N332 RoadWatch Issue 02 – August 2016

Here it is, issue 2 of N332 RoadWatch, our new regular eMagazine. When we released the first issue last month, it was our intention to publish the eMagazine quarterly. Straight away the pressure was on to publish more frequently than we intended, thanks largely to you and your incredible feedback. Therefore, we decided that we had better publish every 2 months. Still your comments and feedback continued and still we felt that even every 2 months isn´t enough, at least not at the moment, and so, as you have probably gathered already, here we are with our now monthly publication.


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Last month I said that I would tell you more about our exclusive members club. I will, but not yet. Remember, last month we intended to be publishing the next edition in October, not so soon, so you will have to wait a little longer for that.
Now, back to this issue. The cover leads with a question regarding new radars on motorbikes. We answer that question and hopefully clear up some other misunderstandings that often come about regarding “speed traps” and radars.
We have a little bit of an American feel to this issue too, including a feature on one of the former stars of the hit television show, CHiPs, who is now living his own dream come true. In the news section we have an interesting story from America too, about a dog! We also have a couple of UK based stories too. By the way, if you are in the UK or around Europe, you can visit our sister website, roadwatch.eu, which covers a lot of information from across the continent and is the next stage of our development. More about that in a future issue too.
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We cover child seats, traffic jams, animal safety, Eco labels, fines for cyclists, proposed changes to the UK driving test, yellow lights and more, as well as box a fun and serious quiz so you can test your knowledge, and a whole lot more.
You can click the Buy Now button to download your very own PDF version of the eMagazine. Please make sure you are able to view PDF´s before you do, although most computers, tablets and phones have PDF readers either installed or downloadable for free.
Meanwhile, if you are a business and would like to get involved by supporting us, in exchange for an advert in these pages or the website, send us an email. Remember, everybody who works on the project offers their time for free, the money collected is invested back into the next stage of the project with a portion going to charity.
To read issue 1 for FREE, click here.
We are now off to start work on the September issue where one of the subjects we will be covering is the breathalyser. Enjoy the rest of your summer and stay safe.

Mobile phones and in-vehicle technology

The Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales and is essential reading for everyone.
Rule 149
You MUST exercise proper control of your vehicle at all times. You MUST NOT use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, when driving or when supervising a learner driver, except to call 999 or 112 in a genuine emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop. Never use a hand-held microphone when driving. Using hands-free equipment is also likely to distract your attention from the road. It is far safer not to use any telephone while you are driving or riding – find a safe place to stop first or use the voicemail facility and listen to messages later.
General rules, techniques and advice for all drivers and riders

ROAD RAGE – DON’T BECOME A VICTIM

In this week’s driving tips IAM RoadSmart head of standards Richard Gladman talks about how to avoid becoming a road rage victim, and what to do if it does escalate.
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  • If someone is being confrontational or aggressive, don’t make eye contact and don’t react visibly.
  • Let the other driver go on ahead. You might feel wronged, but letting the other party go will make no difference to the rest of your day.
  • Name and shame! If you or better, your passengers, can film any behaviour on your mobile phone it will help in terms of evidence, including the registration number of the other vehicle involved.
  • If the conflict is more serious and other processes aren’t working; call the police, especially if you feel there is a threat or possibility of violence against you.
  • Sorry helps. If you were at fault, admit it and apologise. If you feel upset or emotional pull over and get some fresh air or walk around if you need to before resuming your journey.
  • Again find some distraction, like listening to the radio – move your mind deliberately onto something else – deliberately driving well would be a good example – but don’t dwell on the incident.

Richard said: “Road rage does not affect everyone every day. If you’re finding it is happening very often, you might want to think about how you engage with other road users.”
He concluded: “No-one need experience road rage, but it us up to each of us to ensure it stays that way.”

KIA MOTORS VOLUNTARILY ISSUES PRECAUTIONARY RECALL ON SOUL MODELS

  • Fault on current generation Kia Soul steering gear assembly leads Kia to voluntarily issue a precautionary recall
  • All affected vehicles will be repaired at no expense to owners

Kia Motors UK Ltd is voluntarily recalling all Soul and Soul EV vehicles produced between 18 January 2014 and 30 September 2015, as a precautionary measure. This is due to a potential fault which, in extreme circumstances, could cause the steering to fail.
kiasoul
Through ongoing monitoring of field data, Kia Motors has determined that an adhesive with insufficient bonding strength was used during assembly, this may cause a pinion plug that secures the pinion gear to the steering gear assembly to loosen. If the plug loosens sufficiently, the pinion gear may separate from the steering gear assembly, which could cause a loss of steering.
The number of UK Soul and Soul EV vehicles affected stands at 5,707. All these vehicles will be repaired at no expense to the owner, this process will begin immediately. Kia Motors UK will notify owners via post and email, suggesting they take their vehicle to their nearest Kia dealership where the pinion plug will be secured or replaced, ordinarily within one hour.
At present there is no evidence of this potential defect causing any injuries or accidents to any customers in the UK or globally, there have also been no reports or complaints of vehicle defects from any Kia Soul customers relating to this issue.
If any Kia Soul customers have questions at this stage they are encouraged to liaise with our customer service team, contactable via telephone (0333 202 2990).

