Posted on Leave a comment

Compulsory Speed Limiters On New Vehicles

Audi RS7 Speedometer Close Up

Audi RS7 Speedometer Close Up Speed LimiterAll new vehicles sold within the EU from 2022 onwards will have to be fitted with several advanced safety systems, the main of which a built-in speed limiter.

This is intended to combat the rising levels of speed and distraction-related road accidents, with hope to reduce road casualties by 140,000 by 2038, and to completely eliminate road deaths by 2050.

These rules will apply in the UK despite the outcome of Brexit, according to the Department of Transport. The announcement has been praised by road safety charities, and the ETSC which say it has the potential to reduce collisions by 30% and save 25,000 lives within 15 years.

However, the AA has shown some concern over the practicality in road situations, such as the chance to boost speed often helping drivers when overtaking.

The intelligent speed assistance (ISA) software includes a speed limiter, advanced emergency braking systems, and lane departure warnings, along with detection of driver distraction and drowsiness.

Get your dash cam with nationwide mobile installation today

How Does A Speed Limiter Work?

Intelligent speed assistance doesn’t automatically apply the brakes. However, it does limit the engine power and prevents acceleration past the set speed limit

It ensures that the speed of the vehicle is automatically adjusted by using a “speed sign-recognition camera and/or GPS-linked speed limit data,” according to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

However, in regards to the AAs concerns, there will be a manual override option so that the driver can remain in control of the vehicle’s speed if necessary.

If disabled, the system will continue to display a visual speed limit warning, along with an audible alert for a period of time after exceeding the areas limit.

When enabled, the driver still holds responsibility for the vehicle and will continue to be liable for any speeding offences committed.

Speed Limiter In New Cars

Distracted and Drunk Driving

An alcohol interlock system to prevent drunk driving will also become a requirement, with the driver having to blow into a built-in breathalyser in order to start the vehicle.

Distraction monitoring cameras will be used inside the car to detect when the driver is distracted or tired. This will trigger the same audible and visual warnings as the ISA system in order to regain the drivers’ attention on the road.

What Else?

Other safety features which will be made compulsory are advanced automatic emergency braking systems, and emergency stop signal, a rear-view camera or parking sensor, and an accident data recorder.

Matthew Avery, director of Thatcham Research, said the new legislation is “great news for road safety, because about 15% of fatalities involve speeding.” However, he pointed out that Thatcham tests show that speed-limit-recognition technology is currently only 85% effective, with this primarily down to poor road signing.

Click here to see our full range of dash cams and installation options

Alternatively, get in touch using the form below to speak to one of our team to find the best option for you.

Posted on Leave a comment

10 Tips To Reduce Car Crime

AA Car Theft crime tips thumbnail

Recent figures released by the Home Office show that vehicle theft has increased by 50% in the last 5 years. In 2017, there were 103,644 stolen vehicles in England and Wales alone, along with 280,313 other recorded vehicle-related offences.

These staggering figures are clearly a cause for concern, triggering a response from the AA. As crime levels continue to rise, an anti-theft video has been released in order to combat this. The aim is to increase awareness of the various things which you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of car theft.

See the video released by the AA below:

 

The video shows that there are two types of car theft: Stealing the vehicle, and stealing from the vehicle. Both can be planned or opportunistic, so it is important to take extra care at all times, especially if your vehicle has a keyless entry system, as signals from the key can be relayed by criminals.

It also advises to always listen to the locks ‘click’ before leaving the vehicle, as thieves now use signal blocking, which blocks the lock signal sent by the key.

The AA’s 10 Top Tips are:

  • Always check your door handles are locked before you leave the car. Be careful not to accidentally unlock your car when putting keys in your pocket.
  • Remove anything of value from your car.
  • Keep your vehicle in a locked garage if possible.
  • When looking for a public parking space try to use a car park that offers good security, such as one accredited by the Safer Parking Scheme. Avoid parking in dark streets away from public activity.
  • If your car has a keyless entry system then keep the key in a signal blocking pouch.
  • Always keep your keys in a drawer or other safe place.
  • Consider using a mechanical steering locking device.
  • Fit a Thatcham certified immobiliser.
  • Consider fitting a dash cam system with tracking to help find your car if it’s stolen, and gain evidence of the event.
  • If you’re selling a car, always accompany potential buyers on a test drive.

