Scale of rock attacks on motorists revealed
16 February 2012
Hundreds of motorists are being attacked every year by missile-throwing yobs. There were 395 incidents of rocks, stones or other objects being hurled at vehicles last year among the 10 police forces who responded to a Freedom of Information request by Autoglass.
This works out at an average of 39 per constabulary – or more than 1,670 incidents across the 43 force areas in England and Wales. Many forces declined to give details of missile attacks on motorists on cost grounds but a quarter did. The reports from Lancashire (125 incidents), Northumbria (64), Nottinghamshire (64), Derbyshire (51), Essex (33), Suffolk (28), Avon and Somerset (12), Gloucestershire (12), Cambridgeshire (four) and City of London (two) gave some insight into the scale of the problem. Of those, the Suffolk constabulary said there had been 15 reported incidents of objects being thrown from bridges alone.
The problem was even worse in 2010 when the nine forces recorded 457 such attacks on motorists and moving vehicles.
Matthew Mycock, managing director of Autoglass, said: “It is horrendous that so many thugs are prepared to risk the lives of so many by targeting moving vehicles for fun. The alarming thing is that our findings are just the tip of the iceberg because they relate only the reported incidents and there must be many more cases where drivers don’t bother to alert the authorities.
“We know from the experience of our own technicians that missile attacks are a growing problem and a recent Autoglass survey found that a quarter of motorists have had their vehicles hit by a missile of some sort in the last five years. We would advise victims and witnesses to always accurately record these incidents and report them to the police to help eradicate such reckless behaviour and to save innocent UK road users from death or injury.”
Autoglass made the Freedom of Information request after two attacks on the A12 in December. In one, Carol Manley, 57, suffered fractures to her face and ribs, and internal injuries after a lump of concrete was dropped on her vehicle from a bridge. Another motorist, Lisa Horne, 26, escaped unharmed when a rock the size of a football smashed through her windscreen.
Vauxhall Ampera reports for duty
16 February 2012
Vauxhall has won a competition run by the Association of Chief Police Officers Intelligent Transport Systems (ACPO ITS) to demonstrate an electric vehicle that uses cutting-edge crime-fighting technology that could be introduced into active Police service by 2015.
Vauxhall showcased the ground-breaking Ampera in Police livery featuring the very latest policing equipment on the Home Office’s Centre of Applied Science & Technology (CAST) stand at the Police & Security Conference in January 2012, held in Farnborough.
The Vauxhall Ampera, which is on the shortlist for both World Car of the Year and European Car of the Year, is equipped with a range of high-tech kit to help Police officers fight crime, including:
•Four external-mounted cameras for evidence gathering
•Internal camera for facial recognition linked to the Police National Database
•The standard Ampera display screen modified to provide all information currently available to Police officers, for example Automatic Number Plate Recognition
•A second screen mounted on the passenger sun visor to allow the passenger to access all Police information
•New Police software that has been loaded with previous incidents and historic data that is run through complex algorithms to predict potential crime hotspots
The Under Secretary of State for Crime and Security, James Brokenshire, was given an in-depth demonstration of the crime-fighting technology on the Ampera by Jim Hammond, Chief Superintendent, ACPO ITS.
Dick Ellam, Vauxhall Special Vehicles Manager said: "We are delighted to have won the ACPO ITS competition and are excited to have displayed the fittingly ground-breaking Ampera featuring this array of cutting-edge equipment."
Campaigners call for Treasury rethink 50 days ....
16 February 2012
.......from “death” of UK biodiesel industry
Hi-tech Outlander targets low CO2
16 February 2012
Mitsubishi will unveil a new version of the Outlander next month that will herald the company's first plug-in hybrid car due in 2013.
The replacement for the current Outlander will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March, with Mitsubishi targeting sub-130g/km CO2 emissions for some versions, achieved through additional fuel-saving technology as well as a new 2.2-litre diesel engine developed in-house. Mitsubishi will later use the pioneering EV development it has carried out with the I-Miev electric car to develop a plug-in petrol hybrid version of the Outlander, with a likely range of 500 miles and target CO2 emission lower than 50g/km.
Although specification for individual markets in Europe are yet to be finalised, two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions will be available, as well as stop-start technology. Mitsubishi says the new Outlander will also be equipped with an “eco-friendly driving system” that includes a maximum efficiency indicator. Accordingly, the driver can choose to drive at maximum efficiency to enhance actual fuel consumption of the vehicle.
Collision mitigation technology (with autonomous emergency braking), a lane departure warning, and adaptice cruise control have been developed for the new Outlander, as well as the latest xenon headlamp technology. The practicality of the Outlander will be enhanced for the new model, with third-row seating continuing, a flat load area with seats folded and the option of a power tailgate.
Prices and exact specification will be revealed closer to the car's launch in 2013
Citroën updates Berlingo & Dispatch for 2012
08 February 2012
Peugeot’s announced its plans to update the Partner and Expert back in January and naturally, Citroën has followed suit with its versions of the same vans; the Berlingo and Dispatch.