NEARLY HALF FROM MUMSNET AND GRANSNET DRIVER SURVEY ‘MORE DISTRACTED’ THAN BEFORE

Nearly 50% of survey participants from the Mumsnet and Gransnet websites say they get more distracted with driving today than before.
The survey, of 1070 people from the two websites, conducted on behalf of IAM RoadSmart, wanted to better understand aspects of driving parents and grandparents are most concerned about. And while 95% of both Mumsnet and Gransnet users are confident drivers, there are certain aspects they would like to improve particularly when driving with children and grandchildren in the car.
Although the majority of respondents (84%) have been driving for quite some time, over 40% get stressed about ensuring their children/grandchildren are in the right car seat or using the right seatbelt.

IAM RoadSmart’s chief executive officer, Sarah Sillars OBE said: “Being a confident driver isn’t necessarily about having years of experience on the road. It’s about developing skills in those areas that you find most challenging at any given time.
“Gransnetters, for example, have said they are less confident about driving in the dark on the motorway with children. This insight really helps us gain a better understanding of any key concerns and challenges these drivers are faced with today, and in turn find a solution to help them build their confidence in these specific areas.”
The survey also asked participants about how they would like to be supported in their development and confidence. The majority said they would favour one-to-one training sessions that would help them become safer road users overall.
Sarah added: “We have a number of training courses available that can help both parents and grandparents with their driving. From brushing up your driving skills to cope with driving in bad weather, to driving safely with in-car distractions, our courses are delivered on a one-to-one basis in the comfort of your own car.”
IAM RoadSmart’s Driver Assessment is a relaxed and informal way for road users to reassess their skills and focus on areas of improvement over one or two hours. And if drivers would like to spend more time developing their skills and confidence, the Advanced Driver course can prove beneficial over a longer period of time.
IAM RoadSmart also has the Mature Driver’s Assessment on offer for grandparents – an informal training option that helps older drivers refresh their skills and gain reassurance that they’re safe to carry on driving.
You can find out more about IAM RoadSmart’s training courses here: https://www.iamroadsmart.com/courses

EURO 2016: THE TOURNAMENT WHERE NO FAN WANTS PENALTIES

ROAD SAFETY AND breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging football fans to put safety first if they’re on the road during the forthcoming Euro 2016 matches in France. GEM’s advice applies for fans who will be following their national teams in France, and for others watching at home or in the pub.
GEM chief executive David Williams MBE says: “If you’re driving in France, it’s important that you’re aware of specific French traffic laws. For example, the drink-driving limit in France is lower than in England and Wales (0.5mg compared with 0.8mg). Also, France has introduced jail terms for drivers caught at more than 50km/h above the speed limit, even first time offenders.
“The French motorway network is extensive and excellent, meaning you can cover big distances with ease. But don’t try to drive too far in one go. Take fatigue seriously; make time for proper breaks and avoid driving at times of day when you would normally be sleeping.
“For fans planning to watch our national teams at home or in the pub, we’re stressing the importance of planning journeys home. Pre-book a taxi, or share lifts and agree a designated driver who will stay on soft drinks.
“Be careful when walking home. Figures from the Department for Transport show that one pedestrian in seven injured on our roads is drunk at the time. Alcohol impairs judgement and reduces the ability to judge speed and distance, regardless of whether you’re driving or walking. It can also increase willingness to take risks, often resulting in pedestrians stumbling into the road and being hit by drivers who have no chance of avoiding them.
“We’ll be cheering for our home nations, and we certainly don’t want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of the football. However, we are committed to helping reduce risk for all road users. That’s why we encourage fans to look out for each other and get home safely.”
The UEFA ‘Euro 16’ takes place between 10 June and 10 July, at venues in Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux, St-Étienne, Nice, Lens and Toulouse.
England face Russia on 11 June, Wales on 16 June and Slovakia on 20 June.
Wales take on Slovakia on 11 June, England on 16 June and Russia on 20 June.
Northern Ireland play Poland on 12 June, Ukraine on 16 June and Germany on 21 June.
Stay safe
GEM has the following safety tips to ensure safe enjoyment of the Euro 2016 tournament:

  • If you’re walking home from the pub, make sure you can be seen by drivers and riders.
  • Never let mates walk home drunk on their own.
  • If you’re going out to watch the football, then pre-book your taxi home, or share lifts and agree a designated driver for each match.
  • If you need to drive home, don’t take any risks and stay on soft drinks while you’re out.
  • If you have a few late night drinks at home, then don’t plan to drive the following morning as you could still be over the drink-drive limit. 

