Category Archive: Learner Drivers

New Hazard Perception Clips: Everything You Need to Know

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First introduced to the hazard perception test in 2015, computer-generated clips (CGI) have been a hit with learners. Here’s why – and how to practise them.

As a learner, you’ll already know that fourteen one-minute clips are used during the theory test’s hazard perception segment. In each, you are asked to spot potential and developing hazards.

For the first 13 years of the test, these clips were video-based, learners often complaining that the footage wasn’t of sufficient enough quality to help spot hazards in the first place.

It led to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) creating the CGI clips, which are more modern and defined, and they have been met with praise from learners, instructors and examiners alike.

The new CGI clips are clearer, more modern and of a higher quality compared to the videos previously used in the hazard perception test.

How the hazard perception test has evolved

Since their introduction, the agency has gone on to introduce more clips. For instance, from November last year, the agency added clips that depict driving in snow, wind, rain and other adverse weather conditions, plus dusk and dawn driving.

According to the DVSA, the reason for such a diverse set of conditions is to prepare you more for the real-world driving conditions you will experience once you’ve qualified.

It’s a wise move as Department of Transport figures reveal that there were 16,406 accidents in rain, sleet, snow or fog on our roads in 2017 alone – with 205 fatal incidents; the DVSA say the test has reduced post-test at-fault collisions involving new drivers by over 11%.

What the future holds for the theory test

While the adverse driving condition clips have been welcomed, some are still critical that there aren’t enough clips depicting other hazards that drivers can expect to encounter on the road such as potholes or pedestrians who are distracted by their mobile phones.

The DVSA though has said that it will continue to update the clips and plans to introduce situations depicting children and cyclists.

How to ace your theory test

To help you prepare for the hazard perception test, Theory Test Pro offers:

• a library of 62 practice hazard perception clips, 20 of which are the new CGI clips licensed from the DVSA

• four different hazard practice exams that are given in the same format as the official hazard test, running 14 clips one after the other before giving your score at the end

• a tutorial video that explains how the hazard clips are scored and the number of hazards in each clip.

It’s important to remember that the clips featured in all training apps (including Theory Test Pro’s) are practice versions; the DVSA keeps the ones it actually uses in the official test secret.

This ensures you can’t ‘learn’ the clips before the test and pass them with flying colours because you have been able to practise the same clips repeatedly.

Below are several of our test clips to give you a clear idea of what you can expect when practising – and the kind of clips you might view during the test itself. For more information about the theory test and how to pass it, head to our blog post, ‘How to Click Your Way to a Pass‘.

Normal Driving Conditions

 

Adverse Driving Conditions

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1 in 6 Motorists STILL Using Mobile Phone While Driving

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Despite tough new penalties introduced two years ago, many drivers are still using their phones while at the wheel – with serious consequences for their licences and lives.

A new survey from Swinton Insurance reveals that 16% of motorists admit their mobile phones remain a huge distraction for them while driving. Of this group:

• Half said that they used their phone while driving to access their mobile’s sat nav apps

• A third said they answered calls or texts while another third said they accessed music apps

• Just under a quarter stated that they used their mobile while driving because they were too impatient to leave it until their journey was over.

Bye bye licence
These figures are startling especially when you consider the new law introduced in 2017, which saw the penalties for using a phone at the wheel made far tougher.

If caught on your mobile, you now face £200 fine (instead of the previous £100) and six penalty points on your licence (instead of three). For newly qualified drivers then, it could see you stripped of your licence – and having to take the test again.

Our latest research shows that despite legal and safety concerns, the pull for motorists to be active on mobile devices is still overwhelming. [While] the majority of drivers claim to be using their phones less since the legislative changes came in to effect two years ago, most still aren’t aware of the fixed penalty notice charge and aren’t deterred by it.”
– Mike McGrail, Swinton Insurance.

Flipside
There is some good news however – both the Swinton Insurance survey and official government figures reveal that the new law has had a positive impact on some drivers. According to Swinton, over half of respondents stated that they used their phones less while driving than they did in 2017.

Also, 59% stated that the six penalty point risk was acting as a deterrent while others confessed that the fear of having an accident was the biggest deterrent for avoiding mobile use while behind the wheel.

Government figures also reveal a slight decrease in offending rates – “1.1% of drivers were observed using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving on weekdays in Great Britain,” states the ‘Seatbelt and Mobile Phone Use Surveys: Great Britain, 2017’ report. This is compared to 1.6% back in 2014.

