No more paper counterpart driving licence from 2015

Several months ago I put up this short post about the news that the DVLA will stop providing counterpart licences soon.

It’s been announced that from January 2015, all licences issued by the DVLA will no longer get a counterpart. This affects anyone who is applying for their first licence, adding categories or changing details. For most people this won’t make a huge difference as you only need your counterpart when hiring a car or taking driving lessons.

There will be a system in place for businesses to check a person’s driving licence online or by phone so long as they have the licence holders permission.

There hasn’t been any official announcement about any changes to the way theory and driving tests will be conducted, but I would guess that from the start of 2015 you will only need the photocard part of your driving licence to take the tests (but don’t quote me on that, there may be other changes…)

You can read more about this on the gov.uk website.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring In All New Cars

From 1st November 2014 all new passenger cars with less than 7 seats have to be fitted with some sort of tyre pressure monitoring system as part of new EU legislation. Since 2012 all completely new models of cars had to be fitted with it, but from now, it includes every new car that is built.

Tyre pressure monitoring offers many benefits including:

  • Increased safety – under inflated tyres have significant effects on the steering and braking of a car, meaning you may not be able to stop safely in the event of an accident. It could also be an indicator of a slow puncture which you will hopefully be able to fix before you get stranded or damage is caused to the wheel
  • Better Fuel Economy – If a tyre has less pressure than recommended, this will increase the resistance the tyre creates, Imagine riding a bike with a flat tyre; you will have to pedal harder. The same is true with a car, resulting in the engine having to work harder and use more full. Under inflated tyres will also cause the tyre itself to wear out sooner.
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Prime Minister’s ‘Road Revolution’

Whether a driver or a pedestrian, we all know a road traffic hot spot in our home town. It could be a awkward junction or an unmarked space in front of a school. Perhaps the road signs have faded over time, making driving through this area a pain in the rear end? U.K roads could soon see a drastic improvement with the governments new plans. All being well, these changes will not only be money well spent, but will make driving a much more pleasant experience- this gets the thumbs up from Want Driving Lessons!

There is to be a £15 Billion cash investment into the United Kingdom’s roads. This boost will be put to good use, tackling some of the country’s worst problem hotspots. Although the funds will be donated within the next year, it is said that drivers will only feel the full benefit of these changes by 2020.

Prime Minister David Cameron has plans to increase the number of roadways in use. He is set to tell business leaders that literally hundreds of extra lane miles will soon be made to create a kind of “roads revolution”, one that will hopefully shorten journey times for everyone.

There have bee some pretty exciting new ideas from the government, including plans to build a tunnel under world famous Stonehenge. Although these haven’t been given the go ahead just yet, they have been seriously considered by the Government in their mission to ease congestion on the busy A303.

There will be work on a number of different areas, including on stretches of the A1 around Newcastle, there will be some major construction work on the roads across the Pennines, the A47 in the east of England as well as the A27 on the south coast. These and many more will be on the governments funding list.

The plans will be announced by the Prime Minister at the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) annual conference in London. He will discuss the “biggest, boldest and most far-reaching” upgrade to the UK’s roads. But we have heard all this before right? Will these changes really make any difference to our roads?

These hundreds of extra lane miles on major motorways and trunk roads will be made in hope that they will increase the country’s productivity through it’s road networks. After all faster journeys will naturally mean less traffic, more time for freight to travel (as well as more space). This will in turn mean that businesses will get their goods quicker, all round a faster turnaround time for business transactions.

It’s a well known truth for regular road users that the A303 and the A1 have been trouble causing areas when it comes to traffic and other sources of congestion. These new plans will hopefully clear the road ways, making them much more efficient to use. But even on an smaller scale, getting around will also be made easier for the many millions that use these roads each year.

Originally posted here –

Prime Minister’s ‘Road Revolution’ | Want Driving Lessons Driving …

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Driving instructor Michael Pawsey demands action after reporting fly …

Two men seen dumping rubbish from back of a van – but so far no action says furious instructor

A driving instructor who reported seeing two men in the act of dumping rubbish by the roadside says Kirklees Council has done nothing about it.

Michael Pawsey was taking a pupil for a driving lesson when he saw two men tipping waste at George Street, Milnsbridge.

