Tag Archive: driving

Double trouble: Penalty for using mobile phones whilst driving rises to 6-points and £200 fine

Leave a Comment

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson has welcomed today’s change in the law which sees the penalty for drivers caught using a mobile phone at the wheel doubled.

The new penalty for the first offence is 6 points on the drivers driving licence and a fine of £200. If caught twice the driver would accrue 12 points and automatically appear in court facing a fine of up to £1,000 and a driving ban of up to six months.
Drivers who have held their licences for less than 2 years will lose their licence at the first offence. In order to regain the license they must then pay and reapply for a provisional licence and pass the theory and practical tests again.

Mark Burns-Williamson said: “I very much welcome today’s change in the law which highlights just how serious this offence is and sends a clear message to anyone that thinks using a mobile phone at the wheel is acceptable.

“Intentionally distracting yourself while driving is incredibly dangerous and needlessly puts the lives of the driver and everyone around them at risk, and recent cases have highlighted the devastation that can result.

“Road safety is a key priority for me, West Yorkshire Police and our partners and I recently held a conference to see what more we could do in partnership.

“The conference was very constructive with outputs including better communication between partners and the police, increasing communication to local communities on road safety initiatives taking place, development of a further reporting facilities and continuing to work across West Yorkshire to tackle the ‘fatal four’ offences – drink/drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, speeding and driving whilst using a mobile phone.

“Here in West Yorkshire there is extensive on-going work and initiatives to keep our roads safe. A few highlights include the investment into Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) equipment, dedicated operations to tackle dangerous driving such as Operation Steerside which is currently running in Bradford, and the West Midlands Police close passing scheme which is soon to be piloted in Leeds.

"I also have representation on the Safer Roads Partnership which is a partnership of all 5 districts working together to tackle road safety. I have supported and funded various road safety initiatives such as a road safety DVD 'It'll End in Tears', baby safety campaign 'Strap Me Not Wrap Me', 'Safer Travel West Yorkshire' with Metro, road safety charity 'BRAKE' and Project EDWARD (European Day Without A Road Death).

“I will continue to work in partnership to help tackle dangerous driving and keep West Yorkshire’s roads as safe as possible.”

To read the full report from the PCC’s road safety conference visit https://www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/how-we-work/our-priorities/road-safety/road-safety-conference.aspx

SMART MOTORWAY: No more desi bad-boy racing on the M62

Leave a Comment

We’ve all witnessed it at some point – the nutcase bad-boy racers who zoom down at ridiculous speeds on the motorway.

Now the M62, which also is the highest motorway in the UK, has undergone a major overhaul to integrate “smart” technology making it very, very intelligent.

Other than detecting who’s picking their nose while driving, it has control centres using technology to monitor traffic and drivers every move.

With sensors built into the road surface, it can oversee road-hazards, erratic driving, speeding and more, and vary speed limits in response to driving conditions.

The pioneering “smart” technology has been developed to reduce congestion and ease traffic flow, avoiding the need for expensive and often controversial road-widening schemes.

Once the work is complete, more than 200 electronic signs on the M60 and M62 will be in place to warn drivers of traffic incidents, changes in the mandatory speed limit and any lane closures.

There will also be more CCTV cameras to monitor traffic levels.

The latest phase of Manchester’s smart motorway, which aims to tackle congestion and improve journey times on the M60 and M62 near Manchester, is almost complete.

Contractors for Highways England have finished work to convert the hard shoulder on a five-mile stretch of the M62 near Rochdale to a standard motorway lane and started work in the central reservation.

More than 7,000 tonnes of concrete is to be used to create a new safety barrier in the central reservation, which will reduce the risk of vehicles crossing onto the opposite carriageway in collisions. The barrier is also likely to require fewer repairs, cutting the need for lane closures.

Once complete, the smart motorway will increase capacity on this section of the M62 by a third, making journeys quicker and more reliable.

Work is also continuing throughout the 17-mile scheme, which runs from junction 8 of the M60 at Sale to junction 20 of the M62 at Rochdale.

The Manchester smart motorway is due to go live in sections starting in September, with all of the roadworks planned to be lifted by the end of the year. Highways England estimate the upgrade will make journeys quicker and more reliable.

Variable speed limits will be introduced on new overhead electronic signs on the completed smart motorway to tackle congestion and keep traffic moving.

The signs will also be used to inform drivers about lane closures and incidents ahead, and CCTV camera overviewing the entire route will allow traffic officers and the emergency services to respond quickly.

However, the scheme is not proving so popular with drivers who nudge over the 70mph speed limit and who are caught out by the new high-tech cameras, which face both forwards and backwards.

In contrast to the familiar yellow speed cameras, these cameras are grey and able to track across four lanes rather than just one.

It one section of the M25 in Kent, between junctions five and six, 668 motorists have were caught in just two months after the cameras were turned on.

These drivers faced at least £100 in fines, as well as points on their licence.

