The latest survey from Venson Automotive Solutions reveals that 44% of people would back the introduction of a ‘civility code' of conduct for motorists, confirming a lack of confidence by drivers and the general public in their fellow road users. The findings follow news of a major think-tank calling for a civility code to be introduced to stop city dwellers being rude and unfriendly to one another when moving around, which Venson is encouraging businesses to back as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility strategy.
Although car and van drivers fell behind cyclists, joggers and smokers as being the most discourteous when using public thoroughfares, nearly half of all respondents (48%) shared frustration that motorists use their indicators less today than they did in the past. Close behind this grievance was a lack of tolerance by motorists of cyclists – 44% agreed that drivers lacked patience. 37% believe that today’s motorists – regardless of what vehicle they are driving – don’t signal a ‘thank you’ to someone if they have given way, and 36% of respondents said that lorry drivers generally don’t give enough due care or attention to other road users. Worryingly, 1 in 4 people said they’ve experienced road rage that left them feeling vulnerable or shaken.
The number of drivers issued with fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel has dropped by more than 40% since the penalties doubled, a Freedom of Information request by the AA has revealed1.
But studies carried out by the AA suggest that the drop is a mix of road safety campaigns, the doubling of the fine and points, and a lack of enforcement due to traffic officer reductions.
The AA submitted the Freedom of Information request to all of the UK’s police forces, to compare the number of FPNs each issued per month for the offence before and after the change in penalty.
From a total of 45 forces, 41 responded. While the vast majority reported a fall in the number of FPNs issued, four forces cracked down on the crime, dishing out more penalties to distracted drivers in 2017 than the previous year.
As part of its ongoing drive to raise the bar in construction logistics safety, O’Donovan Waste Disposal is proud to take delivery of the latest new additions to its fleet, making the independent waste management company the largest fleet of direct vision skip loaders in the UK. O’Donovan were also the first company in the UK to purchase the ground-breaking Mercedes Benz Econic 4×2 1830L skip loaders to their fleet in 2016. They have compounded that commitment by continuing to add the vehicle throughout 2017, and now into 2018 with the latest arrivals. Originally designed for municipal waste work, the vehicle was remodelled to be made available to service the construction sector.
O’Donovan boasts the largest independent fleet of the exclusive Econic skip-loaders to date, which delivers unrivalled safety features offering the driver an unparalleled view of vulnerable road users. The lorry has a wide field of vision with its deep panoramic windscreen, a fully glazed floor to ceiling ‘bus style’ nearside door and lowered driving position which puts the driver at eye level with both cyclists and pedestrians. The glazed door provides direct visibility of the nearside blind spot, a particularly vulnerable position for cyclists and pedestrians.
The ‘Beast from the East’ is set to hit Britain this week, causing parts of the UK to feel colder than the Arctic Circle.
According to research commissioned by Goodyear Tyres UK, over half (53%) of motorists surveyed say they find driving in the snow and ice nerve-racking, with a further 48% listing de-icing wind screens in the mornings as a problem.
David Morris, Business Account Manager – Fleet & Public Sector, Goodyear Tyres, said: “It’s no secret that winter weather can make every-day jobs more dangerous for drivers. Fleets must encourage their drivers to take all possible precautions, in order to ensure a safe journey. Correctly maintaining your vehicles’ tyre pressures and tread, and even considering fitting your fleet with winter tyres, can go a long way to preparing your drivers for the challenging weather conditions throughout the winter.”
The UK has some of the highest fines for using hand-held mobile phones in Europe – but even so many UK motorists remain undeterred with almost 12,000 drivers a year still being prosecuted for the offence, IAM RoadSmart has discovered.
A new survey from top German motoring organisation ADAC shows many European countries have relatively low financial punishments for using a hand-held phone while driving – Bulgaria, Iceland, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Hungary and Czech Republic all have fines of under 100 Euros. Germany fines up to 100 Euros, France 135 Euros and Italy 160 Euros. At the equivalent of around 225 Euros, UK fines are only beaten by Holland (230 Euros) and just pip Spain and Denmark at 200 Euros.
