Huge Increase In Detection Of Mobile Telephone Use Whilst Driving

Friday, 10. February 2017

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

In an earlier blog I talked about speeding and the crackdown on those considered to be a serious speeder with the imposition of increased fines. Well not only are we seeing a crackdown on speeding offences but also distractions, in particular mobile phones.

 

In an exercise that involved 36 police forces last November they stopped 10,012 cars and detected 8,000 mobile phone offences. 7,800 fixed penalty notices were issued along with several  hundred verbal warnings and 68 court summons. In an earlier campaign in May 2016, 2,418 cars were stopped with 2,323 mobile phone offences detected.

 

When asked about the increase the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) explained that 6 more forces took part in the November campaign with more resources being dedicated to carrying out the roadside operation, especially by the Metropolitan Police. A further week long campaign was started in January 2017 the results of which are as yet unknown.

 

The exercise is a difficult one for the police as it is difficult for officers to differentiate between someone using a mobile rather than scratching an ear or nose or just raising a hand. But even so they managed to detect a frighteningly large number of offenders, many of whom weren’t aware of the increased fine and points as of 1st March 2017 (£200 spot fine and 6 points).

 

The NPCC said that outside these purges they are managing to detect more offenders as a result of new tactics and innovation employed, along with intelligence provided by the public, with particular success in catching repeat offenders. It would seem that this is something that the police will be doing on a regular basis following demands made by the public.

 

Whilst other distractions were detected such as eating crisps and chocolate and drinking from a bottle whilst driving they only amounted to 1.4% of the sample. So the police will continue to concentrate on mobile phone users whilst driving. You have been warned. By Graham Hill

Preparing For Winter Part 2

Wednesday, 31. December 2014

Here is part 2 of my safety tips as we count down to winter. I mentioned in my last list of tips the importance of making sure that your screen is clear, not only outside but inside. Clean the inside of your screen regularly with anti mist cleaner.

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My experience is that this still won’t stop the screen from misting up but it makes them clear quicker when you turn on the demister. Remember that in the rain stopping distance is doubled so allow plenty of space between you and the car in front. It is a legal requirement to switch on your headlights (if not automatic) when visibility is less than 100 metres.

Another recommendation is not to use cruise control when driving in the wet. Also if you break down in heavy rain don’t leave your bonnet open, some older drivers and truck drivers would do this to indicate that the vehicle had broken down but this will allow the electrics to get wet and make the job of the recovery man or woman much harder.

For some strange reason Brits don’t understand the full dangers of floods, maybe because it is rare for us to experience really heavy flooding (last year being an exception) so we tend to be somewhat glib. The fact is that a massive 32% of all flood related deaths are by drowning in a vehicle.

Here are some more frightening facts to remember the next time a local stream or small river overflows its banks and you feel safe to drive through it. Two feet of standing water is enough to float a car whilst 12” of water flowing at 6mph is also enough to float an average family car. And if you feel the need to drive through a flood splashing water up into the engine compartment, an egg cup full of water in the combustion chamber can wreck an engine.

OK, onto some water tips. Only drive a car through water that you know isn’t too deep, by that I mean halfway up the wheels. Don’t drive through fast moving water, even if the water is just a small stream. Drive on the highest section of the road, check the camber, this is normally the middle of the road.

If your car is a manual keep the revs high by slipping the clutch whilst in water, it is important to keep your engine running. In deep water you should keep your foot on the accelerator as water will travel up the exhaust pipe if you let the revs drop. In a flood take it in turns if you meet oncoming traffic. Allow them to pass first keeping to the highest part of the road.

Make sure that you test your brakes when you leave the water. Finally in this section I must clear up a misconception regarding SUV’s or commonly known as 4WD cars. They are not amphibious vehicles. They are not safer than a normal saloon car, they won’t offer more protection if you are involved in a crash and they certainly won’t fare any better than any other car if you are driving through a flood.

Last year the AA answered calls from 4,000 motorists who had come to grief in floods. Many had driven through water only to get the car die on them when they drove out with 1,000 still stuck in the middle of the water. The AA has a specialist flood rescue team, known as AA SORT (Special Operations Response Team). They are already on alert as we start to move through autumn to winter.

One of the warnings from the AA, other than don’t believe your SUV is a boat, is don’t ignore statutory ‘Road Closed’ signs. They are there for a reason and certainly avoid driving through anything more than a puddle. By ignoring road closed warnings you could put your insurance at risk.

