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‘Significant hardcore’ continue to use mobile phones – RAC

Nearly a quarter of drivers are making or receiving calls on a handheld phone while at the wheel, a new survey suggests

The 2019 RAC Report on Motoring, published on 14 October, found the use of mobile phones to be the top concern among drivers – cited by 12% of respondents.

Despite this, 23% of those surveyed confess to making or receiving calls ‘at least occasionally’. The figure is much higher among young drivers (17-24 years) – with 51% admitting to the offence.

Meanwhile, 17% of all drivers – and 35% of under-25 year-olds – say they check texts, email or social media while driving, despite the heightened level of risk involved in looking away from the road for seconds at a time.

Only a small minority of drivers (15%) follow official Government advice to put their phone in their glove compartment while driving: most people either keep their phone in a pocket or bag (45%) or put it on the seat or console next to them (25%).

Road-rage on the rise?
The RAC’s annual report, based on a survey of more than 1,750 UK motorists, reveals drivers’ attitudes and concerns and paints a picture of how and why car owners’ views are evolving over time.

Nearly a third of respondents (30%) say they have personally witnessed some form of physical abuse related to a driving incident in the past 12 months.

Almost half claim to have seen verbal abuse dished out to another motorist, while 60% say they see a greater number of road-rage incidents now than they did 10 years ago.

Simon Williams, RAC road safety spokesperson, said: “All the fears associated with the behaviour of other drivers on the road have never featured as highly in our research as top motoring concerns as they have this year.

“This is primarily due to double the proportion of people ranking the aggressive behaviour of other drivers as their top concern this year (4% to 8%).

“Drivers using handheld mobile phones, drink-driving, drug-driving and breaking traffic laws remained as number-one concerns for similar proportions of motorists to last year’s research.

“This means people must have experienced some very disturbing aggressive behaviour on the UK’s roads in the last year for them all to rank in top spot together.

“The most likely explanation must surely be a combination of factors including the pressure of modern life, reliance on the car for so many journeys, record volumes of traffic and congestion leading to never before seen frustration at the wheel.

“Perhaps it is also the case that our tolerance of other people who make mistakes while driving is falling.

“A quick sorry in the form of an apologetic wave could go a long way to taking the heat out of a situation, but unfortunately all too often it is a hand gesture of another sort that leads to an unpleasant car confrontation.”

Fines For Rear View Mirror Decoration?

Courtesy of The DIA……

Recent news reports have stated that hanging items such as air fresheners from your rear-view mirror could land you with a £1,000 fine. What is the truth?

The DVSA sent The DIA a statement to clarify the situation:

“The DVSA encourages drivers to follow the guidance as laid out in the Highway Code and The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986; Drivers Control 104 with regards to ‘No person shall drive or cause or permit any other person to drive, a motor vehicle on a road if he is in such a position that he cannot have proper control of the vehicle or have a full view of the road and traffic ahead.’

“If it is apparent at the beginning of a driving test that any obstructions are obscuring the driver’s view or potentially causing a distraction then they will be asked to be removed in the interests of the health and safety of the driver, the examiner and the general public.”

The Highway Code states: “Windscreen and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision.”

If something hanging from your mirror, or a sticker on your windscreen prevents you from having a full view of the road, you could receive an on the spot fine of £100 and three penalty points if it is preventing you from having a full view of the road. The fine could increase to £1,000 if the case goes to court.

A good reminder to parents of any pupils starting to learn to drive

Driving in the 80s

When I learnt to drive in 1986, I took my test after just 7 hours of tuition.

- Reverse parking was not taught.
- There was no Theory test.
- There was no hazard perception test.
- There was no independent drive section.
- There were no show me/tell me questions.
- There were no /very few bus lanes.
- There were no red routes.
- There were no/very few cycle lanes.
- There were no advanced stop lines.
- Cyclists were taught cycling proficiency at school.
- Pedestrians were taught the Green X Code.
- There were more police enforcing driving standards.
- There were less vehicles on the road.
- Hardly any parked cars.
- I never heard the term "road rage"
- There were no speed humps, 20 zones, build outs or other traffic "calming" measures.
- As far as I remember other drivers gave me space and time while I was learning.
- There were less/no mini roundabouts/double mini roundabouts.
- Roads were better maintained with signs and line markings you could actually see, and pot holes had not been invented.
- Supermarkets were not open 24/7 and closed on Sundays so you could always use their car parks for some initial practice.
- The test only lasted about 20 minutes.

Your children have so much more to deal with than you ever did. Road conditions and layout, driver behaviour and driver distractions are just a few of the more complex things a good driver needs to deal with these days. Please show them the respect and admiration they deserve for just attempting to learn to drive let alone facing the far more taxing Driving Tax.

Test Nerves

Nerves can undoubtedly play a part in whether succeed or fail a driving test, yet lots of very nervous people pass their driving test 1st time ever day:


Well firstly remember instructors don't teach you to fail, so stick to what they have told you and what you have been taught! Forget what uncle Bill says about his test in 1975 it's not relevant.

Don't listen to horror stories from others about how bad their tests were, people love a bit of drama and they will always make things sound worse!

Keep the date of your test and time to yourself. If you are nervous, why have an audience?

Now, this is important STICK to the routines you have been taught, go through the procedures in your mind, mentally plan your manoeuvres and, how to deal with junctions! Remember your lane discipline, three reasons to be in the right hand lane:

- Turning right
- Overtaking
- If ONE arrow tells you that, you must use that lane, otherwise stay left!

Watch for road markings and signs they are like a silent instructor in the car!

The test lasts about the length of Eastenders, just make sure you don't have to go back for a second episode.

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