an appeal system that would take the sting out of parking disputes. It is an area of the new regulations that has still to be settled though, as many motoring organisations are unhappy about the Government allowing the DVLA to sell information about private motorists. Caroline Shepherd, who is acknowledged as the UK’s top parking adjudicator, has ruled herself out of any participation in the Government’s appeal idea saying that safeguards were inadequate to give the public confidence in the system.

Dozens of law breaking motorists pulled by Road Policing Unit in a matter of hours

Police in the South Ribble area of Lancashire are the latest group of law enforcers to crackdown on motorists who just can’t stick to the rules.

Officers from the Road Policing Unit (RPU) set up checkpoints in and around Leyland Town Centre and targeted drivers who were using mobile devices while driving, driving without road tax or motor insurance and driving without a seat belt. The team were disappointed to find that many motorists still have not got the message about safe driving and it wasn’t long before forty motorists had been stopped for driving offences. Whilst the drivers guilty of the most serious offences were fined and given penalty points the RPU did offer some motorists the chance to go on an educational motoring course rather than suffer more serious punishment.

The team were quick to dispel accusations of just running the checks to raise funds through fining motorists, with one officer keen to point out that the cash raised from fines is ploughed back into promoting safe driving. Inspector Steve Evans, from the South Ribble Constabulary, said “This type of police work is carried out throughout Lancashire and we know that the majority of South Ribble’s drivers are both capable and responsible. However, it only takes one ignorant road user to ruin a life or cause a tragedy and this is why we continue to push home the message of safe road use whether light, night, rain or sun.”

With a new AA report suggesting that 40% of drivers in the UK admit to using a hand held mobile device while in charge of a vehicle it is little wonder that policing units can rack up large numbers of motorists breaking the law so easily, and it does now appear that the Government’s proposed increase in penalties and fines can be more easily justified if the present system is so woefully ignored.

Car Maintenance Course to be Offered to Women

A well known motoring and road side assistance company are going out of their way in order to help women save money on their motoring bills.

The Automobile Association (AA) are the largest motoring group in the UK. Their vans can be seen helping stranded motorists in every corner of Britain on a daily basis, and their brightly coloured vans are recognised by motorists everywhere. In response to requests by thousands of female motorists looking to save money and at the same time gain some knowledge about the workings of their car, the AA are set to launch a series of 1 day workshops specifically aimed at women.

A spokesman for the AA said: “In these difficult financial times motorists are finding fuel, motor insurance and service charges more difficult than ever to finance. We have had many requests from members, mainly women, to offer courses on basic car problems and their remedies such as changing a wheel. The idea is they will be able to do basic services and repairs without incurring a garage bill. The courses will be open to anyone but AA members will get a discount.”

The “Know your car” course will run from 9am to 3.30pm at various locations across the country and will cater for groups as well as individuals. The course will provide those that attend with engine basics, including knowledge about the steering and braking systems. Basic vehicle maintenance, including how to recognise wheel and tyre faults will feature as will tips on how to keep the interior of the car safe and in good working order. At the end of the course the ladies will get a chance to ask specific questions on anything they think has been missed or anything they specifically want to know.