The men were unloading a white Transit-type van with red lettering and throwing rubbish, including kitchen furniture and electrical appliances, on wasteland next to the road.

Mr Pawsey was able to get the registration number of the van and reported the incident to Kirklees shortly afterwards. But four weeks later, he said had heard nothing further from the council.

Fly tipping on George Street, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield

“They were blatantly chucking it on the ground,” he said. “Another vehicle had pulled up behind and it looked like the person with the car had got out to give the van driver a hand.”

Mr Pawsey said he had decided to contact the Examiner after seeing a story about tyres and building rubble being dumped at Sandy Lane, Crosland Hill.

It is thought that site, next to Crosland Hill Airfield, has been targeted by “professional” fly tippers because it is secluded.

Commenting on Mr Pawsey’s case, a spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “We are aware of this and are in process of investigating it. As such we cannot comment further at this stage.”

Fly tipping cost English local authorities £36.4m in 2012/13, although this was a 3% reduction compared to 2011/12.

According to official statistics, Kirklees Council spent about £50,000 clearing 661 instances of illegally dumped rubbish in 2012/13.

Calderdale Council had 1,156 incidents costing an estimated £56,000 to clean up in the same period.

See the original post:

Driving instructor Michael Pawsey demands action after reporting fly …

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Driving test candidates warned on Vauxhall recalls – News … – Gov.UK

Sometime to be aware of if you a planning to take your driving test in a 2014 Vauxhall Corsa or Adam…

Some vehicles are being recalled by Vauxhall and can’t be used for driving tests until they’ve been checked and fixed if necessary.

A vehicle can be recalled by the manufacturer if it has a known safety fault.

There has been a recall of some Vauxhall vehicles because of concerns about steering.

Recalled vehicles

Your vehicle will need to be checked and may need to be fixed before you can use it for the driving test if it’s on the list below.

The vehicles are either Vauxhall Corsas or ADAMs registered from May 2014.

You’ll need to check your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) (the last 8 digits) to see if your car is affected.

Corsa D or Corsavan

The affected VINs are:

E6071016 to E6118738
E4181031 to E4308122

ADAM

The affected VINs are:

E6077301 to E6113446
F6000001 to F6006544

What you’ll need to take to your test

You’ll need to take proof to your test that the vehicle has been checked and, if necessary, fixed.

The proof you bring has to be one of the following:

the actual recall letter or safety notice that has been stamped by the manufacturer or dealer
written proof from the manufacturer or a dealer (on official or headed notepaper) that the car is safe for use in a driving test

Your test will be cancelled and you could lose your fee if you don’t bring the right proof.

Tests dates up until 4 October 2014

If you have a test date up to and including Saturday 4 October 2014, you can contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) if you’re affected by this vehicle recall to cancel or rearrange your test free of charge.

DVSA practical test enquiries and booking support

DVSA
PO Box 280
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
NE99 1FP

Telephone 0300 200 1122 (English)

Telephone 0300 200 1133 (Welsh)

Test dates from 5 October 2014

If your test date is from 5 October 2014, you must give 3 clear working days’ notice to change or cancel your test without losing your fee.

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Published:
29 September 2014
From:
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
Part of:
Making roads safer

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Originally from:

Driving test candidates warned on Vauxhall recalls – News … – Gov.UK

mock-theory-test

Would you pass the driving theory test again?

It doesn’t matter if you passed your theory test 1 year ago, or 20, the chances are you’ve forgotten some of it so here’s a chance to brush up on your knowledge.

I’ve written around 150 questions and created a free practice theory test and put it on my main driving school website.

To pass the practice test (and the real thing) you have to answer 43 out of 50 questions correctly.

Just click here to be taken to the test page and see how you get on!

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The UK OKs Self-Driving Cars on Its Roads

You might have heard about this in the news recently, but from next year you may see driverless cars in several cities around the UK…

Soon, the United States won’t be the only place where cars regularly drive themselves. The UK government announced this week that it will permit driverless cars to traverse its roads beginning next January. The nation’s Department for Transport is set to review existing road rules to determine which ones need to be updated to accommodate self-driving vehicles. The agency will try to differentiate between how the laws will apply to vehicles in which the driver and the car trade off control versus cars that never cede control to a human.

