Blog 2019

December 2019 - Low Bridge Strikes by Vehicles at Unacceptable Levels

Drivers on Demand December Blog - Low BridgeFigures from Network Rail reveal approximately 1800 bridge strikes per year in UK, costing the tax payer £23 million a year. Research shows that 43% of lorry drivers admit to not measuring the vehicle height while more than 52% report not taking low bridges into account.

Richard Turfit, Senior Traffic Commissioner, said that there was growing frustration among commuters suffering delays due to bridge strikes and that could lead to tougher actions against companies failing to route their vehicles correctly.

The greatest number of bridge strikes last year was over A142 in Ely in Cambridgeshire. It was hit incredibly 32 times in a year, that is over 2.6 strikes a month. The next highest during the 12-month period was 23, involving a bridge over B109 in Stonea, Cambridgeshire, followed by a bridge on the A5 in Hinkley, Leicestershire, which was hit 22 times. The Lander Street bridge in Bordesley Green, London was hit 32 times since 2009. A special collision protection beam was fitted to reinforce the bridge in 2009. After 10 years of continual bridge crashes, the beam was damaged beyond repair, prompting emergency road closures. A new steel protection beam is being redesigned.

Network Rail has launched its “Lorries Can’t Limbo” campaign aimed at professional drivers who drive high-sided vehicles. Some of the common causes of bridge strikes are:

  • Drivers taking short cuts whilst engaged on “not in service” journeys
  • Staff with insufficient route knowledge returning a vehicle to depot
  • Drivers taking a double deck vehicle on a single deck route
  • Misunderstanding of road signs

The advice to avoid bridge strikes include:

  • Ensure drivers are supported in vehicle height measurements. Provide height measuring devices
  • Undertake bridge strike prevention training
  • Ensure driver’s daily walk around check includes height checking and recording
  • Plan routes to take low bridges into account
  • Consider what you would do if you were taken off route
  • Consider utilising systems or maps with low bridge locations

Useful information on avoiding bridge strikes is found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevention-of-bridge-strikes-good-practice-guide.

Contact Drivers on Demand - for all your Driver needs - contract, temporary or permanent positions - one call sorts it all

Drivers on Demand, 6 Steele Road, Park Royal, London, NW10 7AR
Click here to email usTel:  020 8453 3444, Fax: 020 8453 3445

The Department of Transport (DfT) has opened a consultation into its plans to outlaw the use of tyres aged 10 and older on trucks, trailers, buses, coaches and minibuses due to serious road safety concerns. The proposals also advocate banning re-treaded tyres of any age on steered axles. The proposals include measures requiring the date of manufacture to be visible on the tyre for the purposes of inspection, and to be maintained and not tampered with. The consultation also seeks views on extending the ban to taxis and private hire vehicles.

The aging tyres issue is being campaigned by Frances Molloy, whose son died in a coach crash in 2012 following a blowout of a 19 year old tyre. Another case which was pertinent to the consultation proposals occurred in September 2017 when a truck on M5 suffered a tyre blowout, crossed the central reservation and collided with on-coming traffic, killing 5 people. At an inquest in February 2019, the coroner concluded that the crash was the result of a tyre failure. In this case the tyre was 18 years old and had suffered structural deterioration due to its age. In both cases the tyres that failed were fitted to the steered axle which was considered to have contributed to their failure.

DfT also published a report on a research to explore the link between tyre age and integrity which suggest that “corrosion is more likely to be found in older tyres” and also highlighted “the ability of  moisture to penetrate through cuts in the tread area and the sidewall for older tyres”. The research also implies a change in the hardness of the rubber in older tyres can lead to cracking.

The consultation also proposes that re-treaded tyres should have date of re-treading on it as well as the date of original manufacture. As both of the fatal collisions where HM Coroner referenced the age of the tyre as a contributing factor involved tyre failure on the steered axle of the vehicle, the proposal is to restrict the use of re-treaded tyres of any age from the steered axles.