Remember the code!
Introduced in March, 2017, anyone caught using a mobile phone while driving will now get six points and a £200 fine. The same rules apply when you are in traffic or stopped at traffic lights. The only time you can use your mobile in the driver’s seat is if:

• you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop

• are safely parked at the side of the road with the handbrake on and the engine off.

Know Your Code

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New In-Car Technology Could Make Speed Cameras Extinct

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Motorists could soon find themselves unable to break the speed limit because of in-car technology designed to stop those of us with a heavy right foot.

The days of going over the speed limit – and Britain’s proliferation of speed cameras – could be numbered after a plan was approved for mandatory speed limiting technology to be introduced into all new vehicles by 2022.

The technology called Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) uses traffic sign recognition cameras plus GPS data to identify the speed limit on the road you’re traveling on – and automatically stops you from going over it.

While you’ll still be able to go over the limit by pushing hard on the accelerator, if you continue to break the limit for several seconds, the system will display a visual warning on the dashboard and sound an alarm incessantly until you drop back below the speed limit.

Saving lives
Experts claim that the limiters will reduce collision rates by 30% and could save up to 25,000 lives within 15 years. The limiter is part of proposals from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) – which have already been approved by MEPs – that detail safety technologies that the organisation wants to see in all vehicles in three years time.

These include data loggers that would automatically record information about the vehicle’s speed, how often safety systems have been activated, and logging “before, during and after” a collision. Lane-keep assist and autonomous emergency braking will also be made mandatory in all new cars by 2022.

This is a landmark day for road safety. We now urge the final negotiations to take place as soon as possible, so we can make this step-change for road safety a reality.”
– Josh Harris, Director of Campaigns, road safety charity Brake

In or out
Some who feel speed limiting is a step too far have been quick to point out that such EU regulations could not be applied to Britain after Brexit. But Britain leaving the EU is not likely to make any difference.

First, car makers are unlikely to produce specific car set-ups just for the UK market and second, the UK’s type approval centre, the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), has already stated that Britain will mirror the EU’s rules once the country has ‘Brexited’.

Speed camera extinction
While the ETSC says drivers should be able to override the system in this first wave of speed limiting, experts believe that, as the technology becomes more accepted by drivers, the tech could become more stringent.

It means in the future, speed cameras could become a thing of the past as vehicles self-regulate their speeds automatically. There are currently 15 different types of speed cameras used across the country – from GATSOs and Truvelos to HADECS – and all could be culled.

Another perceived benefit could be the freeing up of Britain’s police from speed camera duties, instead enabling them to focus on other dangerous driving habits such as tailgating – or dealing with the massive spike in car theft across the country. Time will tell.

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Speed Limiter © Ford

10-Year-Olds Offered Driving Lessons on Motorway

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A new scheme is offering motorway-based lessons for youngsters aged 10 and over.

The bold move is being introduced by Young Driver, the UK’s largest pre-17 driving school. It is in response to a company-commissioned survey that reveals 20% of UK drivers are nervous about taking their car out on to Britain’s motorways.

One in five motorists say they feel more vulnerable when driving on motorways because if something goes wrong, it will go wrong very quickly. So bad are some people’s nerves about motorways that 14% actively avoid going on them if at all possible.

70 at 10
To help allay such fears, Young Driver believes that experiencing motorway driving at a younger age is part of the solution.

Its Motorway Driving Experience, available to 10-17 year olds who have already had two driving lessons with the company, allows youngsters to head out on to a full-size motorway and travel at speeds of up to 70mph.

Don’t expect to see a child hammering down the M6 though. Instead, the motorway being used is not available to the public – but is actually used to train emergency services drivers and is located at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire.

Staying in control
The experience follows the same legal requirements of current learner driver motorway lessons that were introduced last year. The youngsters head out on to the motorway with a qualified ADI in a car featuring dual controls to ensure everyone remains safe at all times.

The experience not only includes 45 minutes of one-on-one driving time on the motorway but also aims to educate the pupils about correct motorway use. The season features a pre-drive 15 minute interactive presentation on how smart motorways work plus tips for staying safe when motorway driving.

Education first
Young Driver believes that introducing the skills needed to successfully navigate motorways will help deal with driver nerves in the future.

The company says the initiative is vital as “we already know that pre-17 driver education can create a safer newly qualified driver, cutting the accident rate in that all-important first six months by a half,” explains Young Driver’s Laura White.

“But given some new drivers can pass their test having never put a tyre on a motorway, it’s no wonder our major roads can be something that concerns them as new drivers and for years to come.”

Getting it wrong
While such schemes represent an opportunity for drivers to build confidence in their skills from an early age, there have been several incidents in recent years that reveal how not to introduce a child to motorway driving:

• An 11-year-old was discovered driving an HGV when pulled over by police in China. It was revealed that the child often drove the truck when his dad became too tired and wanted a nap in passenger seat.

• An eight-year-old child was captured on video driving a car at 75mph on a Romanian motorway. Encouraged by his parents, the lad manages to overtake a lorry despite barely being able to see over the top of the steering wheel.

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Image © Seighean

‘Zip-Merging’: What It Is & Why You Shouldn’t Ignore It

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The Highway Code recommends we ‘merge in turn’ (or ‘zip merge’) – but the vast majority of us don’t, even though research shows ignoring it can lead to increased congestion – and frustration – on our roads.

A survey of 22,000 British drivers has revealed that 70% of us are not aware of the Highway Code’s rules about ‘merging in turn’ (or ‘zip-merging’). This is when one of the lanes on a dual carriageway or motorway is being closed up ahead and drivers should prepare to move over into the remaining open lane(s).

In Britain, however slowly we are traveling, most of us tend to move out of the closing lane immediately after seeing a lane closure warning sign – because of road works or an accident – as we think it’s polite and is following correct driving ‘etiquette’.

In fact, according to the Highway Code, cars should be merging later – at the point of lane closure (if safe to do so) – allowing one car from the closing lane to enter the open lane with that lane’s cars alternately; in effect, the cars in both lanes coming together in tandem like two halves of a zip being pulled together.

You should follow the signs and road markings and get into the lane as directed. In congested road conditions do not change lanes unnecessarily. Merging in turn is recommended but only if safe and appropriate when vehicles are travelling at a very low speed, e.g. when approaching road works or a road traffic incident. It is not recommended at high speed.”
– Rule 134, Lane Discipline, Highway Code.

Knock on effect
By not merging correctly, studies show that we create more congestion because we leave the closing lane unused for longer. It can lead to one lane of gridlocked traffic instead of two lanes of slow moving traffic.

Two factors could explain why we are hesitant to follow the Highway Code correctly. First, it is not uncommon for drivers to become irritated by those choosing to merge at the lane closure – most of us believe that it is rude plus think it creates more traffic in the process (the opposite is true). This in turn leads to us all becoming reluctant to zip-merge for fear of upsetting other drivers.

“Highway Code? What Highway Code?”
The second explanation is potentially far more serious – people simply don’t know their Highway Code. The survey reveals that only 27% of us know that zip-merging is okay to do under the right circumstances.

More worryingly, 3% of us actually believe it is fine to straddle two lanes to stop other vehicles from passing us.

Perhaps the bigger issue is that 36% of drivers haven’t bothered looking at the Highway Code since passing their test with 20% stating they have not read the Code for over a decade.

The cost to us all
Such a lack of Highway Code knowledge could be a contributing factor to the findings of new research, which reveals UK drivers lost an average of 178 hours in 2018 due to traffic. According to Inrix’s 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard, the worst areas are London where motorists lost 227 hours due to congestion, Birmingham (134 hours) and Glasgow (99 hours).

By correctly using zip-merging, perhaps such horrendous figures can be lowered in future, freeing up time for you to get where you want to go more quickly – instead of being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Know Your Highway Code

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The Good, Bad (& Ugly) News About Learning to Drive

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A new report highlights the many hurdles you must contend with before becoming a qualified driver – and what you should do once you’ve passed.

According to insurer Admiral’s new Young Driver Report, you face big costs before, during and after you pass the test. Here’s a breakdown of the some of the biggest and how you can help drive down costs and stay safe on the roads once you’ve made the grade.

Good News, Bad News: The Price of Learning

The Good News
The UK is one of the cheapest places to buy a single driving lesson (£24).

The Bad News
Once you count up all the costs associated with learning to drive though, costs can rocket:

Cost of lessons (47 recomm.) £1,100+
Provisional licence £34
Practical and theory tests £85
Overall cost £1,247

Now compare that to other EU countries:

Germany £2,164
Sweden £1,325
UK £1,247
France £1,008
Italy £616
Ireland £613

Not bad compared to Germany but the UK is actually the fifth most expensive country to get a driving licence in. If you want super low learning costs, move to Canada where the average price is £469.

via GIPHY

Good News, Bad News: Taking the Test

The Good News
Nearly half of drivers aged under 25 pass the theory and practical test first time.

The Bad News
However, it takes most young drivers two attempts to make it through the practical test. To ensure you don’t fall foul of test-ruining faults, here are five of the most common:

5. Maintain progress – undue hesitation: 5.69%
4. Move off – control: 5.85%
3. Maintain progress – speed: 6.17%
2. Control – steering: 6.38%
1. Move off – safely: 7.37%

via GIPHY

Good News, Bad News: Where to Take The Test

The Good News
Where you take your test can have a massive impact on whether you pass. If you’re based in Golspie test centre in Scotland, you may as well crack out the bubbly now thanks to its 82.1% pass rate – the best in the UK:

5. Llandrindod Wells, Powys: 71.6%
4. Kyle of Lochalsh, Ross & Cromarty: 72.0%
3. Ullapool, Ross & Cromarty: 74.5%
2. Mallaig, Lochabar: 77.8%
1. Golspie, Sutherland: 82.1%

The Bad News
If you live in Bexley, we offer you our most heartfelt condolences as it has the worst pass rate of any test centre in the UK, standing at a miserly 28.3%:

5. Wanstead, Redbridge: 32.4%
4. Cheetham Hill, Manchester: 32.2%
3. Garston, Liverpool: 32.1%
2. Erith, Bexley: 31.8%
1. Belvedere, Bexley: 28.3%

The Ugly News
Pass rates can vary dramatically between test centres that are just up the road from one another too. For instance, the Ashton Under Lyne test centre in Tameside has a respectable pass rate of 65.9%. Alas, Manchester’s Cheetham Hill test centre just five miles away has a pass rate of only 32.2%.

Good News, Bad News: What Car to Buy

The Good News
Once you have passed, two in five of you buy your first car based on parental influence and the same amount of you based on the budget available to you. The top five most popular cars for first-time buyers are:

5. Fiat 500
4. Renault Clio
3. VW Polo
2. Ford Fiesta
1. Vauxhall Corsa

The Bad News
According to Admiral’s rates though, the cheapest cars for under 25s to insure per year are:

5. Volkswagen Fox £638.20
4. Fiat Panda £635.24
3. Citroen C1 £632.14

2. Peugeot 107 £628.04
1. VW Up! £618.42

The Ugly News
A third of you are choosing cars based on their prestige and status alone, meaning increased costs including higher insurance premiums.

via GIPHY

Good News, Bad News: Avoiding accidents

The Good News
Out of all the age groups, it’s the 17-24 year olds who have the least parking prangs when compared to experienced drivers.

The Bad News
Research shows that young drivers are five times more likely to be in a collision in England than OAPs based on 2016 figures. Drivers under 25 also account for 12% of speeding convictions, 14% of mobile phone convictions and 27% of drink driving convictions.

via GIPHY

If you want to avoid a prang or accident, avoid the times Admiral says are the most common for accidents:

8-9am on Tuesday is prime ‘accident’ hour.

Friday is the most common day for a car accident with 5-6pm the most common time.

43% of claims for accidents are recorded during weekday ‘rush hour’ traffic.

via GIPHY

• For more information about Admiral’s Young Driver Report, head here.

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Your Car at Risk: Auto Theft Skyrockets by 50%

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Official data from the Home Office reveals that the number of car thefts has nearly doubled over the past five years.

It’s now the equivalent of one car being stolen every five minutes in Britain – or 300 a day – with nearly 120,000 cars stolen in 2017-2018. Now compare that to over 75,000 stolen in 2013-2014 and it shows that we have a serious and mounting car crime problem.

Gone in 18 seconds
There are several reasons for the rise. First, a recent study carried out by the German General Automobile Club (ADAC) discovered that four of the most popular UK car models including the humble Ford Fiesta and Nissan Qashqai – two popular choices for new drivers – can be broken into and driven off in as little as 18 seconds thanks to their keyless ‘entry and go’ systems.

These systems are designed to allow the car owner to walk up to their car with the key fob in their pocket, open the car door without pressing anything, and press a button on the dashboard to start the car.

The problem? By carrying out a ‘relay attack’, car thieves can do the exact same thing – but without the need to have the key fob on them. Instead, they are exploiting keyless systems by relaying the fob’s signal from inside, say, your locked home to the car outside, using equipment easily sourced online.

It means the thieves can fool the car into thinking the key fob is near the car when it isn’t, enabling the thieves to open the car’s doors, start the engine and drive off (see video).

Worse still, the German research shows that out of the 237 car models it tested, only SEVEN could not be stolen via the keyless entry exploit.

Policing the problem
Motoring organisation, the RAC, claims that as well as the keyless entry issue, the car crime problem is being compounded further by falling police numbers: “From 2013 to 2018, we lost 5,975 police officers,” explains RAC Insurance director Mark Godfrey, “but looking further back to 2006, the story is even worse with 21,958 fewer officers which represents a 15% reduction.”

This lack of police might also explain the findings of Auto Express Magazine’s recent investigation into stolen car recovery rates. It uncovered that 45.31% of stolen cars are never returned to owners and in some regions, the recovery rate is even worse. For instance, the West Midlands police only has a recovery rate of 11.73%.

Ultimately, this is creating the perfect environment for car theft to flourish in Britain – and with car crime rates expected to climb even further this year, the future looks grim.

What it means for us
First, we can all expect an increase in our premiums to cover the uplift in thefts – never mind the premiums of the poor folk who actually have their cars swiped. There’s also the emotional impact; that feeling you’re not safe from either opportunistic thieves or organised criminal gangs.

So the question is – what can you do to protect your car?

Theory Test Pro’s Top Tips for Fighting Car Crime

1. Wake up to the fact that car crime does happen. That might sound obvious but a poll carried out by the AA reveals that one in four of us don’t think about car crime at all; in fact, some of us still leave our cars unlocked.

2. Experts recommend that if you do have a keyless system, you buy a ‘faraday’ pouch to put the key in; this blocks signals from being transmitted or received by the key fob. Alternatively, you could ask your car dealer to deactivate your car’s keyless system.

3. Weigh up the benefits of having a tracker fitted so if the worst does happen, there is an increased chance of the car being recovered. If you want it back, that is; many people don’t.

4. If your car doesn’t have a Thatcham-approved electronic immobiliser fitted, consider having one installed.  

5. Get a steering wheel lock; yes, it’s a decidedly old school solution – plus they can be cumbersome to put on and take off – but such visible security can act as a deterrent to opportunistic thieves.

6. If you are lucky enough to have a garage, make sure you use it every night. If you don’t have access to one, park in well-lit streets that ideally have CCTV if at all possible.

7. Be sure not to leave keys out in the hall when you head off to bed. It makes it a cinch for thieves to reach them via the front door. That said, never take your car keys up to bed with you. As thieves become more emboldened, they are breaking in and confronting car owners in their beds, often at knifepoint.

8. Location also matters. For instance, if you live in the West Midlands, London, Greater Manchester or West Yorkshire, you’re most likely to be the victim of car theft – but living in West Mercia, Lincolnshire or Sussex means you’re more likely to keep hold of your hard-earned car.

9. Finally, realise that if you buy a car that is popular with thieves – say, a Ford Fiesta ST (if you are prepared to pay the premiums) – then accept you are increasing the chances of becoming a victim of car crime. Ask yourself: is that car you really want worth the financial cost and emotional fallout if it is stolen? It’s a question none of us should ever have to ask ourselves but sadly, many of us now have to as we wait for the police – and critically, the government – to get a handle on the growing car crime epidemic.

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Driver2020: Sign Up Now to Shape the Driving Test of the Future

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The folk behind the driving test are looking for learners to tell them about their driver training experiences to help young people in the future become safer, better drivers.

Created by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), the Driver2020 project aims to make young drivers more confident and skilful by shaping how they learn to drive and, once they have passed their test, how they drive for 12 months afterwards.

And research shows that help is needed. Despite the outstanding service offered by Britain’s driving instructors, teenage drivers are still involved in 9% of all fatal and serious accidents according to the charity Brake – even though they only make up 1.5% of licence holders in the UK. Also, a quarter of young drivers crash within two years of getting their driving licence.

Learner Opinions Needed

To address this very real problem, the Driver2020 project will run for three years – up until 2021 – and needs you and your opinions to make it work. It wants to use the feedback from you and over 14,000 young people to shape the future of the driving test, so if you are aged between 17-24 and are currently learning to drive, get in touch and register for the project.

Once you’ve signed up, you may either get free training, e-learning or be asked to download an app to help with your driver education. Once you’ve passed your test, you will then be paid to complete four surveys – one just after passing your test, then the others at three, six and 12 months after passing. Each completed survey will see a £5 shopping voucher delivered to your inbox.

Best of all, as well as that warm glowy feeling of knowing you have helped make our roads safer, you’ll also be entered into a prize draw that could see you win a year’s fully comp car insurance (up to £1,500) or other prizes including shopping vouchers and iPads.

ADI Support Needed Too

To help get the feedback from the 14,000 learners required for the project, the TRL is also asking instructors to promote the project to their pupils and encourage them to sign up. Driver2020’s project director Shaun Helman explains: “Without the help of Approved Driving Instructors… research projects like Driver2020 simply cannot succeed.”

For more details on the Driver2020 project or to register, head to the official site here.

“[I look] forward to being able to come back to the [ADI] profession at the end of the project to see what role they can play in implementing whatever we find, so that we can all work together to improve the safety of the people we all serve – those new drivers who are hungry to learn, to improve, and to make the roads safer.”
– Shaun Helman, Project Director of Driver2020

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Revealed: Shock Surge in Accidents Caused by Slow Driving

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Official figures show that road crash casualties caused by slow drivers shot up by a third in 2017 – don’t become part of the growing problem.

According to the latest research from the Department for Transport, slow or hesitant drivers caused 175 injuries and two deaths in 2017, representing a 31% increase from the previous year.

The increase could be down in part to the growing number of elderly drivers on UK roads, reckons the AA; Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency figures reveal nearly five million of the country’s 39 million driving licence holders are now over 70-years-old with 100,000 aged 90-plus.

This combined with bad habits such as middle-lane hogging or slowing down to look at your mobile can lead to dangerous situations:

• Slow drivers cause others to become impatient and overtake under potentially hazardous circumstances
• This applies especially to those who hog middle lanes, leading to other road users having to slow down/overtake
 needlessly
• Slow driving can also cause congestion, increasing pollution and delaying other road users.

Driving like a snail can be as dangerous as driving like a cheetah. Too many motorway users hog the middle lane and drive ‘far below the speed limit’ which can lead to undertaking, tailgating, congestion and road rage, [Also] I was in a queue of five cars joining the M3 recently when the lead driver was driving at approximately 25 mph. It was incredibly dangerous.”
–  Edmund King, president of the AA

Can You Be Prosecuted?
While rare, driving too slowly can see you done by the police for careless driving. This can result in a £100 fine and three points on your licence. If you should end up in court, you can expect a fine of up to £5,000 and nine points – and even be disqualified from driving.

Remember, the sign for a minimum speed limit in the UK is a round blue circle with a white number in it. The end of the minimum speed limit is signified by a red line through the sign. Expect to find these signs in areas deemed accident spots by authorities (such as tunnels).

Can You Fail Your Test for Driving Too Slow?
In a word, yes; your examiner will be watching to see if you are competent and have the appropriate skills for safe driving. If they feel you are not driving at a suitable speed for the road and conditions, you run the risk of receiving a minor or even test-failing fault. In fact, driving too slowly is one of the top ten reasons for failing the test.

Our advice is to not kid yourself into thinking that by driving slowly, it will increase the chances of passing your test. Instead, driving slow will be seen as a sign you lack confidence and represent a potential danger to other road users.

Know Your Highway Code

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Main image © West Midlands Police

Speed Camera Able to See 1 KM Away Snaps 1,293 Speeders in a Month

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Unveiled in November, the Lone Ranger features a massive telephoto lens that can capture high-definition images of speeding drivers from over half a mile away.

The police says the distance offenders can be caught by the Lone Ranger is twice that offered by a regular speed camera. The cutting edge camera began testing in Gloucestershire last month as part of Operation Indemnis.

Since the trial began, the camera – fitted with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) – has snapped 1,293 drivers speeding on the A417 with one motorist caught doing 126mph on the 70mph-limited road with nine others caught doing over a ton.

Other offences picked up by the Lone Ranger include tailgating, number plate violations and driving without insurance or tax (with the offenders’ cars being seized by police). Demonstrating just how powerful the camera is, seven drivers were also done for not wearing a seatbelt.

Persecuting drivers?

Not according to the police. The reason for introducing the Lone Ranger is simple – the A417 that connects M4 and M5 is one of Britain’s most dangerous roads for accidents. “This is not about bashing the motorist,” said Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl. “This is one of the county’s busiest roads which also has one of the worst accident records due to the way it’s used.

“We now have a chance to test a new model of collaborative road policing which, if it proves a success, can be put into practice elsewhere. The aim is not just to penalise motorists but to uphold the law by creating a change in people’s behaviour. But the police will enforce the law when necessary.”

Based on the Lone Ranger’s results after a single month, we reckon you should expect to see the camera rolled out across the UK in 2019 – so stick to the speed limit, don’t tailgate and, for goodness sake, wear a seatbelt.

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Image © Jaguar MENA

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