Water can write off cars or severely damage engines but if you ignored a warning saying that a road was closed the insurer could avoid paying out on a claim. So greater care is needed and take no risks. Water can be a killer. More next time so watch this space. By Graham Hill

Britain Has Worst Drug Drive Problem In Europe

Thursday, 25. August 2011

Various prescription and street drugs may caus...

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After reporting a few weeks ago that the Government was not going ahead with roadside drug testing equipment we now learn that after the police stopped a million motorists across 29 countries and tested for drink and drugs it has Read more

New On The Spot Fines To Be Introduced

Friday, 3. June 2011

Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP - Secretary of State ...

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Police are to be given the power to issue on the spot fines for dangerous and reckless driving under plans revealed by Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond. This isn’t quite what it seems as it creates visions of the old bill stopping you for doing something silly, issuing you with a ticket and be expecting you to part with readies. The idea, expressed by Read more

Speed Limits To Be Reviewed

Tuesday, 22. March 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08:  Conservative MP...

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If you were a visitor to this country driving on our motorways you could be excused for believing that the limit was 80 miles per hour and not, as I believe it is, 70 miles per hour. It seems that Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond supports the idea of lifting the speed limit as our limit is one of the slowest in Europe. However the anti car brigade are Read more

Graham Hill Finds A Great Gadget

Tuesday, 22. March 2011

Just want to give you the heads up on the Graham Hill gadget of the week. When I say heads up I mean that literally. It’s an aftermarket speed display that is projected up on the windscreen so no need to look down at the speedo whilst driving. A mount is held in place by tape and the unit slides onto the mount. The projector is hinged so you can adjust Read more

Call To Reduce The Number Of Traffic Lights

Friday, 18. March 2011

Traffic lights can have several additional lig...

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Today’s amazing fact is that there are over 25,000 traffic lights across the country with 6,000 in London alone. The number increased by 30% between 2000 and 2008. The figures were collated by the RAC Foundation who also pointed out that the number of lights that were programmed to give priority to busses rose by 221% in just 2 years from 3,801 Read more

How Long Do Points Stay On Your Licence?

Thursday, 10. March 2011

Do you know how long points stay on your licence for? Most people think 3 years but in fact speeding offences stay on there for 4 years and others stay on for longer. For example drink driving points remain on your licence for 11 years. Even though speeding points stay on your licence for 4 years they are only valid for 3 years.

So if you have 9 points on your licence after 3 years but clock up another 3 points in the 4th year you wont lose your licence under the totting up system. The expired points can be removed from your licence by the DVLA but you will have to pay a fee of £20 for a replacement ‘clean’ licence. Are you confused by the points system, let’s discuss? By Graham Hill

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Know Your Rights Or Get Ripped Off.

Saturday, 5. March 2011

It seems that every week I read a similar story in Auto Express about a driver who has bought either a new or used car that has turned out to be a complete dog then struggled to get their money back. The fact is that the law is very clear on this point. If you buy faulty goods and a fault is found immediately or within the first 6 months you can return the goods and insist on a full refund. And the supplier must give you a full refund. On the other hand you can give the supplier the opportunity to either repair or replace the goods without losing your right to insist on a refund. In the latest case that Auto Express came to the rescue on a buyer of a new Hyundai i30 found the car starting to judder. The driver gave the dealership the opportunity to repair the fault which they attempted without success. The dealer and Hyundai offered a replacement but couldn’t guarantee that the fault would not exist in the replacement. This was 8 months later! The driver decided that he simply wanted his money back, which he received, after Auto Express stepped in – as a ‘gesture of goodwill.’ A gesture of bloody goodwill! It’s his legal right and he should also be entitled to compensation for the inconvenience. This infuriates me because dealers, supported by the manufacturers, feel they are above the law. It’s a disgrace but I really think that Auto Express should employ the services of a solicitor to bang off a formal letter each time they have a similar case to point out the driver’s legal entitlement and tell them to stick their ‘gestures of goodwill’ where the sun don’t shine. Have you experienced similar problems with a dealer not honouring your legal rights? Here’s a little graphic that I found on a Government website that may explain your rights a little easier than my wording:

By Graham Hill

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Surprising Number Of Drivers With Points On Their Licences

Friday, 4. March 2011

DVLA figures show that one in ten motorists have points on their licence. The figures have been broken down by age sex and number of points. It also shows that the Government has collected £280 million from the 3.9 million drivers with points on their licence over the last 4 years (the minimum amount of time before points are cleared. That’s out of a total 37 million licence holders. The majority of drivers with points have just 3 points (3.2m). Just under 600,000 have 6 points and 92,000 Read more