DVLA clarifies advice for drivers
27 June 2012
The DVLA has today issued new guidelines aimed at making it easier for drivers with insulin treated diabetes to understand the new driver licensing rules recently introduced to comply with a new European Directive on driving licences.
The DVLA has worked closely with Diabetes UK, the leading charity for those with the condition, to make sure that the information available to drivers is clear and easy to understand. Following concerns raised by Diabetes UK that the application form for a driving licence was misleading, DVLA worked closely with Diabetes UK to agree and implement a number of changes to the form, such as making it clearer what is meant by a "severe hypoglycaemic event".
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: "I asked the DVLA to work with Diabetes UK to ensure that people with diabetes understand the importance of notifying the Agency about their condition. We must make sure that only those who are safe to drive are allowed on our roads, while at the same time avoiding placing unnecessary restrictions on people's independence and their right to work. I am extremely pleased that Diabetes UK and the DVLA have worked so closely on this to make sure that the information available for drivers is clear and easily understood."
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "We were concerned about the impact of recent changes to the medical standards for drivers with diabetes. Some people did not understand the implications of some of the questions on the medical questionnaires and were providing wrong answers that meant that their licences could not be granted. We raised our concerns with the Road Safety Minster and we are pleased by how the Government has listened to our concerns and been prepared to work with us to develop forms that are easier for people with diabetes to understand.
"We are still worried about the increase in people with diabetes having their driving licenses taken away, but this change means that at least people are unlikely to miss out because they did not understand the application form. We will continue to work with the DVLA to monitor the impact of the changes to driver licensing for people with diabetes and to ensure that the process is fair, transparent and safe."
Companies risk huge penalties for drivers who ....
28 May 2012
.... cause accidents whilst on the phone
Rules needed on excessive tolling, says FTA
28 May 2012
As Spaghetti Junction turned 40 on 24 May, the Freight Transport Association said that the level of tolls – including those for goods vehicles - on any new, privately built parts of the roads infrastructure should be restricted in order to get the best use out of all parts of the roads network.
Originally known as the Gravelly Hill Interchange the junction serves in total 18 routes, and is an essential part of the road network in the West Midlands as it most importantly links the M6 with the A38(M) Aston Expressway in Birmingham, as well as the A38 (Tyburn Road) and the A5127. When the M6 Toll road was planned, it was envisaged that significant relief would be provided for the M6 and Spaghetti Junction, but that did not happen, particularly for goods vehicles. The toll charger decided to price heavy goods vehicles off that road, leaving them, along with the majority of motorists, to use the M6.
Malcolm Bingham, FTA’s head of road network management policy, said: “Due to a combination of where people need to get to and excessive tolls, particularly for goods vehicles, the 40-year-old Spaghetti Junction infrastructure to the north of Birmingham is still the choice for most drivers. Therefore we believe that going forward, some rules are needed in order to make privately built parts of the road network affordable for all drivers, including goods vehicles.”
Unite says public sector fleets should buy British
28 May 2012
As part of a 10-point plan to build on the recent successes in the UK automotive industry, Britain's biggest union Unite has called on public bodies to buy local to support UK automotive and components manufacturing.
A freedom of information request tabled by the Union has found that 72% of vehicles procured by police authorities were manufactured overseas. Merseyside police procured 11.5% of their vehicles from UK-based manufacturers, with 8% of the total from Vauxhall, while West Midlands police procured 30% of their vehicles from UK-based manufacturers, with 2% of the total from Jaguar Land Rover.
Unite believes that a key element of boosting vehicle manufacturing must include a positive procurement policy encouraged by central government to buy vehicles manufactured in the UK. The public sector spends around £220 billion each year on procurement.
Volkswagen introduces standard DAB radio from Polo
28 May 2012
Volkswagen is tuning in to customer demand and fitting DAB radios as standard on all models from the Polo to the Phaeton, giving buyers not only a wider choice of radio stations but also a higher quality of sound.
The change means all 2013 model-year Volkswagens, from the Polo to the Phaeton, will be ready for the UK's switch to digital radio. All of Volkswagen's audio systems will still be able to pick up conventional FM or AM analogue radio signals, as well as play audio CDs (including MP3 files), while every model in the Volkswagen range comes with an aux-in socket, to allow the connection of external audio devices such as an iPod or MP3 player. To make the most of the higher quality of digital audio, every model from the Polo S upwards now comes with at least six speakers (the majority of models have eight speakers), connected to a standard RCD 310 audio unit or better.
Upgrade options include the MDI multi-device interface, which allows easy connection of iPods or USB sticks, which can then be controlled via the car's audio system; Bluetooth connection of compatible telephones; Bluetooth music playback; audiophile-pleasing speakers and amplifiers from Danish specialist Dynaudio; higher-power audio systems with colour touchscreen controls and an SD memory card slot; and touchscreen satellite navigation systems, including with built-in HD memory.
Beetle models may also be optionally ordered with an audio system developed in conjunction with legendary guitar and amplifier manufacturer, Fender.