In spite of the possibility of a £200 fine and six driving licence points, figures published by the Ministry of Justice show the number of offenders convicted of “using or causing others to use a handheld mobile phone while driving” stood at 11,961 for 2016 (the last year full statistics are currently available; reference 1).
JAAMA HIGHLIGHTS SOPHISTICATED NEW ‘MYVEHICLE APP’ FUNCTIONALITY AT 2018 CV SHOW TO DRIVE FLEET EFFICIENCIES
Jaama, the UK’s leading fleet industry asset management software system provider, will be showcasing new functionality introduced to its smartphone ‘MyVehicle App’ - a genuine fleet and transport industry game-changer - at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show.
‘MyVehicle App’ was unveiled at last year’s Commercial Vehicle Show and since then Jaama customers with a combined total of more than 100,000 drivers have procured the tool.
At this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show, being held at the NEC in Birmingham, from April 24-26, Jaama will showcase a range of additional features specifically designed to help commercial vehicle operators reduce van and HGV downtime and ensure maximum compliance.
Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging motorists to take extra care as winter weather and plunging temperatures are predicted from this weekend.
Pressure on breakdown organisations is likely to increase significantly as motorists attempt to deal with flat batteries and other issues made worse by temperatures expected to fall several degrees below freezing across much of the country.
GEM is once again encouraging drivers to make good use of some simple safety tips in order to reduce the chance of risk, delay and difficulty.
The Volvo XC60 has been crowned overall Car of the Year at the UK Car of the Year Awards 2018. This comes only a month after it was crowned Best Medium Crossover by the same judges.
The UK Car of the Year Awards recognise the best new cars on sale in the UK. The awards are judged by 27 leading UK motoring journalists, who all write for influential titles such as The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Telegraph, Top Gear, Auto Express, CAR, Honest John.co.uk, Auto Trader and Motoring.co.uk.
John Challen, Editor and Managing Director of the UK Car of the Year Awards, said: "The XC60 being crowned UK Car of the Year 2018 is very well deserved, at a time when crossovers are becoming increasingly popular. Having been runner-up in 2016 with the XC90, it's fantastic to see Volvo now claim the top spot with its smaller – but every bit as impressive – stablemate."
Renault Trucks has announced that it will launch a range of electric vehicles in 2019. This range capitalises on the experience gleaned from ten years of testing electric trucks in real-life conditions with its customer-partners.
These all-electric trucks are primarily designed for use in urban and inter-city situations and will be produced at the Renault Trucks plant at Blainville-sur-Orne in Normandy, France.
Electromobility is the cornerstone of Renault Trucks’ strategy for sustainable urban transport. Zero-emission vehicles help improve air quality, curb climate change and also reduce congestion thanks to noise-free out-of-hours deliveries. Tomorrow, electric trucks will be simply indispensable for city centre access.
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has revealed the new V60 five-door, mid-size premium estate, underlining the Swedish company's position as a maker of cars that combine good looks with everyday practicality.
The car was launched in its natural habitat – the driveway of a family home in Stockholm – highlighting Volvo Cars' pedigree in family estates and pinpointing how the V60's versatile design caters to the diverse needs and realities of modern family life. It will be available here later in 2018.
Few car makers can match Volvo Cars' history and credibility in making well-designed, practical and versatile estate cars.
Brake, the road safety charity, has published an essential guidance report for fleet managers and HR professionals, in collaboration with Vision Express.
‘Look Sharp! How to keep at-work drivers sharp-eyed and safe on the roads’ is vital reading for all professionals with responsibility for road risk and the health of at-work drivers.
Based on presentations given at a recent webinar for fleet managers, the report discusses the different aspects of eye health and the risk factors associated with different disorders. The report outlines the simple measures that drivers and fleet managers can take to reduce the risk of poor driver eyesight including practical advice and guidance about implementing new policies and procedures.
Renault has revealed its new 2018 model-year ZOE, featuring the new R110 electric motor, Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle. This will be the first Renault EV to feature the new 80kW powerplant which combines extra power with even greater driving enjoyment.