James Firth, head of road freight regulation at the Freight Transport Association (FTA) said, “With more than 4.2 million of these vehicles on our roads, van operators must be held against the same compliance and safety standards as any other commercial vehicle”.

If the consultation is supported, the new rules could potentially be in force by 2020.

Contact Drivers on Demand - for all your Driver needs - contract, temporary or permanent positions - one call sorts it all

Drivers on Demand, 6 Steele Road, Park Royal, London, NW10 7AR
Click here to email usTel:  020 8453 3444, Fax: 020 8453 3445

 

Photo of a lorry - Drivers on Demand Aug blogAugust 2019 - M1 Safety Initiative Reduces Collisions by a Third

The M1 Highway England safety initiative, which took place between 13th and 19th May, resulted in a fall in collisions from 90 to 64. This is the 4th lowest number of collisions of 2019 and 2nd lowest outside school holidays.

The safety initiative saw all three of Highway England’s unmarked HGV supercabs take to the M1 motorway, to allow police officers to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling alongside the vehicles. The drivers are then stopped by police cars following a short distance behind. They recorded over 200 offences which included 57 drivers on mobile phones, 37 not wearing seatbelts and 27 who were driving carelessly or not in proper control of their vehicles. They also released a video of a driver using credit card to make a payment on his mobile phone.

Police officers filed 133 traffic offence reports – usually requiring drivers to attend a driver education course, plus points on their licence and a fine – and there were also five prosecutions for more serious offences.

Highway England’s traffic officers also joined forces with emergency services to provide free tyre checks and safety tips to hundreds of drivers at motorway services along the M1.

PC Dave Lee from Safer Roads Team said “Our main priority is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads by clamping down on speeding, drink/drug driving, seatbelt and mobile phone use”

Tom Cotton, Road Haulage Association’s head of licensing and infrastructure policy said “A minority of drivers think it is okay to endanger other road users by taking unnecessary risks behind the wheel – it’s not. No phone call or text is so urgent that it can’t wait until the driver is safely parked”.

Following their success on M1, similar initiatives are planned for other motorways across England. Therefore, next time you are on a motorway, drive safely as “big brother may be watching you”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/m1-safety-week-reduces-collisions-by-a-third

Contact Drivers on Demand - for all your Driver needs - contract, temporary or permanent positions - one call sorts it all

Drivers on Demand, 6 Steele Road, Park Royal, London, NW10 7AR
Click here to email usTel:  020 8453 3444, Fax: 020 8453 3445


 June 2019 - Risks associated with Driving in Hot Weather

Drivers on Demand - Driving on a Hot Day photoWith Temperatures rising to 34oC tomorrow (Saturday 29th June) in London and France recording the highest ever temperature  of 45.9oC, here are some of the risks associated with driving long distances in hot weather:

Keep Hydrated – On a hot day it is vitally important to keep well hydrated. Keep some bottles of water in your car and if you have a cooler box, use it to keep the water cool. Dehydration will affect your concentration levels. Although tea and coffee will keep you awake, it causes dehydration and hence do not drink too much of it while on a long journey.

Protect Your Eyes – Bright sunlight can cause havoc on visibility. Wear sunglasses and make full use of the visors. Ensure your sunglasses are polarised as they reduce glare. However, blue tinted sunglasses can cause confusion as studies have shown that some drivers are unable to differentiate between amber and green traffic lights.

Check Your Tyres – Hot weather will make the air in the tyres expand, which can cause a blow-out. Check for the damage to the tyres or uneven wear, especially on the inside shoulders and make sure the pressures are correct.

Keep Your Medication Easily Accessible – Frequent sneezing, runny eyes and congestion caused by hay fever could cause serious problems while driving. Ensure that the medication is easily accessible and is non drowsy.

Ventilation – Ensure that the conditions inside the car are comfortable on a hot day. If you have air conditioning, use it or else keep the car well ventilated to avoid drowsiness.