Avoid the penalties
Anyone convicted of drink-driving faces a mandatory ban of at least 12 months, with a fine of up to £5,000 and a possible prison sentence of up to six months.
Follow GEM on Twitter @MotoringAssist for the latest industry news.

GUARD AGAINST FATIGUE ON LONG JOURNEYS, WARNS GEM

Drivers need to be properly rested before setting off on long journeys, says breakdown and road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist. The warning comes as thousands of families and couples make plans for summer holidays that could involve road journeys of several hundred miles.
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Being tired when you’re driving raises the risk of a collision, because you’re less aware of what’s happening around you. Your ability to react is impaired if a risky situation develops. That’s why fatigue can be a factor in up to 20% of all road collisions, and up to 25% of fatal and serious crashes1.
GEM chief executive David Williams MBE comments: “A fatigue-related crash is around 50 per cent more likely to result in death or serious injury, simply because a driver who has fallen asleep at the wheel will be unable to reduce speed or change direction to avoid a collision. The consequences can be devastating.”
Falling asleep at the wheel is easily avoided, but as David Williams continues, it’s vital you heed the many warning signs your body will give you before you actually nod off.
“No one simply falls asleep without passing through various recognisable stages of tiredness and distraction,” he says.
“You will experience difficulty focusing on the driving task, you may fidget, yawn constantly and rub your eyes frequently. When more serious levels of fatigue set in, you may find your thoughts constantly wandering away from driving, you may drift to the left or right, you may be slowing down without realising and you’ll suddenly find you cannot recall anything that happened in the past few minutes.
“At this stage your driving performance is seriously impaired, and it’s vital that you stop somewhere safe as soon as possible. A power nap and/or a caffeine-based drink can provide a short-term fix, but they should never be used as an acceptable substitute for proper rest. If you’re that tired, you must stop and rest properly.”
GEM offers a few simple tips for drivers to avoid reduce the risk of a fatigue-related collision:

  • Get a good night’s sleep before you drive a long journey.
  • Build in time to reach your destination (or your night-stop) without rushing. Remove time pressures wherever possible.
  • Avoid driving alone for long distances if possible. Share the driving, and support each other by watching for any signs of fatigue.
  • On long journeys, take a break of at least 15 minutes after every two hours or 100 miles. Get out of the car, do some exercise, stretch or walk. If necessary, have a caffeine drink or two to boost your alertness.
  • Don’t press on into the night. Avoid driving at times when you would usually be asleep.

GEM’s short video on understanding the dangers of fatigue is available at www.motoringassist.com/fatigue
Follow GEM on Twitter @MotoringAssist for the latest industry news.

EMERGENCY VEHICLES – HOW TO RESPOND TO THEM

This week, we’re looking at how you can help an emergency vehicle reach the scene of an urgent situation quickly and safely. Here’s IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding Richard Gladman, to guide you through.
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  • Whenever you hear the sound of an emergency siren mute your music so you can work out where the noise is coming from. Be prepared to plan your next manoeuvre if the emergency vehicle requires your help to get past.
  • Be sure to pull over and stop where it is safe to do so, giving the emergency vehicle a wide enough berth. Make your intentions clear and certainly avoid blocking any major junctions or stopping in the middle of the road, on the brow of a hill or before a bend.
  • Avoid stopping on kerbs, pavements and verges as they may mask hazards, damage your vehicle or put pedestrians at risk.
  • The vehicle trying to pass may be a plain looking car with emergency warning equipment such as lights fitted to it – be prepared to assist in the same way.
  • Going through a red light or using a bus lane to make way for an emergency vehicle is in fact breaking the law and cameras have no discretion. Avoid this at all costs and be sure to stop only where it is legal and safe to do so.

Richard said: “Emergency lights are not always easily visible and the sirens can be heard from different directions so be as vigilant as possible. Motorcycles are also used by all emergency services and they may be hard to see – be prepared to respond and plan your route before acting.
“To find out more about our advanced driving and riding courses take a look here: https://www.iamroadsmart.com/courses.”

