Blue Light Aware, Would you know what to do if an Emergency vehicle should approach you with the blue lights flashing while you’re driving.
Blue Light Aware is a short Video, produced on behalf of the
emergency services. Their crews rely on the help of other road users when they’re on a “blue light” journey
By watching Blue Light Aware, you will better understand their needs, you will be contributing to a safer road environment and you might
also be helping to save a live.
Please note, this video contains flashing photography
Please click on the link to see the video.
Learner drivers will be allowed to have driving lessons on motorways with a driving instructor in a car fitted with dual controls as from the 4th June 2018 .
Learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways before passing their driving test under new plans set out by The Department of Transport.
At the moment, you can only have driving lessons on motorways after you’ve passed your driving test. Some newly-qualified drivers take lessons through the voluntary Pass Plus scheme.
Voluntary motorway lessons with a qualified instructor
Under the new plans, learner drivers would need to be:
- accompanied by an approved driving instructor
- driving a car fitted with dual controls
Any motorways lessons would be voluntary. It would be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough to have a motorway lesson.
Any change to the law would be well-publicised before coming into effect. Until then, it’s still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.
Driving instructor training and vehicles
The Department for Transport is also asking for views on whether:
- the current driving instructor training and testing system gives instructors the skills they need to provide motorway lessons to learner drivers
- specially-adapted vehicles must be fitted with dual controls if they’re used for motorway lessons
- L plate roof boxes on cars must be removed before a motorway lesson
Better prepared for a lifetime of safe driving
Allowing learner drivers to have lessons on motorways will help to make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely.
The changes will allow learner drivers to:
- get broader driving experience before taking their driving test
- get training on how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly
- practice driving at higher speeds
- put their theoretical knowledge into practice
Right skills and understanding
The proposed changes will help to contribute towards the government’s commitment to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads, and ensure safer journeys.
Transport Minister, Andrew Jones, said:
We have some of the safest roads in the world and we want to make them even safer.
These changes will equip learners with a wider range of experience and greater skill set which will improve safety levels on our roads.
RAC Foundation Director, Steve Gooding, said:
The casualty statistics tell us that motorways are our safest roads, but they can feel anything but safe to a newly qualified driver heading down the slip road for the first time to join a fast moving, often heavy, flow of traffic.
Many are so intimidated by the motorway environment that they choose instead to use statistically more dangerous roads, so we welcome this move which will help new drivers get the training they need to use motorways safely.
From March 2017 the Fixed Penalty Notice for using a handheld mobile phone while driving will increase to £200 and 6 points
Research shows reaction times are up to 50 per cent slower than normal when driving and using a mobile phone, says Transport Secretary; Chris Grayling. “It may seem harmless when you are replying to a text, answering a call or using an app, but the truth is your actions could kill and cause untold misery to others.” Offenders involved within road accidents found using a mobile phone at the time of the accident already face serious offences such as causing death by dangerous driving, which can carry a substantial prison term.
Therefore, anyone calling, texting or even using an app whilst driving will face at least a £200 fine on the spot and will receive six penalty points on their license. Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary announces as he unveils the new tougher sanctions. This is halfway to an automatic driving ban of at least six months.
This results in an instant ban for new drivers, if they are caught the first time as they’re only allowed to get a maximum of six points within their first two years of driving meaning they would have to re-sit their driving test a lot sooner than they initially thought.
These new measures are expected to be introduced in the first half of 2017.
New Laws on smoking in vehicles.
From 1 October 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a car (or other vehicles) with anyone under 18 present. The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50. The law applies to every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence. The law does not apply if the driver is 17 years old and is on their own in the car.
Young driver still at risk
More than 200 hundred teenage car passengers were killed when a young driver was involved in a crash in 2013 according to the latest figures.
In 2013, 234 teenage passengers were killed - the equivalent of more than four each week of the year - and when casualties of all severities are included the annual figure rose 2,144 or around 41 each week according to research from the RAC Foundation.