Quick tips for driving on a smart motorway

  • Never drive in a lane closed by a red “X”
  • Keep to the speed limit shown on the gantries
  • A solid white line indicates the hard shoulder - don’t drive in it unless directed.
  • A broken white line indicates a normal running lane
  • If your vehicle experiences difficulties, eg warning light, exit the smart motorway immediately if possible
  • Use the refuge areas for emergencies if there’s no hard shoulder
  • Put your hazard lights on if you break down


Fear of mobile phone usage whilst driving increases

Leave a Comment


Over 86% of UK motorists think distraction caused by mobile phones has become worse in the last three years. In second place was congestion at 81% reflecting the increasing number of vehicles on our roads as the recession ends.

These worrying figures come from the second Safety Culture Survey commissioned by road safety charity IAM RoadSmart.

Of the 2,000 UK drivers surveyed, nearly three quarters believed aggressive driving (72%) had worsened over the last three years, with more than 60% reporting the same for drug-driving.

IAM RoadSmart’s Safety Culture Survey was produced for the first time last year, and looks at UK motorists’ safety attitudes and behaviour and has just been updated for 2016.

The survey asked about the potential car driving problems faced by motorists now compared to three years ago,  perceived threats to personal safety whilst driving, support for potential new regulations  and many other aspects of motoring life in the 2010’s.

Huge numbers of UK drivers believe the dangers of mobile phones and technology are bigger threats than any other factor on the roads.

Some 94% saw drivers checking or updating social media as a threat to their personal safety, while 93% said that was the case for drivers text messaging or e-mailing, and for 91% it was the case for drivers talking on mobile phones.

This was higher than the perceived threat from drink and drug driving. Some 89% of those surveyed felt people driving after drinking alcohol was a threat to their safety compared to 88% who felt that about those who took illegal drugs and then drove.

And those surveyed thought the problems were caused by others; 91% said they had never used the internet whilst driving in the past 30 days, 88% had not sent a text or email whilst driving, 82% had not read a text message or email whilst driving and 79% had not talked on a mobile phone.

There is also huge approval for stricter measures to prevent and reduce drivers using mobile technology in cars.

Some 97% of those surveyed strongly supported a law outlawing reading, typing, or sending a text message or email while driving; 86% strongly supported the regulation of in car technology to minimise the distraction to drivers and 67% strongly supported a law prohibiting the use of any type of mobile phone while driving, hand-held or hands-free.

And nearly two-thirds (65%) agreed that all drivers be encouraged to improve their driving skills by taking advanced driving tuition and passing an advanced driving test.

Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “The worries and concerns of Britain’s 32 million drivers should be listened to.  Whilst we can all take more responsibility for our actions it is clear that distraction and congestion are the two biggest bug bears for drivers today.

“New road building and smart motorways will help with congestion but our survey has shown that UK motorists have real concerns about the way mobile phone technology could be a threat to their safety. More than 90% say checking social media, texting and talking on mobile phones whilst driving scares them – these are figures that cannot be ignored.

“It is important that Government, road safety bodies and car makers work together to allay the fear caused by distracted drivers. Recent tragic high profile cases - underline the need for a combination of education, safe design and enforcement to make sure that the high-tech benefits of our modern cars do not prove a threat to safety of all road users.”

Drive at 14! Young driving experiences with 1st Choice School of Motoring

Leave a Comment


For the past 24 years, one driving school in West Yorkshire has been helping drivers of the future get road-ready with over 2,000 students successfully manoeuvring their way to a pass.

Today, 1st Choice School of Motoring (SOM) continues to bring a first class service to prospective drivers across the country, with a fleet of cars covering Bradford, Leeds, Halifax and Hull.

As well as providing lessons in build up to driving tests, the instructors also ensure taxi drivers and aspiring instructors are fully prepared to pursue a career on the road with lessons available seven days a week.

Mushtaq Ahmed, founder of 1st Choice SOM and official Grade-A instructor, has been a driving instructor for over two decades. In recent years he has witnessed the business grow from one car in Leeds to covering West Yorkshire and beyond.

“1st Choice School of Motoring has become a trusted name in the industry with fully qualified instructors working across the county and beyond,” he said.

“We have had thousands of students, young and old, pass with confidence and we are committed to ensuring drivers are prepared to take to the roads safely when they pass their test.”


Young Drivers Programme

Most recently 1st Choice SOM has begun providing lessons across Yorkshire for young drivers from the age of 14 upwards.

Eager to get on the road and can’t wait until your 17th birthday? The ‘Young Drivers Programme’ provides youngsters with a chance to get behind the wheel and learn the basic driving skills and manoeuvres before their on-road lessons begin.

From starting and stopping, to changing gears, reverse parking and turns in the road, the safe, legal initiative has become a popular course for teens across the county.

“What we have found with the Young Drivers programme is a real keenness to get behind the wheel and begin learning early,” Mushtaq added.

“The programme has been very popular in all four of our locations and it is the safest way to learn before your 17th birthday.

“Road safety studies show that learning from a younger age reduces your chances of being involved in an accident and that young drivers are more confident behind the wheel when they take to the roads for the first time.”

Locations for the programme include Hull City FC’s KC Stadium, The Shay in Halifax, and spacious private business parks in Leeds and Bradford.

With prices set at just £14.95 for a half-hour lesson, or £29 for the full hour, it is clear to see why 1st Choice have become the first choice for so many motorists over the past three decades.


Contact details:

Tel: 07982 793682 / 0800 077 8225

Locations: Leeds, Bradford, Halifax and Hull