SUMMER DRIVING IN THE CITY

Driving through busy urban roads needn’t be stressful this summer. All you need is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman to guide you through safe city driving.

  • Forward planning is key – if you know of any roadworks taking place it of course makes sense to avoid driving through them. And if you’re travelling through an unfamiliar city use Google maps or street view to get a sense of your journey beforehand.
  • Be on alert for any motorists driving and riding erratically – they may be unfamiliar with the area and change lanes unexpectedly. Slow down and keep a safe distance to avoid any accidents.
  • Look out for lanes that are closed to cars, such as cycle lanes, one-way streets and bus lanes. Make sure you’re aware of when bus lanes operate too – you don’t want to end up paying a heavy fine.
  • If you get caught up in traffic double check to see you’re not blocking any junctions or pedestrian crossings. In city centres yellow box junctions are monitored by cameras and will often result in a fine if used incorrectly.
  • As always, check your mirrors, signal in advance and keep an eye out for vulnerable motorists including pedestrians and cyclists at all times.
  • Richard said: “If you’ve accidently missed a turning or an exit, don’t panic. Continue with your journey until you find somewhere suitable you can turn back on yourself.
  • ”Glancing away from the road for any length of time can cause a crash. Don’t let yourself get distracted by people dressed for the summer. There is nothing more uncool than a bump caused by ogling a member of the opposite (or the same) sex.”

CAR THIEVES GO BACK TO THE 1980s

TRACKER urges classic car owners to focus on security as criminals target modern classics
www.tracker.co.uk
Car crime in Britain has jumped up by eight per cent in just a year, with 81,000 vehicles stolen from their owners last year*.   Proving that classic cars are just as much a target for thieves, 40 classic Fords were stolen in the first 4 months of this year**.   Rising values and a shortage of parts, make classics highly desirable for criminals warns stolen vehicle recovery expert, TRACKER (part of the Tantalum Corporation).
Head of Police Liaison at TRACKER, and a former Chief Superintendent for South Yorkshire Police, Andy Barrs says, “Classics from the 1980s are appreciating in value, making them hot ticket items for car criminals.  Since the majority of modern classics lack the sophisticated identification markings of newer vehicles, vehicle identities are much easier to alter, thus making them harder to trace.   Despite owners having lovingly restored their pride and joy, many fail to protect them with a tracking device, significantly reducing the chances of being reunited with the car in the event of it being stolen.
“Even more heart breaking for owners, is the fact that the majority of stolen classic cars will be stripped down for parts, unless they are tracked and recovered within the first 24 hours of being stolen.  Hotspot theft areas tend to be in the South East, due to the speed at which vehicles can be moved to ports such as Felixstow and Dover, and then shipped to Europe and beyond
“Many classic cars are not for everyday use, with owners commonly keeping them in storage for long periods of time.  This gives thieves the perfect opportunity to steal them while owners assume their vehicle is safe, locked away and out of sight.”
TRACKER’s battery powered unit provides the ultimate defence in the event of theft. The self-powered tracking device uses TRACKER’s unique award winning technology that does not rely on the vehicle’s battery in order to operate. The device has a self-contained and hidden power source, which means it is even tougher for crooks to discover.
“Discovering your car has been stolen can cause distress and inconvenience; therefore owners should take practical steps to protect their asset. We strongly advise classic car owners to choose a tracking system that provides a more resilient solution and, better still, one that delivers multiple means of location and communication. TRACKER’s SVR systems use unique VHF technology, offering motorists effective safeguards against theft, even if the GPS does fail. Alarms, engine immobilisers and the new DNA invisible markings can all be wise investments too,” concludes, Barrs.
TRACKER is the ONLY stolen vehicle recovery system operated by all Police Forces across the UK. Unlike other car tracking solutions, the device works even if the vehicle is hidden in a garage or shipping container, offering classic car owners the ultimate in peace of mind should the worst happen.
TRACKER’s Classic Car Security Tips

  • Park in busy or well-lit and attended car parks near CCTV cameras
  • Never leave the keys in the car
  • Ensure the doors are locked, the sunroof and windows are closed
  • Don’t leave valuables such as phones and bags in view, leave them in the boot
  • If you have a garage use it, if not park a modern car in front of the classic car on the drive, as it is harder to steal
  • Invest in an immobiliser and tracking device for high performance or classic cars for added protection and to reduce insurance premiums
  • A car alarm is essential as classics are easier to break into
  • At home, don’t keep keys in a place where they can be seen or accessed from outside