The data also shows that of all teenage car passengers killed or seriously injured over this period:
- 45% were passengers in cars driven by 17-19 year-olds (1.5% of all full licence holders
- 23% were passengers in cars driven by 20-24 year-olds (5.8% of all full licence holders)
- 31% were passengers in cars driven by drivers aged 25 and over (92.6% of all full licence holders)
- 1% were passengers in cars driven by drivers aged 16 and under
Previous research for the RAC Foundation shows that while teenage drivers make up only 1.5% of full licence holders they are involved in 12% of accidents where someone is killed or seriously hurt.
One in five newly qualified young drivers will have an accident within six months of passing their test.
RAC Foundation director Stephen Glaister said: “The coalition government repeatedly promised to publish a green paper on young driver safety and repeatedly failed to do so. In the meantime young people have continued to die.
When looking for an instructor look for a trainer which shares our values, and will train you to drive as a "skill for life" and not just to pass the driving test.
Driving Licence changes
From 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA. The counterpart was introduced to display driving licence details that could not be included on the photocard. These details include some vehicle categories you are entitled to drive and any endorsement/penalty points.
What this means for you ?.
Customers with exiting paper counterparts
If you already hold a paper counterpart, after 8 June 2015 it will no longer have any legal status. You should destroy your paper counterpart after this date but you still need to keep your current photocard driving licence.
Drivers with paper driving licences
Paper driving licences issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998 will remain valid and should not be destroyed
HGV speed limits raised
Higher speed limits for Lorries came into force on 6 April in England and Wales.
The speed limit for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) over 7.5 tonnes has risen by 10mph to 50mph on single carriageways and from 50mph to 60mph on dual carriageways.
Although welcomed by truckers, the move was criticised by road safety campaigners.
Cost of driving licence to be cut by up to 32%
The cost of getting a driving licence is being cut following a recent public consultation, the government says.
The fee for drivers applying for a provisional driving licence online will fall from £50 to £34 and online renewals after 10 years will fall from £20 to £14.
The new fees, representing price cuts of up to 32%, begin on 31 October.
Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander said the move was part of "giving savings back to the taxpayer".
As well as the cut in driving licences, the fee for driver tachograph cards - used by businesses to record how far their staff are driving - will fall from £38 to £32.
Transport Minister Claire Perry said: "The cost of driving, especially for young drivers, can be significant and we are committed to cutting costs where we can.
"Thanks to DVLA making large scale savings to their running costs, we have been able to cut the cost of the driving licence which will save drivers and businesses £150 million over the next 10 years."
Other fees being considered in the DVLA review include vehicle first registrations and duplicate registration certificates.
It is illegal to drive if your driving is impaired by drugs or if you have certain drugs above a specified level in your blood.
If the police stop you and think you’re on drugs they will either test you at the roadside using a drug screening device or a "Field Impairment" test to assess your ability to drive.
If drugs are detected in your system or you are deemed impaired by drugs, you’ll be arrested and taken to a police station for blood or urine tests. If the tests show you've taken drugs or show a specified drug above the specified blood limits you could be charged with drug driving.
You don't have to be on illegal drugs to be impaired to drive – prescription or over-the-counter medicines can also impair your ability to drive. If you’re taking medicines, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional before driving.
Changes have been introduced to give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving
Careless drivers who put other road users at risk face on-the-spot penalties under new measures announced on 5th June 2013 by Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.
The changes will give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving, giving them greater flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences - such as tailgating or middle lane hogging - and freeing them from resource-intensive court processes.
The fixed penalty will also enable the police to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement. Drivers will still be able to appeal any decision in court.
In addition, existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences - including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt - will rise to £100 to bring them into line with the penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties.
One in five drivers in the UK is over 65
There are now more than seven million drivers over the age of 65 on the UK’s roads, according to road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).The number of drivers over 65 reached 7,191,192 in November 2013. This makes up for 19 per cent of all drivers with full driving licences.
The figures come from driving licence data published by the DVLA in December 2013.
They also show that:
- There are 4,068,498 drivers over the age of 70.
- There are 1,101,779 drivers over the age of 80.
- 195 drivers are over 100 years old