A New Driving Rule Is About To Come In That Could Mean Major Points
Did you know that fines for using mobile phones while driving are about to double?
If you didn't then a study has found you're not alone, with two-fifths of drivers apparently unaware of the government clampdown.
Some 39 percent did not know that the infraction will warrant six penalty points and a £200 fine from Wednesday, a Co-op Insurance poll found last week.
They surveyed over 1,500 UK drivers and found 30 percent admit to using their phone at the wheel, while over half do not believe that doubling fines and points will deter offenders.
James Hillon, head of products at Co-op Insurance, said: "We welcome the penalty changes as anything which helps make our roads safer can only be a good thing.
"However, it is very worrying that a significant proportion of drivers are unaware of the changes given how significant they are."
Credit: PA Images
He believes the increase could have gone further, as just a quarter of those who answered the survey said the change would make them less likely to phone and drive.
In 2015, 22 people were killed and 99 seriously injured in accidents where phone use was a contributing factor.
The Department for Transport is introducing stricter penalties as a result of these profile cases, and after research has suggested the practice is widespread.
There has been a sharp decline in the number of drivers caught using a hand-held phone, from 123,100 in 2011 to 16,900 in 2015, which could indicate fewer drivers are choosing to use their mobiles at the wheel.
However, this could in part be due to police budget cuts.
It turns out that you've got to be careful how you drive, even before you pass your test...
Driving Test Examiner Sues Learner After His First Test
A learner driver was sued by his driving instructor because he 'gave him whiplash' during an emergency stop. No... seriously.
Ben Williams, 24, was failed by tester, Keith Priestley after 'braking too quickly'.
Luckily, Ben's instructor, Elaine Rose, was in the back seat and she says that Ben executed the manoeuvre perfectly.
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I imagine it was pretty shit to fail his test in the first place, but then two weeks later he was served.
He got a letter from Mr Priestley's lawyer informing him that a claim was being put in against him.
Ben told The Mirror: "It was a nightmare. It's nerve-racking enough doing a driving test - let alone the examiner trying to sue you afterwards.
"He asked me to perform the emergency stop, so I did, and then he started groaning that I braked too hard and fast.
"But I felt fine, and so did my driving instructor."
However, there's a happy ending as the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency wrote to Ben to let him know that the case had been dropped and Mr Priestley had been disciplined.
A DVSA spokeman said: "Mr Priestley no longer works for the DVSA. We can't comment any further."
It's not just Ben who had a nightmare during his test, Craig Barraza suffered massively from pre-test jitters, with his mind going completely blank when the clock ticked to test time.
Credit: Deadline News
The 33-year-old Scotsman drove on through the nerves, however, and lasted a full five seconds before he'd failed his test.
Taking a 50/50 chance, he left his test centre and immediately went into the right hand lane after forgetting which side of the road to drive on.
"You do realise you're on the wrong side of the road?" said the examiner. Poor Craig was forced to finish the remainder of the test even though he'd already failed. And to add more oil into his carburettor, he'd have passed based on the last 40 minutes of driving.
"I was only just leaving the centre to get out. We were literally just five seconds into it," he said. "I was approaching the junction to exit it and I had an absolute mind blank, questioning in my head: 'What side of the road do we drive on'?
"I had a 50/50 chance, and I chose to exit it in the right lane. Instant fail. Had I not been so stupid I'd have breezed through."
Credit: Deadline News
His examiner and instructor claimed they'd never seen anything like it. Family and friends were quick to laugh at the poor lad, saying that old adage, 'the best drivers pass second time'.
After being put off getting behind the wheel at 17, having stalled at a roundabout, the 33-year-old decided to take up lessons again, spending around £1,000.
"My examiner with 20 years' experience, and my instructor with 30 years', both have never witnessed anything like it in their careers, they said," Craig added. "I hadn't even left the test centre car park.
"I've avoided driving because when I was 17 I stalled at a roundabout which just completely put me off.
"But I was more confident now. I think it's when you get older you get a bit wiser but that's rich coming from me after failing like that. I've lived in the UK my whole life so there's no excuse for not driving on the left."
To make driving tests even harder for people, they'll soon be changed to test us on sat-navs.
You'll often find your parents or grandparents saying, 'if I took a test today, I'd fail', and now that's probably never been more true.
Road sign tests will be ditched and replaced with how well you can use a sat-nav. Most us can't go half-a-mile without screaming at the fucking thing for consistently telling you to make a U turn, or drive through someone's front garden.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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