 

For our full range of dash cameras and installation options, please click here. To speak to an expert and find the best solution for you, contact us on 01865 598599, or use the contact form below.

Posted on Leave a comment

Speed Camera Or Safety Precaution?

average speed check yellow cameras motorway

Temporary speed reduction due to road worksIn 2018, we saw the introduction of average speed check camera’s around the A64 roadworks in Yorkshire. The aim was to protect the workforce on site and enforce the temporarily reduced speed limit.

The camera’s work by using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) which records the vehicles number plate at each camera, with cameras placed at intervals along with roadworks. Using the distance between each camera position, the average speed of a vehicle can be calculated by the time taken to travel between two of the cameras. If this is above the set speed limit then the driver will incur a penalty.

Once the roadworks had ended, a freedom of information request revealed that almost 2,500 drivers were caught speeding by the cameras. This was over a 7 month period, which suggests that just over 11 drivers were caught per day, on average.

The large number of speeding motorists caught by the average speed checks could come down to several reasons. Many people simply don’t believe that they are active, and are dismissive of the signs, leading them to ignore the temporary speed limit change.

On the other hand, many drivers may be unaware of how these new cameras work, meaning more knowledge on the matter being needed.

We are all so used to looking out for the big yellow box, however, the average speed check cameras are much smaller and could be easy to miss if the driver loses concentration.average speed check yellow cameras motorway

A Highways England spokesman said: “During the roadworks, the speed limit was reduced to 40mph while we replaced the 11 miles of safety barrier along sections of the A64 between Bramham and York, improving safety along this route. Safety is our top priority and the speed cameras and reduced speed limit were there to make journeys safer for drivers while sections of the central reservation were removed.”

“Although the majority of drivers kept to the speed limit, a number of people were caught exceeding the limit which not only put their own lives at risk, but those of other motorists and our workers who were there overnight, replacing the barrier.

Posted on 1 Comment

Car Cloning In London Increases By 50%

Mercedes fleet cars lined upIn just one year, the number of car cloning cases in London alone have risen by 50%, according to recent data. Similar levels of cloning may be across the UK, but has yet to be confirmed.

A study looked at the number of penalty charge notices cancelled due to car cloning. Throughout 2016, there were 1099 recorded cases, which increased to 1652 by the end of 2017. The numbers have continued to rise throughout 2018 as car cloning becomes more and more of a concern.

However, it is likely that the actual number of cloned cars on London’s roads is much higher. The penalty charge notice appeal process is complex and lengthy, likely putting many people off who would find it easier to pay the £65 fee. Also, the congestion charges only operate Monday to Friday, leaving two days of the week unmonitored.

In order to appeal against a fine issued to a cloned vehicle, evidence from the registered owner is required to show that their car was elsewhere during the time the penalty was procured. Dash camera footage could prove critical in these cases. Without evidence, appeals may not be accepted.

What is Car CloningCar number plate BMW Fleet Witness

Car cloning is a form of stealing the identity of another car by changing the clone cars number plate to match another, usually of a similar make and model. This results in any offences committed in the cloned vehicle will result in the registered owner of the real license plate being charged.

Cars are usually cloned to disguise a stolen vehicle. However, they are also often used to avoid speeding or parking fines, or even in serious crimes such as robbery and drug trafficking.

What Has Been Said

Daniel Powell, Managing Editor for HonestJohn.co.uk had this to say:

“This is just the tip of the iceberg. On the grounds that it is down to the car owner to prove they are innocent, it would be safe to assume that the true figure for car cloning in London is significantly higher as many drivers will be unable to supply the evidence TfL requires to cancel the PCN.”

“For those involved, it can be a very frightening and stressful experience because they will be threatened with crippling fines and court action if they cannot provide comprehensive proof that they were not on the capital’s roads. It also raises an important question – how many drivers simply pay the fine to avoid the stress?”

