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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 Confused.com 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.

Another Reported Fall In Numbers Of Traffic Police On The Road

  • Written by Lucy

Romsey Motoring News | Another Reported Fall In Numbers Of Traffic Police On The Road | Romsey & VillagesDedicated roads police units have shrunk in all but seven forces, new figures show.

The number of specialist roads officers was slashed by almost three-quarters in some parts of England and Wales last year.

The total number of specialist roads officers across all 43 forces fell from 5,237 to 4,934, according to data released by policing minister Brandon Lewis in response to a parliamentary question.

The Government has announced a number of policies in recent months to crack down on reckless motorists, such as tougher penalties for killer drivers and those using hand-held mobile phones.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“These figures reveal a concerning, and in some cases extremely alarming, decline in specialist roads policing. And this at a time when traffic volumes are growing, the number of annual road deaths is barely falling and more motoring laws are being introduced and need enforcing.

“Next month the penalties for using a handheld mobile at the wheel will double but stricter laws are of little deterrent if drivers don’t believe they will be caught.

“Last week the chief constable of Gloucestershire suggested that uniformed employees of Highways England – who deal with incidents on the motorways – could be given powers to fine motorists for low-level offences, but ensuring the long-term survival of roads policing will involve adequate funding for constabularies.”

Home Office data shows 16,900 drivers were handed fixed penalty notices for illegally using a phone in England and Wales in 2015, compared with 123,100 in 2011.

Jayne Willetts, lead for roads policing for the Police Federation of England and Wales, said roads policing officers are "specialists in their field" at tackling incidents such as speeding, tailgating and other criminality on highways.

"The thin blue line is now so thin on our roads system that we are almost to the point of being invisible.

"We should be looking to invest in more of these highly trained, specialist officers."

Suzette Davenport, National Police Chiefs' Council lead for roads policing, said individual forces decide how best to allocate their resources.

"Some may choose to reduce the numbers of specialist traffic officers but this does not mean that their roads are not adequately policed.

"They can deploy a range of resources, including ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) technology, targeted patrols using unmarked vans, high vantage points and helmet cams to catch offenders."

 

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 www.admiral.com/black-box-insurance/questions-answered

South East Drivers Top Figures for Defective Tyres

  • Written by Editor

Motoring News | South East Drivers Top Figures for Defective Tyres | Andover & VillagesSouth East drivers are at risk of paying up to £8.3 million in fines as new Freedom of Information data obtained by Confused.com reveals they are the worst region for defective and bald tyres. Police forces in this area have issued 3,322 fixed penalty notices since 2014.

With the South East accounting for more than one fifth (22%) of the UK’s tyre-related penalty notices, it would seem drivers in this region are unaware of just how serious driving with defective tyres can be. In fact, the South East holds the third highest road traffic accident rate related to driving with defective tyres. Since 2014, police forces in this region have recorded 105 accidents or collisions caused by this.

Perhaps these high figures are due to a lack of knowledge. Further research from the no.1 for car savings site, Confused.com, reveals over a quarter (27%) of drivers in the South East do not know how to check their own tyre tread. Worryingly, one in seven (14%) admit to never checking.

The law requires car tyres to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm and inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure (3). Motorists who fail to keep their tyres in this condition could be penalised with three penalty points and a fine of up to £2,500 per tyre. Almost three quarters (73%) of South East motorists are unaware of the correct legal tread depth. Therefore it comes as no surprise almost half (47%) think more should be done to help people understand the law about bald tyres.

When it comes to drivers in the South East who have experienced bald tyres, two fifths (40%) have only been made aware when they took their car into the garage. In fact, more than one in five (21%) South East drivers have failed their MOT because of bald or defective tyres.

And with the Department of Transport proposing to extend the MOT period for new cars from three years to four years, we could see even more drivers unwittingly fined for defective tyre offences.

Upon realising they had a bald tyre, many South East motorists will continue driving, on average, eight times or 14 miles before getting it replaced. With almost a third (30%) of South East drivers waiting over a week to get their bald or defective tyres replaced, a quarter (25%) said they waited because they simply didn’t have time. More than a quarter (28%) of motorists with bald tyres in this region have delayed getting their tyres changed because they couldn’t afford it at the time. The alternative being a fine of up to £10,000 if all four tyres are found to be defective.

Almost one in six (16%) South East drivers say they would find it helpful if they could book to have their tyres changed online. To help drivers save money, avoid fines and ease the hassle of arranging a trip to the garage, Confused.com has launched an online tyre tool (www.confused.com/tyres) which allows drivers to compare tyres and book a fitting for a single pay-on-the-day fee. Drivers can compare the cost of budget, mid-range and premium tyres by simply entering their car registration, picking their tyres and choosing from a range of local fitters at a time and date to suit them.

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.

GPs Are Britain's Worst Drivers For The Fourth Year In A Row

  • Written by Lucy

Romsey Motoring News | GPs Are Britain's Worst Drivers For The Fourth Year In A Row | Romsey & VillagesGeneral Practitioners have been crowned the most likely of any occupation to claim on their car insurance, according to research from Gocompare.com Car Insurance.

The study found that GP's were more than twice as likely to make a claim than the national average (6%) with just over one in 10 (13%) GPs having made at least one at-fault claim in the past five years.

Top 10 professions with highest proportion of claims on their car insurance

1 General Practitioner 12.58%

2 Hospital Consultant 12.05%

3 Outreach Worker 11.05%

4 Hospital Doctor 10.46%

5 Surgeon 10.41%

6 Health Visitor 10.37%

7 Insurance Consultant 10.18%

8 Psychotherapist 10.07%

9 Dental Surgeon 9.93%

10 Psychologist 9.76%

Occupations in the health or medical professions dominate the top 10 list of the most accident prone drivers, claiming eight of the top 10 spots.

Those working in insurance also tended to have higher claims than the national average with three professions appearing in the top 20; insurance consultants (10.18%), insurance representatives (9.42%) and claims adjustors (9.39%).

Other occupations with higher claims than the national average include; milkmen (6.09%), health and safety executives (6.83%) and optometrists (9.34%).

In contrast, occupations amongst the least likely to make are claim are car dealers (2.05%), abattoir workers (2.36%) and car wash attendants (2.41%).

Dr Craig Knight, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, and director of Haddleton Knight, specialises in the Psychology of working environments: "Jobs in the health sector seem likely to attract high-risk car accident factors for a number of reasons.

"Firstly, the roles carry a significantly raised degree of cognitive load - making decisions that will affect somebody's chances of sustained well-being or survival which can lead to distracting thoughts whilst driving.

"Secondly, almost all of the professions in the top 10 are working with clients who themselves are typically stressed, adding to the demanding nature of their job. Stress has a level of contagion which doesn't help with concentration.

"Thirdly, health professionals are often completing short hop journeys, usually in sub/urban areas where most accidents happen. Either that or they are driving into hospital car parks, which are notorious accident black spots."

Matt Oliver, Gocompare.com car insurance spokesperson added: "While it's ironic that those best placed to deal with accidents in the car make up the majority of our top 10, this study highlights the importance of concentration while driving.

"Driving while stressed, tired or frustrated can lead to accidents. As well as putting yourself and others in danger, if it's deemed that you were at fault for an accident due to negligence, it can affect your car insurance.

"At-fault accidents tend to affect car insurance premiums more than other claims as insurers will deem the driver as higher risk. Drivers with an at-fault claim could see their premiums rise as much as £70**. However, how much premiums go up could depend on the severity of the claim."