The government also announced a competition of sorts, wherein cities would compete to host three separate trials of robocar technology.The three cities that prevail in the road trial sweepstakes will split a £10-million fund set up to pay for the testing, which is slated to last for between 18 and 36 months.

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, who made the announcement at one of automotive engineering firm Mira’s research facilities, said he envisioned government support for self-driving cars, “…putting us at the forefront of this transformational technology and opening up new opportunities for our economy and society.”

See more here:

The UK OKs Self-Driving Cars on Its Roads – IEEE Spectrum

Fatal crash lorry driver was browsing dating sites

A lorry driver was browsing sex websites on his mobile phone when he ploughed into a stationary car, killing a young teaching assistant .

Ian Glover was flicking through profiles of women on an explicit dating website when he hit a Vauxhall on the A5 between Telford and Shrewsbury. The car flew over the safety barrier and killed Laura Jane Thomas, aged 20. Her fiancé Lewis Anthony Pagett was also seriously injured.

Glover, 44, was sentenced to five years in prison at Shrewsbury Crown Court. He admitted causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The court heard that Glover, of Sunbeam Way, Birmingham, had worked as a driver for Sainsbury’s for 10 years. He was driving a 44-tonne Mercedes lorry to Shrewsbury on the A5 at 8.20am on July 21 last year when the accident happened.

Laura, of Hunters Close, Great Haywood, was travelling to Aberystwyth for a day by the sea with Lewis. But the couple’s car had broken down and they had been forced to pull up on a grass verge with the hazard lights on. They got out of the car and stood the other side of the barrier on the A5. Lewis was on the phone to his father when the crashed happened.

Glover told police that he could not remember what had happened before the crash. But tests on three mobile phones found in his lorry revealed that he was looking at the dating sites.

Mr Hugh O’Brien Quinn, prosecuting, said: “Mr Glover said that the only distraction in his car was the radio. “But two of the three phones found showed one site had been used while moving more than 10 times, including while on the M54 and the A5.

“It was a clear day and the Vauxhall would’ve been visible for a quarter of a mile but the defendant did not see it at all and drove straight into it.”

Glover was travelling at between 50mph and 56 mph.

Mr Paul Rogers, defending, said Mr Glover was “deeply ashamed” that he had viewed the websites while driving.

Judge Robin Onions, sentencing him yesterday, said: “You were on these sites at the point of impact.”

“For many miles you were not paying proper attention.

“This was utterly avoidable.”

More:

Fatal crash lorry driver was watching porn – Shropshire Star

A few tips to help with stopping distances

This is one subject that some people have trouble with when it comes to the DVSA driving theory test. It’s one of those questions you can’t guess, you either know it or you don’t…

With this in mind I though I would write this short post to hopefully give a few suggestions on ways to make stopping distance theory questions much easier to answer.

First of all, take a quick look at the image below

stopping-distances

Trying to remember all that information is pretty tough for most people (even Driving Instructors!) so one option is to remember certain parts of it.

I like to focus on 30, 50 and 70. If you know those 3, and one of the others comes up you can work it out knowing the stopping distance on either side. So you can look at it as at worst, a very informed guess. However you still need to memorise 2 bits of information for 3 different speeds.

Stopping Distance Formula

If you can remember a few basic things, there is a more exact way of working out the stopping and braking distances for the theory test. Yes, there’s a bit of maths involved, but don’t be too concerned, take a look at this:

stopping distance formula

The distances that this formula come up with are the overall stopping distances (including your reaction time) and the only one that doesn’t quite match up with the highway code figures is the one for 40 mph which is listed at 118 feet, compared to the 120 feet provided by the formula. However, in the theory test, as it’s multiple choice and the answers are spread out with a gap of around 10 feet between answer so you should be able to pick the answer closest to your 120 feet.

It’s worthwhile mentioning that although most people prefer to do things in metres, the answers in the theory test give you the distances in metres and feet. However if you want to know the answer in metres for some reason, the divide your answer by 3 and that will give you the rough figure in metres. If you want to be exact, there are 3.2 feet in one metre.

For this to work, all you need to remember is you start with 20 x 2 and add 0.5 to the second number every time you add 10 mph to the speed.