Despite being the same size as the R90, the R110 is 12kW (16hp) more powerful than its predecessor. Drivers will benefit from stronger acceleration performance when travelling at higher speeds as the new motor shaves almost two seconds off ZOE’s 49.7-to-74.5mph (80-120kph) time. This is a significant improvement which provides even greater peace of mind at higher speeds. At lower speeds the R110 packs the same punch as the R90 from which it is derived thanks to the instant availability of peak torque of 225Nm, making ZOE as nimble as ever in urban areas.
Elisabeth Delval, Assistant Programme Director, Renault ZOE, said: “Thanks to this power boost, ZOE is even more responsive and versatile when used for journeys out of town. In addition to being able to enjoy the pleasure of driving a ZOE, drivers will also benefit from the longest range available for a mass-market
The EU should require alcohol interlocks to be fitted in all new professional vehicles and retrofitted to cars used by repeat drink-driving offenders. These are two of the main recommendations from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), authors of a new report looking at how to reduce the 5000 deaths still caused by drink-driving in the European Union each year.
In a major road safety package announced last month, the French government said all repeat drink-driving offenders would be required to install an alcohol interlock, an in-car breath testing device that prevents the vehicle from being started if the driver is over the limit. All coaches in France are already required to have the devices installed.
£7 million in funding announced to improve road safety and encourage more people to cycle.
Cyclists in a number of cities will benefit from a £7 million government investment in projects to improve road safety, helping create more bike-friendly areas.
The funding has been announced as part of the Department for Transport’s cycle safety review, which will help ensure that our roads are as safe as possible for all who use them.
Eight cities, which the government has already been helping to lead the way in promoting cycling, will be given the chance to bid for an additional £6.5 million of funding to trial new schemes which improve safety. This will support the government’s aim of encouraging more people to cycle as part of everyday journeys.
The remaining £0.5 million will be set aside to support Cycling UK’s Big bike revival — a successful initiative which is helping to get more people cycling safely and confidently across the country.
Lane rental schemes could be adopted by councils nationwide after successful trials in Kent and London.
Long traffic jams caused by roadworks could be a thing of the past as a scheme which has already significantly reduced delays in Kent and London is rolled out nationwide.
Lane rental schemes, where utility companies are charged up to £2,500 a day for digging up the busiest roads at peak times, could now be adopted by councils nationwide after successful trials in the south-east.
They incentivise firms to work on quieter roads or outside of rush hour, or even to collaborate with other companies to stop roads being dug up multiple times, to reduce the impact of roadworks on drivers.
Pilot lane rental schemes in London and Kent have seen congestion on the busiest roads drop, saving drivers time and boosting the economy.
Launching Vauxhall in to the leisure activity vehicle (LAV) segment, these are the first pictures of the all-new Combo Life.
Arriving in Vauxhall showrooms late 2018, the new Combo Life is full of innovations that makes it a great choice for the whole family. The spacious, highly practical and versatile Combo Life is equipped with two rear sliding doors and can be ordered as a five or seven seater, making it perfect for those needing plenty of room for people and luggage, such as a small sports team and their equipment.
The latest addition to the Vauxhall range makes longer trips more comfortable and enjoyable for the whole family, thanks to three individual rear seats, all with ISOFIX child seat brackets, and the optional panoramic glass roof. The Combo Life raises the bar for safety and comfort in this segment. It is fitted with technologies and driver assistance systems that are more commonly seen in the compact or SUV segments, such as Driver Drowsiness Alert, Rear View Camera with 180° bird’s-eye view, Head-up display, and IntelliGrip, as well as improved comfort features such as heated seats and a heated steering wheel.
Brake, the road safety charity has announced the details of its acclaimed annual UK Fleet Safety Awards. Brake is inviting awards entries from fleet operators and suppliers working to reduce the number of road crashes involving at-work drivers. The deadline for entering is Friday, 15 June 2018 and the winners will be announced on Thursday, 11 October 2018 at a ceremony in Birmingham.