Top up Fluids in your Vehicle – Ensure that the windscreen wiper fluid is topped up. During summer, the windscreen is likely to be battered by flies and other insects. Your windscreen may need to be cleaned regularly and hence keep the fluid topped up. Also ensure that the radiator fluid is topped up to stop the engine overheating and check the engine oil before setting off.

Plan Ahead - When driving in hot weather it is always worthwhile planning ahead. The hot weather inevitably means more people on the road and therefore more congestion. Do you have a way to get out of it, either to bypass the traffic or take some quiet time to let the build-up subside? A plan will especially help when there are children involved.

Contact Drivers on Demand - for all your Driver needs - contract, temporary or permanent positions - one call sorts it all

Drivers on Demand, 6 Steele Road, Park Royal, London, NW10 7AR
Click here to email usTel:  020 8453 3444, Fax: 020 8453 3445


April 2019 - Porsche Tops the list of Prestige Cars Clamped by DVLA

Clamped Car - Drivers on Demand BlogAccording to the figures released by DVLA, Porsche topped the list of prestige cars clamped for being untaxed in the last financial year 2017/18.

There were 133,000 vehicles clamped last year, an increase of 13% from previous year, of which only 350 (0.26%) were prestige cars, out of which 199 were Porsches, followed by Italian supercar Abarth (28), Maserati (23) and Bentleys (20). However, taking the top spot overall was Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra with 6000 clampings each. Obviously these are the UK’s most popular cars and hence there are more of them on the roads. The most popular colour to be clamped was silver with more than 32,000 being clamped. Again, silver is the most popular car colour in the UK.

It does not matter what vehicle you drive, if it is not taxed, it will be clamped, Last year, 73 London Taxis, 5 Harley-Davidsons, 4 motorhomes and a double decker bus were clamped.

Since the car disc was abolished, the number of clampings have more than doubled. Previously it was obvious when the car tax expired by looking at the disc on the windscreen. Now we have to rely on post or email reminders which are easy to overlook in our busy lives. However, if you are worried about when your car tax or MOT is due, there is an easy way to find out by visiting the Gov.uk website and entering your car registration - https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax

Contact Drivers on Demand - for all your Driver needs - contract, temporary or permanent positions - one call sorts it all

Drivers on Demand, 6 Steele Road, Park Royal, London, NW10 7AR
Click here to email usTel:  020 8453 3444, Fax: 020 8453 3445


Feb 2019 - Fancy an Armoured Rolls Royce Silver Spur with Royal Heritage?

A 1987 Rolls Royse Silver Spur is on sale at “Bring a Trailer” auctions in USA. It was ordered by the UK Foreign Office for use at its Embassy in Washington D.C., but its real claim to fame is that it was used by Princess Diana on her official visit to USA in 1990. She was photographed in it on numerous occasions including a visit to the Royal Gala Evening to benefit the London City Ballet and Grandma’s house, a home for HIV positive children, both in Washington D.C.

Rolls Royce Silver Spur with Princess Diana

Rolls Royce Silver Spur

The Rolls Royce Silver Spur is the long wheel base version of the Silver Spirit and is currently owned by Chicago Vintage Motor Carriage. The car was armoured by coachbuilder McNeille & Son of Walsall, England with carbon steel and Kevlar plates, extra door and hinge reinforcements and polycarbonate windows. It has a 6.75 litre fuel injected V-8 engine.  In addition, it has numerous special features including a sun roof. The Silver Spur has clocked 61,000 miles and is in its original Balmoral Green Metallic Colour. The interior is in beige leather with green carpet and sheepskin rugs. The car has no accident history.

The bid price was $26,000 at the time of writing this blog. The auctions ends on 6th March. If you are interested, follow the link below.
https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1987-rolls-royce-silver-spur-2/

Contact Drivers on Demand - for all your Driver needs - contract, temporary or permanent positions - one call sorts it all

Drivers on Demand, 6 Steele Road, Park Royal, London, NW10 7AR
Click here to email usTel:  020 8453 3444, Fax: 020 8453 3445