“There are a number of steps car owners can take to protect themselves, with the most obvious one being photos of their car to show the subtle differences between the clone and legitimate vehicle. Legal number plates usually have the manufacturer’s logo on them, while the clones are usually blank. CCTV footage will also prove a car’s location at a certain time, along with footage from a dash camera with GPS tracking.Fleet Witnes Forward Facing Dash Cam FWDC01

In response to this research, TfL said: “Prior to issuing the PCN we manually verify that the image of the vehicle observed in the zone matches the vehicle information provided by the DVLA. Only when there is a match is a penalty issued. At the point of issuing the penalty, we would not know if a vehicle had been cloned.”

“On receipt of the penalty, a motorist can follow the representations and appeals procedure and challenge a PCN. If we receive a representation stating a vehicle has been cloned we request evidence to confirm this.”

Posted on Leave a comment

Defrosting Cars Being Stolen In Broad Daylight

Frosty conditions have hit Europe hard this winter and it looks like we are due another visit from the Beast From The East. Why will this affect cars being stolen?

Dealing with cold conditions is the last thing you want in the morning and it is tempting to leave the car running for a few minutes while you nip back inside to finish your coffee.

The UK police and indeed your insurers, however, will take a very dim view of this defrosting routine.

Police in Calgary, Alberta, reported five cars being stolen on Wednesday morning alone. The thieves watched as drivers left their cars running whilst defrosting. They then took their chance, and jumped in the cars and took off.

This video which was released this week shows a woman starting her 4×4 before stepping inside the house, unaware she is being watched.

Watch the footage below:

 

Despite the cold temperatures, it’s always best to remain with your vehicle. Cars being stolen whilst running, unlocked and unattended, will almost certainly result in the claim being refused by your insurer.

Furthermore, it is actually an offence under the Road Traffic Act to leave a vehicle idling whilst stationary and could result in a fine.

There you have it. Don’t get caught off-guard.

It could prove to be a very expensive mistake.

Posted on Leave a comment

Operation Snap: The Fight Against Dangerous Driving

These days, almost everyone has witnessed dangerous driving, or has observed somebody behind the wheel who clearly shouldn’t be there. It’s understandably frustrating, and we often hear people ask ‘Why are the police never there when you need them?’.

With 245,000 miles of road in the UK, it’s clearly not possible for the police to be omnipresent! They simply can’t be everywhere at once, taking action against every irresponsible motorist. However, that doesn’t mean that reckless driving will go unpunished. A recent operation is allowing the public the power to help keep roads safer.

 

The most recent of these is Operation Snap.

With a dashcam, you have an eyewitness that never blinks. Video evidence is recorded wherever and whenever you are on the road. If you have captured a dangerous driving event then the police team working on Operation Snap want that footage.

The operation allows for dash cam footage to be sent directly to the police. This has led to hundreds of motorists being fined and prosecuted over the last year. It’s not only dangerous driving being caught by dash cams; cases of illegal phone usage, and drivers with dogs on their lap have also been caught. The aim is to tackle dangerous driving in the UK.

Some of the footage submitted can be seen in the video below:

Results

So far, over 2,300 dash cam clips have been submitted. Action has been taken on more than 650 of them. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, punishments such as fines, awareness courses, and prosecutions have already taken place. This practical solution allows a much higher degree of safety on our roads, without putting a strain on the police budget.

Inspector Lee Ford of Gwent Police said the public response had been “exceptional”. It has been a practical way to adress various forms of bad driving.”

Teresa Ciano, partnership manager at Go Safe explained that the project was set up to gather footage which was being submitted to police forces already but is now being used formally: “Sometimes the footage shows out-and-out dangerous driving but some are just a lapse of judgement”.

 

Take a look at our range of dash cams by clicking here.

If you would like to speak to one of our dash camera professionals for advice on the best camera for you, please get in touch using the form below.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

5 Must-Have Items For Your Daily Commute This Winter

Car Wing Mirror Snow Winter Driving

Car Wing Mirror Snow Winter DrivingWinter is a brilliant time of year. With an emphasis on family, food, and good TV, it’s hard not to have a good time. However, there is no escaping one thing – It’s dark when you leave for work, and it’s dark again before you leave. Pretty mood-dampening. It is also due to this that around this time of year, many of us start to feel more vulnerable during the daily commute to and from work, given that it can be hard to see through the rain, fog, or snow – especially in the dark.