Brake’s UK Fleet Safety Awards recognise the achievements of organisations and individuals working in the field of road risk management. The 2017 Award winners represent a diverse range of organisations, including British Gas, Bibby Distribution, Gateshead Council, and Reflex Vans.
DAF Trucks in new quest to find the UK’s driving elite
Drivers may be nominated or enter themselves, though all are required to undertake a demanding on-line questionnaire before a final shortlist of 20 selected drivers is drawn-up. Online entry is now available at www.daf.co.uk/thechallenge. Prompted by the daring question ‘have you got what it takes?’, DAF Transport Efficiency Driver Challenge 2018 is already preparing to evaluate hundreds of candidates.
Those shortlisted will participate in a series of challenging practical and knowledge-based assessments centred around a two-day, live event at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire in May.
The winning driver will be crowned as the DAF Transport Efficiency Driver Challenge Champion 2018, and will follow in the footsteps of 2016’s victor, Paul Barlow of Severn Trent Water. Speaking after his win, Paul said: “I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t expect it to be quite so comprehensive – every aspect of the job came under scrutiny. DAF Trucks’ organisers weren’t joking when they said they wanted to find someone with the whole package.”
To compete in the DAF Transport Efficiency Driver Challenge 2018, drivers are expected to exhibit impeccable levels of:
• Driving style, performance and efficiency across different sizes of truck and driving conditions.
• Road knowledge, legislation and the Highway Code.
• Vehicle knowledge, defect reporting and pre-use checks.
The DAF Transport Efficiency Driver Challenge 2018 is being rolled out across the UK and is open to any driver with a clean C+E Licence, a Driver Card and a Driver CPC. To truly maximise the potential of identifying the nation’s elite drivers, the Challenge is also open to non-DAF drivers. Candidates must enter by visiting www.daf.co.uk/thechallenge. Entrants will then be required to complete an on-line questionnaire covering truck- and transport-related topics.
Lex Autolease, the UK’s leading provider of fleet management solutions, has announced the appointment of Ashley Barnett as its new Head of Fleet Consultancy. Barnett moves into the role from the position of Principal Consultant.
A qualified accountant with more than 25 years’ business and finance experience, including 18 years in the vehicle leasing division of Lloyds Bank, Barnett’s expertise lies in vehicle funding, company car policy and salary sacrifice schemes.
This appointment marks the end of a strong 12 months for the consultancy team, which won the Best Professional Services Team category at the 2017 IAFN Awards for its work on changes to optional remuneration arrangements and lease accounting rules.
Barnett said: “This is a pivotal time for vehicle leasing. The shifting legislative and technological environment means there’s a greater need than ever before for expert and insightful fleet management advice.
“As the UK’s leading fleet consultancy team, we are committed to helping organisations successfully navigate this changing landscape, and ensuring they get the right vehicle, for the right job.”
Managing Director of Lex Autolease, Tim Porter, commented: “Our fleet consultancy team, under Ashley’s leadership, will continue to provide important support and guidance to our customers in a changing leasing market.
"With over 380,000 vehicles on fleet, we have access to a significant amount of operational data, and leveraging this data to translate it into actionable insights for fleets is something we plan to focus on over the coming year.”
Electric vehicles to help power people’s homes helped by almost £30 million funding
New technology which will unlock the potential for electric vehicles to help power people’s homes is being boosted by almost £30 million in government funding.
Through the Industrial Strategy the government is committed to becoming a world leader in shaping the future of mobility and in the design and development of the clean technologies of the future. This investment will help deliver on that ambition, supporting vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies that could enable electric cars and other vehicles to deliver electricity back to the smart grid, to light homes and power businesses.
The funding has been awarded to 21 V2G projects, to pay for research and design and development, with the aim of exploring and trialling both the technology itself and commercial opportunities.
These schemes, including EDF Energy’s V2GO scheme, will demonstrate how energy stored in electric vehicle batteries could be borrowed by the electricity system during peak hours, before being recharged during the off-peak in time for their drivers to set off on their next journey.
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