Working Out The Braking Distance

Occasionally the question asks for the braking distance, which is the overall distance minus the thinking distance. Again, keeping the measurement to feet, it’s fairly easy to work this out. Below I’ve laid out the steps for working out the braking distance from 50 mph

1. 50 mph needs to be multiplied by 3.5 (3 lots of 0.5 more than 2). This gives you 175 feet

2. To get the braking distance in feet, simply subtract the speed from the overall stopping distance. 175 – 50 = 125 feet. This is enough to be able to answer the question.

3. If you need a rough figure in metres, 125 feet divided by 3 results in 41 metres (although the exact figure is 38.1 metres, and 38 metres is the distance listed in the highway code).

I hope this has helped, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me at www.rpldriving.com

Rob Laird

Driving Licence Categories

When I first started as a Driving Instructor, I never realised there were so many different categories of vehicles. I’ve decided to list them all here for easy reference not only for myself, but for anyone else who would like to find out what the letters and number mean. You can also view the list on the gov.uk website.

If you’re looking to find out what the information codes mean, then take a look here.

Mopeds

Category AM

You can drive 2-wheeled vehicles with a maximum design speed of over 25km/h (15.5mph) but not more than 45km/h (28mph).

This category also includes light quad bikes with:

  • unladen mass of not more than 350kg (not including batteries if it’s an electric vehicle)
  • maximum design speed of over 25km/h (15.5mph) but not more than 45km/h (28mph)

Category P

You can drive 2-wheeled vehicles with a maximum design speed of over 45km/h (28mph) but not more than 50km/h (31mph).

Its engine size must not be more than 50cc if powered by an internal combustion engine.

Category Q

You can drive 2-wheeled vehicles with:

  • an engine size not more than 50cc if powered by an internal combustion engine
  • a maximum design speed of no more than 25km/h (15.5mph)

Motorcycles

Category A1

You can drive light motorbikes with:

  • an engine size up to 125cc
  • a power output of up to 11kW
  • a power to weight ratio not more than 0.1kW/kg

This category also includes motor tricycles with power output up to 15kW.

Category A2

You can drive motorbikes with a:

  • power output up to 35kW
  • power to weight ratio not more than 0.2kW/kg

The motorbike must also not be derived from a vehicle of more than double its power.

Category A

You can drive:

  • motorbikes with a power output more than 35kW or a power to weight ratio more than 0.2kW/kg
  • motor tricycles with a power output more than 15kW

Light vehicles and quad bikes

Category B1

You can drive motor vehicles with 4 wheels up to 400kg unladen or 550kg if they’re designed for carrying goods.

Cars

Category B

You can drive vehicles up to 3,500kg Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) with up to 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg).

You can also tow heavier trailers if the total weight of vehicle and trailer isn’t more than 3,500kg.

You can drive motor tricycles with a power output higher than 15kW if you are over 21 years old.

Physically disabled drivers with provisional category B entitlement will also have provisional entitlement to ride category A1 or A motor tricycles.

Able-bodied drivers can no longer ride motor tricycles with a provisional category B licence.

Category B auto

You can drive a category B vehicle – but only an automatic one.

Category B+E

You can drive a category B vehicle with a trailer when they have a combined weight over 3,500kg.

Medium-sized vehicles

Category C1

You can drive vehicles weighing between 3,500 and 7,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg).

Category C1+E

You can drive C1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg, but the trailer – when fully loaded – can’t weigh more than the vehicle.

The combined weight of both can’t exceed 12,000kg.

Large vehicles

Category C

You can drive vehicles over 3,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg).

Category C+E

You can drive category C vehicles with a trailer over 750kg.

Minibuses

Category D1

You can drive vehicles with:

  • no more than 16 passenger seats
  • a maximum length of 8 metres
  • a trailer up to 750kg

Category D1+E

You can drive D1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg, but the trailer – when fully loaded – can’t weigh more than the vehicle.

The combined weight of both can’t exceed 12,000kg.

Buses

Category D

You can drive any bus with more than 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg).

Category D+E

You can drive D category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg.

Other categories

Category Vehicle you can drive
F Agricultural tractor
G Road roller
H Tracked vehicles
K Mowing machine or pedestrian-controlled vehicle
L Electrically-propelled vehicle
M Trolley vehicles
N Exempt from duty

You don’t need a driving licence for electric bikes, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs.