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A Relaxed Attitude Towards Breaking The Law Of Drivers In South East Revealed

  • Written by Lucy

Romsey Motoring News |  A relaxed attitude towards breaking the law of drivers in the South East revealed | Romsey & VillagesOne in five motorists in the South East think it is BETTER to drive while using a mobile phone than speeding, according to new research carried out on behalf of car insurance expert Admiral.

The findings emerged from a survey of motorists after tough new legislation came in to introduce an increase in fines and penalty points for those caught driving while using a handset.

Researchers also found 67 per cent of drivers in the region knowingly drive over the speed limit, but only 10 per cent had been caught during the last 24 months.

And despite clear signage indicating the acceptable limits on all roads, 47 per cent of people in the South East think it is acceptable to drive faster than they’re meant to.

While 68 per cent of drivers admit to intentionally slowing down to pass a speed camera, immediately speeding back up once past. However 46 per cent of motorists in the region think speed cameras in general improve road safety compared with 44 per cent that don’t. 24 per cent would like to see more speed cameras installed in their area.

A Freedom of Information request from Admiral suggests police forces and camera safety partnerships are halting the installation of speed cameras. Of the police forces that provided information to Admiral, only ten police force said new cameras had been installed in 2016.*

Alistair Hargreaves, head of service for car insurer, Admiral said: “It’s clear many motorists don’t see speeding as a particularly serious offence, and most admit they break the speed limit. We wanted to find out where motorists rank speeding in seriousness compared with a range of other offences and bad driving habits.

“20 per cent think using a phone while driving is less serious than speeding. Both offences carry a penalty, but recently the government increased the punishment for anyone caught using their phone behind the wheel; you now face a £200 and 6 points on your licence.

“Attitudes to speeding on motorways are particularly relaxed for a lot of drivers, and the majority would like the government to raise the speed limit from 70mph.”

Admiral’s study shows 45 per cent of motorists in the South East don’t think driving 80 miles per hour in a 70 mile per hour zone is a particularly serious driving offence.

Which explains why 83 per cent of people admit to have broken the law on Britain’s motorways, compared to 61 per cent on dual carriageways.

27 per cent of drivers in the region say they do tend to speed on urban roads, while 25 per cent have gone faster than they should on residential streets.

But when questioned about acceptable speed limits, folk in the South East are agreed the maximum should be 26 miles per hour on residential streets and 74 miles per hour on motorways.

Alistair Hargreaves continued: “Local authorities across the country are introducing 20mph speed limits on residential streets to try and reduce fatalities. Our research indicates motorists are willing to accept lower speed limits on these roads.

“Where motorists would like to see the speed limit raised is on motorways, that’s not surprising considering the majority already admit they drive above the limit on these roads.”

South East Drivers Worst in the UK

  • Written by Editor

Motoring News | South East Drivers Worst in the UK | Andover & VillagesThe UK’s driving offence capitals have been revealed, with drivers in the South-East coming out on top as the UK’s worst offenders – with over half a million (504,667) motoring crimes recorded between 2015 and 2016.

To highlight the research, no.1 for car savings site has launched a motoring map of the UK, which shows the number of offences in each region between 2015 and 2016.

The map, compiled of Freedom of Information data, reveals drivers in the South-East have committed more speeding, driving without a seatbelt and defective tyre offences than any other region of the UK between 2015 and 2016.

Police forces in the South-East have recorded 476,467 speeding offences between 2015 and 2016, accounting for 21% of the UK’s total. Further research reveals one in 10 (11%) motorists in this area cite speed as their favourite thing about driving. And while nearly three quarters (73%) of South-East motorists admit to driving over the speed limit, only 25% of these have been caught.

And to add more danger to being behind the wheel while speeding, motorists in the South-East are also top of the table for driving without a seatbelt. In fact, the South-East account for almost a third (31%) of the UK’s total offences, with 14,175 drivers caught without wearing the suitable constraints in 2015. More than one in seven (15%) motorists in this area admit to doing this and only 3% have been convicted.

While almost two-fifths (34%) of drivers in the South-East say their favourite thing about driving is having control of the car, it would seem some motorists aren’t thinking about the effect their tyres can have on this. Police forces in this area have recorded 2,359 defective tyre offences between 2015 and 2016, more than anywhere else in the UK.

When it comes to South-East drivers’ least favourite things about driving, over a third (33%) say they dislike paying for petrol primarily. Some of these drivers must be going one step further to avoid paying, as 4,556 petrol thefts have been recorded between 2015 and 2016. Only the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber have seen more thefts, with 6,701 and 4,932 recorded in these areas in the same time period.

While motorists in the South-East may be the most likely to commit driving offences, it would seem they do appreciate the overall driving experience. Almost two-thirds (61%) say their experience of being on the road is positive, with almost a third (32%) saying they enjoy driving. Motorists in this region enjoy the freedom driving gives them and, in fact, two thirds (65%) say this is the main reason they enjoy getting behind the wheel.

BMW X5 Reclaims Reign As Most 'Stolen and Recovered' Car In 2016

  • Written by Lucy

Romsey Motoring News | bmw x5 reclaims reign as most stolen and recovered car in 2016According to the latest figures from TRACKER (part of the Tantalum Corporation), the prestige 4x4, BMW X5, reclaimed its place as the most stolen and recovered vehicle in 2016. BMW, Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz models dominated the 2016 TRACKER Top 10 Most Stolen and Recovered league table, but the Land Rover Defender entered the league for the first time, confirming a rise in demand since its production stopped in January of last year. Audi falls out of the league table for the first time since 2011*.

2015 was the first time in the last 8 years when the BMW X5 didn’t hit the top spot; it was ousted by the Range Rover Sport which returned to second place in 2016. Four BMW models feature in the 2016 table, with the BMW M3 making a return appearance at third place; it dropped out of the table last year. The Range Rover Autobiography moves up to seventh place and the Range Roger Vogue drops to eighth.

In 2016, TRACKER reported a year-on-year increase of over 10% in the total volume of stolen cars it recovered; over £11.5 million worth of stolen vehicles were returned to their rightful owners. Andy Barrs, Head of Police Liaison at TRACKER explains, “Our latest figures reveal a shift in the most desirable makes and models that thieves are stealing to order, but 4x4s remain the most popular type of vehicles for thieves. However, with the Mercedes C and E Class sitting in fourth and fifth, respectively, premium executive cars are also proving to be a target for criminals.”

The most expensive stolen car recovered by TRACKER in 2016 was a Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG worth £120,000, followed by a Range Rover Autobiography and a Porsche 993, both worth £100,000.

“However, it’s important to note that the average value of vehicles stolen and recovered dropped to an average of £16,436, down from over £19,000 in 2015,” continues Andy Barrs. “Thieves continued to target more affordable, yet popular brands, such as Ford, Vauxhall, and VW models, which were stolen in even greater numbers in 2016. 27% of all vehicles recovered by TRACKER in 2016 were valued at less than £5,000, including a VW Golf worth £400.

“1 in 3 vehicles recovered by TRACKER were stolen using the owner’s keys. Although a TRACKER device won’t prevent a vehicle from being stolen, it’s clear from our figures that they significantly increase the chances of it being recovered and returned by the police. We continue to work closely with all UK police forces and in 2016 we assisted with 62 arrests, helping to close the net on the criminals.”

Unlike other stolen vehicle recovery devices, TRACKER’s unique technology can locate vehicles anywhere, even when they are hidden in a garage or shipping container. TRACKER has been reuniting car lovers with their vehicles for over 23 years, and it’s this expertise which makes TRACKER the leader in stolen vehicle recovery.


Young Motorists In South East Would Sacrifice Spending Money To Stay On The Road

  • Written by Lucy

Romsey Motoring News | Young motorists in the South East would sacrifice spending money on new clothes, gigs and socialising to stay on the road | Romsey & VillagesThe value young people in the South East put on being mobile is revealed in new research carried out by Morar on behalf of Admiral LittleBox. They surveyed drivers aged 17 to 24* in the region and found the majority of them would sacrifice spending money on new clothes and on socialising with their friends to be able to afford to run their car.

Admiral LittleBox listed a range of items young people typically spend money on to find out where a car ranks in their spending priorities. Surprisingly new clothes were the item most of them were willing to forgo to be able to afford to keep driving. With 74% in the South East saying they’d do this. Two thirds (67%) would be willing to ditch spending money on socialising with friends and slightly fewer (66%) on going to gigs and festivals.

The least popular thing young people in region would be willing to give up was saving for a deposit on a house. Only 8% said they would cut back spending on this in order to run a car, while a quarter said they’d cut spending on food. Suggesting the under 25s are a lot more pragmatic than some people may give them credit for.

Admiral LittleBox found young drivers in the South East spend on average £3,254 a year on motoring costs, with fuel accounting for £1,043 and insurance making up an average of £926. Other expenses include maintenance and repairs, which take £535, vehicle excise duty or road tax which costs £385 and getting the car through its MOT, which costs an average of £365.

Head of Telematics at Admiral, Jo Garcia, said, “Our research shows just how important being mobile is to young drivers in the South East, whether that’s for their work or their social life. It also shows they’re not as frivolous with their cash as some people might expect. In fact two of the things they’d most be willing to sacrifice spending money on are new clothes and going out with friends.

“Running a car is costly for anybody, but for younger drivers the expense can take a bigger share of their income. There are simple ways they can cut their bills however; buy a car with lower fuel consumption and one with lower vehicle emissions; they’ll save money on fuel and road tax. And a car in a lower insurance group is cheaper to insure too. They should also consider black box insurance like Admiral LittleBox. The technology monitors your driving, so your insurer can set a premium based on how you drive and not how your peer group drives.”

So would young drivers be willing to take Jo Garcia’s advice and consider getting a black box policy to try and get cheaper insurance? More than half (53%) said they definitely or probably would, while around one in eight (12%) said they already have one. But that still leaves more than a quarter (27%) who said they wouldn’t consider it, and who could be missing out on cheaper insurance.

Admiral LittleBox has found a lot of myths still surround black box insurance, which could be putting off some young drivers from buying it. When asked what would put them off taking out black box insurance, the biggest factors were:

· Black box insurance allows an insurer to track where I’m driving, which 53% said would put them off

· Black box insurance sets a curfew so you can’t drive at night, which would put off 44%

· Going over a speed bump, swerving or braking to avoid an obstacle could affect my premium, which would put off 43%

· I would have to drive perfectly every journey to get cheaper rates which would put off 40%

· I would have a limited mileage with black box insurance which would put off 36%

None of these are true with Admiral LittleBox. Admiral has produced an interactive website for young drivers to find out more about the myths surrounding black box insurance. Black Box Insurance Myths Busted can be found at

The Law On Driving With A Mobile Phone Changes

  • Written by Lucy

Romsey Motoring News | The law on driving with a mobile phone changes tomorrow | Romsey & VillagesThe law on using a mobile phone while driving changes tomorrow, police have warned.

New laws will come into force from March 1 which will see the penalties for mobile-using motorists double - meaning people can be handed six points on their driving licence and a £200 fine. In more serious cases, police can also prosecute drivers for careless or dangerous driving.

Since 2003 anyone caught using a mobile phone while driving faced a £100 fine and three penalty points.

Motorists will no longer be offered the opportunity to go on a driver awareness course once the new legislation comes into force.

The change in legislation can lead to an automatic ban for young and newly-qualified drivers as they could risk having their licence revoked following a first-time offence.

Police say while it has been illegal to use a mobile phone held in the hand while driving or while stopped with the engine on since December 2003 there has been a worrying shift in attitudes to mobile phone use behind the wheel.

The RAC surveyed 1,714 motorists and 31 percent of them said they used a handheld phone behind the wheel compared with 8 percent in 2014.

Mobiles and driving - what you need to know

Can you use your phone at traffic lights?

No. Even when you're stationary it's still classed as driving and you are still in charge of the vehicle so using your phone in traffic or at lights is still an offence.

Can you press buttons on your phone to answer/hang up a call on hands-free?

No. The phone must be secured in a holder out of the 45-degree angle of the driver's view. You can't touch it while driving.

Is it OK to answer a call while driving if your phone is on loudspeaker on your knee?

No. It's still classed as using your phone while driving whether it's in your hand or not.

Can you use your phone as a sat nav?

Yes – as long as you programme it before you start the car and set off and it's in a holder out of the 45-degree angle of the driver's view. You cant re-programme or touch it while in motion, the same rules apply for any sat nav.


Only 50 Days To Go Until New Vehicle Tax Rates Come In To Force

  • Written by Lucy

Romsey Motoring News | 50 days to go until new vehicle tax rates come into force | Romsey & VillagesDVLA is reminding motorists that there are just 50 days to go until new vehicle tax rates come into force for all cars and some motor homes that are first registered from 1 April 2017.

These changes won’t affect any vehicles that are registered before 1 April 2017. So, for anyone who already owns a car or is thinking of buying a used car the rates of vehicle tax will not be changing. However, anyone considering buying a new car that will be first registered from 1 April should check the vehicle tax rates table on GOV.UK to find out how much they’ll pay.

Under the changes, vehicle tax for the first year will continue to be based on CO2 emissions. After the first year, the amount of tax to pay will depend on the type of vehicle. The new rates are:

£140 a year for petrol or diesel vehicles

£130 a year for alternative fuel vehicles (hybrids, bioethanol and LPG)

£0 a year for vehicles with zero CO2 emissions

In addition, for vehicles with a list price of more than £40,000, the rate of tax is based on CO2 emissions for the first year. After the first year, the rate depends on the type of vehicle (petrol, diesel, zero emission etc) and an additional rate of £310 a year for the next 5 years. After those 5 years, the vehicle will then be taxed at one of the standard rates (£140, £130 or £0) depending on the vehicle.