Poor Driver Vision – Better Watch Out!

900x444 Granny Smith False Awake Eyes Glasses by atnezau on DeviantArtCourtesy Daily Mail 3 September 2018

A police crackdown on drivers with defective eyesight has been launched. Every motorist stopped by roads police officers from three forces in September will be required to read a number plate from 20 metres. The initiative is being run by forces in Thames Valley, Hampshire and the West Midlands, and is supported by road safety charity Brake and optician firm Vision Express.

Anyone who fails will have their driving licence immediately revoked.

Officers can request an urgent cancellation of a licence through the DVLA if they believe the safety of other road users will be put at risk if a driver remains on the road.

The power was introduced in 2013 under Cassie’s Law, named after 16-year-old Cassie McCord, who died when an 87-year-old man lost control of his vehicle in Colchester, Essex.  It later emerged he had failed a police eyesight test days earlier, but a legal loophole meant he was allowed to continue driving.

Presently, once someone has obtained their licence, it is up to them to tell the DVLA if they have a problem with their eyesight.  It has been suggested that a recent eye test should be required when licences are renewed every 10 (3) years.

The Bank Holiday Get-away

If you’re planning a bank holiday getaway then be sure to read our tips on how you can make your journey a safe and stress-free one.

We asked IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, for some tips to help you prepare for your journey.

Richard said: “With so much planning involved in a holiday, many of us forget about the first bit – how we get to our destination.

“If your journey is a long one, take some time to plan where and when you will be taking a break – just so you can get a little rest and have some water to stay hydrated. Enjoy the journey and more importantly, enjoy the getaway.”

A little preparation goes a long way! Take some time to check your vehicle inside and out before you set off. Check the tyre pressure and fluid levels are right and make sure your car ancillaries are working properly.

Secure your luggage in your boot so it’s out of the way and doesn’t obstruct your view.

Give yourself plenty of time for the journey and check the news for any traffic updates and roadworks.
Traffic England:
Weather Forecast:

If you’re travelling during the early hours of the day or late in the evening make sure you take some rest beforehand and eat something light so you don’t feel sluggish before you leave.

If you plan on using a satnav don’t forget to programme in the destination before you leave and check it. Leave plenty of time for the journey so you don’t find yourself pushed for time.

Make sure you take regular rest breaks to split up the journey when driving on a long, boring stretch of a motorway. It’s good practise to stop at least every two hours.

(Photo courtesy www.plymouthherald.co.uk)

Useful Links

Why not check out the useful links?

There is a handful of external websites that offers help and assistance to all motorists. Route planning, weather, highway code and MOT reminders are all there.

If you now of a good website that could be of use to other drivers, why not let us know. Talk to the site managers at the next Sunday run and we will add it in.

Well, We Didn’t See This Coming!

Here’s a short story just to hold your attention whilst I get my thoughts in order.

The other day I was in my car, legally parked, on a street in Mickleover, waiting for my good lady. Just then there was a tapping on the window. “You can’t park here!” said the owner of the offending knuckle. Keeping the window firmly closed, I enquired as to what the problem might be. “You can’t park here!” insisted the knuckle owner. “But I’m parked in a quiet Cul-de-Sac and most certainly not obstructing any traffic.” I pointed out. “I don’t care what car you’re in, you can’t park here!”

In Chatter 6 – 2, I posed the question as to what would happen if two driverless cars met, bonnet to bonnet, on a narrow lane. Would there be a precedence to giving way? Autonomous technology is certainly on the way but it will be many years before true driverless cars will be available to us all and by then the above scenario will have been sorted out, one hopes.
Apparently, there are four key stages to get working properly before we can all zip around without a care in the world. Often referred to in the motor industry as: Feet Off, Hands Off, Eyes Off and finally, Brain Off. Although we have all come across drivers who have reached stage four already. Autonomous cars have been hailed by many as the solution to our congested roads and pollution. Back in February 2015, Claire Perry, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary Department for Transport wrote in the Forward to The Pathway to Driverless Cars Summary Report and Action Plan:
“Driverless vehicle technology has the potential to be a real game changer on the UK’s roads, altering the face of motoring in the most fundamental of ways and delivering major benefits for road safety, social inclusion, emissions and congestion.”

I, dear reader, have long been a student of the University of the Patently Obvious and I find the research carried out in its hallowed laboratories is far ahead of some of the most prestigious centres of learning in the world. And once again this has proved the case. Just this weekend, the media have been reporting on a Department for Transport study that suggests driverless cars will cause more road congestion because the vehicles will behave too cautiously. Researchers have found that the performance of autonomous cars will be limited by the behaviour of other vehicles around them.
Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: “There’s a prize to be had in terms of swifter, safer journeys, but the transition to that world will be challenging. There are around 32 million conventional cars on the UK’s roads – as driverless cars come in, traffic flow could initially get worse rather than better, potentially for many years. Much will depend on how an autonomous car’s parameters are set and just how defensively these vehicles will be programmed to drive.”
Any benefits, it seems, will only be felt when 50% to 75% of the traffic comprises of automated vehicles. According to the most recent RAC Report on Motoring found 58 per cent of motorists believe that fully autonomous vehicles will only outnumber conventional ones by 2050. I’ll be 103 years old!

Well, despite all this wonderful technology, I’m going to continue to buy and drive Cul-de-Sacs. Very reliable, quiet and cheap to run!

  • John Owen, Jan 2017