 

Safety and comfort should always be a priority here. So, we’ve put together a list of 5 must-have items for your daily commute this winter.

1) De-Icer Spray

Number one is De-Icer Spray because there is nothing worse than having to spend 10 minutes scraping ice off your car in the freezing cold when you’re already in a rush to get to work. This cheap item (around £2) is great to have around at all times because when you end up needing it, you will be so glad you have it. It not only saves you time but also makes the whole process a lot more bearable!

2) Ice Scraper

This is kind of a follow-on from the last one. Unfortunately, those cans of de-icer spray do not last infinitely. One day, they will run out just when you need them. It is annoying, but you absolutely need an ice scraper as a back-up. It isn’t pleasurable to do, but at least you will be able to see where you are driving!

3) Dash Camera

BlackVue DR750S-2Ch
BlackVue DR750S-2Ch

Due to the dark, and often poor weather conditions during the UK winter, the chances of having an accident increase by a massive 20%. With road accident rates already high, it is more important than ever to cover yourself while driving. A dash cam is a perfect way to do this.

By having a dash cam installed in your vehicle, any accidents you get into will have indisputable video evidence showing who was at fault. This is especially useful given the recent rise in fraudulent claims such as crash for cash and increased risk of accidents in winter.

A good quality camera is crucial to ensure the video quality is good enough to catch number plates and details in all levels of light, however, that does not mean it has to break the bank. With front and rear camera systems such as the Thinkware F200-2Ch, your vehicle can be fully covered with HD quality footage at all times, along with built-in WiFi, and optional GPS. See the Thinkware F200-2Ch here.

Alternatively, there are top-range dash cam systems such as the BlackVue DR750S-2Ch. With 1080p HD recording from both the front and rear cameras, this is a very discreet, high-quality camera. The built-in GPS and WiFi allows a smartphone to be connected to the camera, allowing for easy and fast access to footage, to be played back, or downloaded which is ideal for keeping any valuable footage safe during your commute this winter. See the BlackVue DR750S-2ch here.

With professional installation, all wires will be hidden, and the camera will be hard-wired to the vehicle. This allows the use of parking mode, meaning your camera will be recording for hours after you have finished driving. Book your installation here.

4) Grippy Shoes

With the wet weather around these times, unsurprisingly, the ground is also wet. When walking to and from your vehicle, the sole of your shoes will inevitably get wet – making it easy for your feet to slip from the pedals. This reduces the control you have over the vehicle and is a road safety risk that is often forgotten about. So, it is best to pick yourself up some shoes with a lot of grip.

5) Spare Clothes

Sitting in damp clothes at work or in the car is enough to ruin anybody’s day. Instead of risking a soggy sock from stepping in a puddle while looking at your phone, bring some spare clothes – the essentials. You will likely save yourself from a miserable day or drive home.

 

Although the daily commute becomes a mindless activity for most people, it is important not to forget the risks there are, and the safety precautions which should be taken. By using a dash cam, you can feel secure in the knowledge that if anything does happen, you have the video evidence to show it.

Click here to see our guide on driving safely in the snow.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Clocks Are Going Back, But What Does This Mean For Road Users?

As we all (hopefully) know, the clocks in the UK are going back by one hour at 2:00am this Sunday 28th October. While this is a great chance for us all to make the most of an extra hour in bed, there is another side to it.Wet Road Conditions

A study on time changes affect on road accident risk has recently been done by insurance companies. It reveals that the risk of an accident increases by over a third on the commute home from work in the weeks after the clocks go back. This 34% increase in accident rates occurs between 5-8pm which incidentally, is often when the roads are busiest, and is brought on by the reduced daylight and increasingly wet conditions.

The studies results came to several conclusions:

  • Male drivers have the highest risk, with a 37% increase between the hours of 5-8pm. Women face a 30% increase during the same period.
  • Scotland, Lancashire/Yorkshire, and northern counties are the worst affected.
  • The morning rush hour causes a spike in accidents in Wales and the Midlands by 52% and 34%.

