Blog | Latics Driving Lessons Oldham - Part 6


Learner drivers hit by credit crunch

Credit Crunch hits learner driversA report by insurance firm Swinton has revealed that as the recession bites, many learner drivers are relying more heavily on informal tuition from friends and relatives.

A survey of 1,000 new drivers found that the average number of lessons per driver has fallen from 43 in 2008 to 32 in 2009 (compiled from data taken during the first 3 months of each year).

On average, those who passed in March this year received 63 hours of tuition from friends or family, compared to just 41 hours in the first three months of 2008.

BBC Watchdog investigates DVLA licence blunder

bbc_watchdogWhen was the last time you checked your licence properly?  Have you applied for a replacement due to a change of name or address?  Have you checked the back of your licence to check that the DVLA haven’t mistakenly added full motorcycle entitlement and removed your car entitlement?  Or if you’re a motorcyclist, has your entitlement been removed for no apparent reason?

BBC’s Watchdog (which aired on 27th April 2009) broadcast a feature in which several members of the public pointed out that these things had actually happened to them. “The DVLA know where we live, when we got our licence and most importantly they know what we’re entitled to drive – or do they?”

Watch the full story here

New Drivers Event in Rochdale – 6th May

New Drivers event for young drivers in RochdaleRoad users are injured and die on the Borough’s roads every year.  The age group most affected is 17 to 25 year olds.

The Road Safety Unit of Rochdale’s Impact Partnership are organising a driver safety evening presented by a range of road safety experts.  The event is open to 17-25 year olds and their parents.  It takes place at Rochdale Town Hall on 6th May 2009 at 6.30pm.

Making Britain’s Roads Safer – Have Your Say!


Road Safety Consultation

Following the recent publication of the results of the DSA’s Learning to Drive Consultation comes the Government’s latest document seeking views on the vision, targets and measures for improving road safety in Great Britain beyond 2010.

“Making Britain’s Roads Safer” is the title of the consultation document, and we would urge you all to get involved and make your opinions known.  The full document and related research articles can be found hereThe closing date for this consultation is 14th July 2009.

The key challenges for the new strategy are as follows:

  • reducing the number of road deaths, which have fallen at a slower rate than serious injuries;
  • pedestrian and cyclist casualties in our towns and cities – particularly in deprived communities;

Learning to Drive Consultation… The Results!

DSA Learning to Drive Consultation

Results of the DSA Learning to Drive Consultation

On 7th May 2008, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) issued a Consultation Paper setting out wide-ranged proposals intended to make Britain’s roads safer by getting newly qualified drivers to cope with the challenges of driving unsupervised in today’s modern driving conditions. The Government’s preferred approach to achieving this is through education and incentives, encouraging young people to participate in more effective and efficient learning.

The four key elements of the proposed programme were:

  • An improved learning process
  • Improved driving tests
  • Better information about driving instructors and improved driving instructor training
  • Further options for qualifications and learning

Today (21st April 2009), the DSA published its report on this consultation. Having read the document this evening, I have listed the main changes that will happen, changes that may happen and proposals that have been rejected or indefinitely postponed.

7 out of 10 drivers admit driving dangerously

eating1Following on from Friday’s blog entry about the dangers of hands-free mobile phone use, I came across an interesting article this evening by Faye Sunderland of

“Seven out of ten drivers have driven dangerously because they were making phone calls, sending texts or fiddling with the radio – with some admitting to having actually caused an accident as a result, research by car insurance compant, Swiftcover reveals. Although mobile phones and in-car entertainment systems are big causes of dangerous driving, smoking, personal grooming and using a sat-nav system have all been cited as distractions – while 4 per cent of motorists admit they have driven while watching a movie!”

The following link just demonstrates the dangers of driving dangerously: Victim’s road safety warning

ESP to become mandatory by 2011

Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) will be mandatory on all new cars in the EU from November 2011, the European Parliament has announced.  Currently, just over 50% of new cars sold in Europe are fitted with ESP.

ESP is proven to significantly reduce fatal accidents, as the following video demonstrates:

[youtube T9Y6z7cXxEE]

“ESP can prevent up to 80 percent of all skid-related accidents,” said Dr. Werner Struth, president of the Chassis Systems Control division at Bosch, where ESP systems are made. “After the seat belt, the system is therefore the most important safety technology in the car.”

Could YOU be a hands-free killer?

mobilecarI see this every day… people driving whilst talking on mobile phones, or even worse – texting.  But although the average driver may think that hands-free equipment is perfectly safe, this may make you think again.

In what is seen as a landmark case, a sales boss, Lynne-Marie Howden, who was using a legal hands-free phone when she crashed and killed another driver, was recently found guilty of causing death by careless driving.  The prosecutor said: ‘She lost control because she was distracted by the call.  The collision would not have happened if she had not been on the phone and had been paying attention.’

Her final call was to a work colleague at 8.23am which lasted five minutes before she lost control of her car.  She later told officers: ‘It is entirely legal to use a mobile phone with a hands-free kit. I regularly make and receive calls while driving.  My car is effectively my office.’

Fancy a free £5,000? Buy an electric car!

Under new government proposals and as part of the government’s £250 million strategy to reduce carbon emissions, motorists are to be offered incentives of up to £5,000 to buy electric cars.

It has not yet been decided how the money would be distributed, but incentives would only be available to people buying cars that ran entirely, or for the vast majority of their time, on electricity. The scheme, which would be enforced by setting a ceiling for the amount of carbon dioxide a car emits, will become operational in 2011.

In addition, it is proposed that about 200 electric cars will be available in city centre across the country for the public to try out.