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News & Features

We will try to put anything on this page which may be interesting, challenging or thought provoking to the reader. Although this site is primarily related to Camberley Driving School, new legislation, changes in the law, local road issues etc will affect everyone who drives a motor vehicle, so that affects all of us. In addition, anything that we find amusing, stupid, or even downright silly will be considered for inclusion - any suggestions are welcome!!


New penalties to tackle tailgating and middle lane hogging

Careless drivers who put other road users at risk face on-the-spot penalties under new measures announced by Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.

The changes will give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving, giving them greater flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences - such as tailgating or middle lane hogging - and freeing them from resource-intensive court processes.

The fixed penalty will also enable the police to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement. Drivers will still be able to appeal any decision in court.

Existing fixed penalty levels rising to £100

In addition, existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences - including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt - will rise to £100 to bring them into line with the penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties.

 

If you have a photocard driving licence, make sure it is still current, otherwise you could face a heavy fine!! See the attached link :- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1054636/Unwitting-motorists-face-1-000-fines-thousands-photocard-driving-licences-expire.html

If you're a qualified driver, how's your standard of driving? Check this link out: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6913402.stm We'd be interested to hear your comments!!  

Have you had any driving lessons from one of your parents? Have a look at the following link! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=475593&in_page_id=1770 Again, we'd be interested to hear your comments!!

It's been eight years since the last edition of the Highway Code was issued, but a new version is now available in the shops, and it contains more bad news for smokers! Check out the following link for more details: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7017543.stm 

The DSA has agreed with the DVLA that examiners can report illegal number plates on cars which are presented for test. This is in response to concerns raised by a number of examiners at test centres. The priority is to ensure that vehicles in which driving tests are conducted are legal.
Vehicles presented to test which prima facie have illegal number plates may now be reported to the DVLA under the arrangement the DSA have with them, however, it is a matter for the DVLA whether they then take any action. As safety of the vehicle is not affected by the number plate, an illegal number plate will not actually preclude a car from being taken out on a practical test.
 

DSA introducted the "Show me, tell me" safety questions for all categories of tests in September 2003. The subjects that can be included in the safety questions are laid down in the EC 2nd Directive. They made a commitment, at that time, to review the questions and this has now taken place.
The review raised the need for some additional questions to be included to more accurately reflect the need for candidates to have the skills and knowledge to ensure they and their vehicles are safe to be on the road. Additional questions will cover the use of wipers, demisters, brake lights, fog lights, head restraints, ABS warning lights and the correct operation of relevant controls and switches. We will provide details of these new questions in our welcome packs from the 1st July 2008 when the old question sets become defunct.
 

As most will know, July 1 2007 marked the end of smoking in enclosed spaces in England, following suit with the majority of the UK. This also means that all driving instructors must now display a 'No smoking' sign of some description in their tuition vehicles!  

From September 3 this year, the number of theory test questions for car & motorcycle candidates was increased from 35 to 50. This has obviously had an impact upon those who were planning on taking their theory/hazard perception tests soon - the quickest way to to book, reschedule or cancel these tests is to go online at www.direct.gov.uk/drivingtest . Prospective candidates can also check theory test availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Larger city-based test centres are likely to book up more quickly than smaller rural centres, especially during the run up to September. The increase in the amount of questions is designed to develop higher driving standards and maximise the test’s potential for road safety and other benefits. The maximum time allowed to complete the multiple choice questions part of the test will be 57 minutes and candidates will need to achieve a pass mark of at least 43 correct responses out of 50. The test fee also increases from £21.50 to £28.50.

Hampshire County Council are now running a discount scheme for the Pass Plus course to anyone residing in that area. Unfortunately, only driving instructors who actually reside in that county can take advantage of this scheme for their pupils. We have emailed Surrey County Council about this, and they responded by saying that they hope to introduce a similar scheme soon. Watch this space!  

As from 6th September 2007, all successful practical car test candidates will now receive a letter from the DSA explaining the benefits of the Pass Plus scheme. The aim is to publicise Pass Plus to newly qualified drivers at the most opportune time for them. Pass Plus is normally about a 6 hour course and the letter will give a brief description of the scheme and a general explanation of the course.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is issuing a new driving licence. The general appearance of the licence is very similar to the old style plastic licence issued since 1998. However, the new licence, made entirely from polycarbonate, does have a number of enhanced security features not available on the older licence. One of the main differences between the two is the new version has a black and white photograph while the older version had a colour one. Further details can be found at www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/DriverLicencing/DG_068315 Theory & practical test candidates have, for some time, been allowed to complete a written declaration form, under certain circumstances, if they arrive at the relevant test centre without the required photocard licence paper counterpart, but, as from Monday 1st October, all test attendees must produce either a full photocard licence (both the photocard and paper counterpart), or an old style paper licence with a valid passport, otherwise they will not be allowed to participate in their booked tests, and will also lose their test fees. Make a note, don't forget!!  

New drivers could be forced to take at least a year to learn to drive and face a zero alcohol limit to cut the number of deaths caused by novice motorists, MPs urge today (19/7/07). Young male drivers are now apparently the biggest killer of young women in the UK, according to the report from the transport select committee. They are also a danger to themselves; more than three times as many are killed as young female drivers, although they are more likely to pass the initial driving test.
The proposals would raise the UK minimum driving age to 18 - in line with most of mainland Europe - because people could only apply for a provisional licence at 17.
The MPs say better training and tougher restrictions in the first year of a full licence, including a total ban on drinking before driving and on ferrying friends around at night, would help cut casualty rates.

The driving test is too easy - according to new drivers! Half of those quizzed in a survey apparently said the exam was not tough enough. One in three said it did not prepare them for hitting the road alone, and nine out of 10 said it needed a revamp. Insurers Direct Line - who commissioned the research - called on the Driving Standards Agency to improve the test to cut the death toll of young drivers. Their survey quizzed 1826 people who got their licence in the past two years. It increases pressure on the Government to overhaul the 40-minute test to include dual carriageways, motorways and night driving. Direct Line's Emma Hoyler said: "Road crashes are the no.1 killer of people in their teens and twenties in the UK. "In the interests of safety, we are calling on the DSA to improve the test." UK learners typically take 58 hours of lessons before passing the practical test. Direct Line favour a scheme run in Sweden where learners must do 120 hours. Road Safety Minister Stephen Ladyman is currently thinking about a two-part practical test.

Since Monday 16 July 2007, the following options are now available to successful practical test candidates to convert their provisional licence to a full licence:

Opt for the Automatic Driver Licence Issue (ADLI) route – most candidates follow this route

·        Apply online at www.direct.gov.uk/motoring

·        Order a new D1 application form online at www.direct.gov.uk/motoring

·        Order a new D1 application form by phoning DVLA Customer Enquiry Group on 0870 240 0009

·        Go to the Post Office for a new D1 application form

 

Examiners will not be issuing the new D1 application form and have been asked to ensure that successful candidates are given the above information.This will also apply to customers who want a replacement licence, change of details, renewing a licence over the age of 70 or changing from a paper licence to the photocard licence. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N.B. All news items provided on this page are from official sources, such as the DSA, or national/local media outlets.

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