While everybody on the roads is subject to these poor conditions increasing the risk of accident, it is no doubt that younger, less experienced drivers are the most vulnerable. Due to their lack of experience in harsh winter conditions, they should be encouraged to take precautions in order to stay safe.

Tips for safer driving after the clock change:

  • Increase the distance between you and other vehicles on the road – This allows yourself more time to react to situations while driving. It also ensures that you will be meeting the extended braking distance requirements caused by wet and icy roads.
  • Keep a clean windshield – This will reduce the glare from lights on the road, allowing better vision and concentrating.
  • Check your brakes – After going through flooded areas, be sure to gently test your brakes when safe. This ensures they are still responding properly.
  • Drive Calmly – By avoiding harsh braking and turning, you will maintain better control of the vehicle. Sticking to the speed limit ensures that you are going at a safe pace
  • Dry Shoes – Make sure your footwear is dry before driving to prevent your feet slipping on the pedals. This is dangerous and could result in a loss of control.

Dash Cameras

Dash cameras can be of vital importance, especially around this time of year. With the number of accidents increasing so drastically, it is a good idea to cover yourself with video evidence. This means that if any accidents cause a dispute, there is no risk of innocent drivers being blamed.

To view our range of dash cameras, click here

The infographic below sums up the information nicely.

Clocks Go Back Infographic

 

Posted on

Our top 5 tips for driving safely in the snow

Our top 5 tips for driving safely in the snow

Driving can be a dangerous affair at the best of times but with the temperature plummeting below 0 and snow on the ground driving can become even more hazardous.

It is advised that you avoid travelling in these conditions all together, unless it is absolutely necessary.

Of course, we know this isn’t necessarily practical. If you do need to venture outside we want you to have the safest journey possible, which is why we are sharing the best advice for driving in snowy conditions below.

Remember, if you do have the day off. Enjoy it! Throw a snowball, build a igloo, go sledging, then sit down with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and order a dash cam 😉

  1. Preparing for the journey- Before travelling you should ensure that all snow is cleared from the windscreen, mirrors, bonnet and roof! This is to ensure you have an unobstructed view of the road but also to prevent the snow on you car flying off to blind other road users.
  2. Vehicle checks- Checking the amount of thread left on your tyres is a must, the minimum for this weather is 3mm. Having at least a quarter of a tank of fuel is essential when driving in this weather as you do not know when you will next be able to fill up.
  3. Safety equipment- Since journeys can be longer than expected you should ensure you have the following items in your vehicle: shovel, torch, blanket, jump leads, tow rope as well as some water and munchies.
  4. Drive smoothly- Pull away gently, if using a manual start in second gear to prevent your wheels from spinning on the ice.
  5. When Driving- Slow down, you should drive at a speed that is appropriate for the conditions of the road. Stopping distances can increase by 10 times when there is snow or ice so remember to leave a greater distance between you and the car in front.

As previously mentioned, it is safer not to travel in these conditions. But if you are heading out for a drive please follow the above advice to ensure that you are as prepared for your trip as possible allowing for a safer journey.

Posted on 3 Comments

Mobile Phones and Driving

Mobile Phones and Driving law change

From today, the law on using a mobile whilst driving is changing in the U.K, this will increase the punishment given to those who are caught using a mobile device when driving. The news of this law change has been greeted by much support from a variety of local police forces and general motorists alike, with both hoping this will create safer roads and less accidents.

TExting whilst drivingWhat are the consequences?

The points and fine you receive if caught using a mobile device whilst driving will be doubled, going from three points and a £100 fine to six points and a £200 fine, along with this there will no longer be an option to go on a driver retraining programme.

 

These new consequences mean that everyone who has held their driving license for less than two years will automatically have their license revoked if they are caught using a mobile when driving. For those who have held their license for longer than this are left with only six more points to accumulate in a three year period before they lose their license as well. We hope that these changes will act as a serious deterrent and lower the amount of people who use mobiles whilst driving.