The BVRLA has submitted its response to the European Commission's consultation on the future of the motor vehicle sector's block exemption from aspects of competition law. As with its previous statements on the subject, the association has called for:
Preservation of car rental and leasing firms' end-user status with regard to leased and rented vehicles
Affordable access to manufacturers' data to facilitate repair, service and maintenance of vehicles.
The Department for Transport has published the statistical report “Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2008: Annual Report”.
Headline final figures on the number of people killed and injured on the roads in Great Britain in 2008 were first published in June 2009. The statistical report provides more detailed information about accident circumstances, vehicle involvement and the consequent casualties in 2008, along with some of the key trends in accidents and casualties.
There were a total of 230,905 reported casualties of all severities, 7 per cent lower than in 2007. 2,538 people were killed, 14 per cent lower than in 2007, 26,034 were seriously injured (down 6 per cent) and 202,333 were slightly injured (down 7 per cent).
The number of fatalities fell for almost all types of road user, with a fall of 12 per cent for car occupants, 11 per cent for pedestrians, 16 per cent for motorcyclists and 15 per cent for pedal cyclists.
Failed to look properly was again the most frequently reported contributory factor and was reported in 37 per cent of all accidents reported to the police in 2008. Four of the five most frequently reported contributory factors involved driver or rider error or reaction. For fatal accidents the most frequently reported contributory factor was loss of control, which was involved in 32 per cent of fatal accidents.
Fourteen per cent of accidents had a speed related contributory factor reported, either exceeding the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions. This rose to 24 per cent for fatal accidents, accounting for 25 per cent of all road deaths. Twenty three per cent of fatalities in these accidents were motorcyclists.
Young drivers were more likely to have a speed related contributory factor reported than those over 25, and more than four times as many male drivers had a speed factor reported as female drivers. Forty one per cent of male fatalities aged 16-25 were in accidents where a speed factor was reported.
The number of new cars made in the UK fell 31.5% in August from the same month a year earlier, industry figures have shown.
But the number of cars built for the UK market reached a near five-year high as the car scrappage scheme boosted sales.
The SMMT called for the scheme, which was introduced in May, to be extended, saying recovery was still fragile. The drop in production was bigger than the 17.9% fall seen in July, but many car plants have extended shutdowns in August.
Parts of England with the largest number of uninsured drivers have been revealed in new research. The worst offenders were in Greater London, Merseyside and Greater Manchester, with 13%, 12% and 10% of vehicles uninsured, the research found.
The Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB), which compensates people in accidents with uninsured drivers, estimates over 1.7m people drove without cover in 2008.
Philip Gomm, of the RAC Foundation, said the situation seemed to be out of hand and had been for a long time.
"That might be linked to economic factors. We know that during a downturn a lot of people are finding financial pressure, they are suffering financial hardship and they think that some of their motoring costs are those that they can drive down, but insurance is not an option. You have to have it if you take a vehicle on to the road" he said.
Meanwhile, research carried out by moneysupermarket.com found that 62% of the 1,800 people questioned think motorists caught driving without insurance should face heftier penalties.
Fabrics specialist, Vispack, has launched a new road safety pack, which it claims can save lives and reduce insurance claims.The pack, known as “The Driver’s Hub”, contains five high-visibility reflective vests, to be worn in the event of a vehicle emergency.
The BVRLA's legal services team has received a number of queries from its members regarding the driving licence entitlement for drivers engaged in the collection and delivery of minibuses.
The D1 entitlement appears automatically on driving licences issued before 1997, but drivers with licences issued subsequently must pass a specific test. Failure to comply exposes its members to the risk of the vehicle being impounded immediately. In addition, the driver faces up to six penalty points and a fine of up to £5,000.
Drivers who text at the wheel are being targeted with a new hard-hitting THINK! campaign. The campaign comes as research shows 30 per cent of young drivers admitted to texting while driving.
An online 'driving challenge' game has also been launched through social networking communities and entertainment sites. The game shows how distracting using a mobile at the wheel can be and is designed to help change driver behaviour. To play the game, follow the link below - only 19% of people pass the test.
Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "It doesn't matter how good a driver you are, if you text while driving then you cannot be giving the road your full attention.
The Law Commission is dissatisfied with current insurance law, The Daily Telegraph has reported.
The independent body, which keeps the law under review and recommends reform where needed, is due to report on insurance law this autumn.
According to the newspaper, it will say that current insurance law is unsuited to mass-market consumer insurance policies because it is based on commercial insurance practices.
In addition, consumer bodies are lobbying the Government to include proposed changes in the Queen’s Speech that could re-orientate current insurance law towards to the Association of British Insurers’ voluntary code of practice and the best practice guidelines laid down by the Financial Ombudsman Services.
Volkswagen’s latest security system has been honoured at this year’s BusinessCar Techies Awards with the advanced electronic Intelligent Key being named Best Security Device.
A new standard feature on all Volkswagen Touareg 4x4 and Phaeton models, the key maintains a record of whether the car has been locked and alarmed. By simply pressing a button on the key and looking at the red light indicator, an owner can check, even when they are not with the car, the ‘locked’ status of their vehicle. It can also provide vital evidence to insurers and fleet managers as they can confirm by interrogating the car key’s data chip whether the vehicle was secured before any theft or break-ins occurred.
Reported in this weeks BVRLA update, the European Commission has made a final call to EU countries to voluntarily implement its "eCall" strategy for in-car technology to alert emergency services to road accidents.
It warns that if there is no significant progress in rolling out the system by the end of 2009 it could propose regulations to compel manufacturers to install it.
In its recently published strategy document the Commission says eCall could save lives by halving emergency response times and calls for it to be installed in all new vehicles sold in Europe by 2014.
In his long career in motorsport, Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone has met legions of drivers. Obviously, however, as F1 racing’s youngest-ever race winner, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel is more than just ‘another driver’.
The two men may be separated in years by over half a century, but as a joint interview at the Belgian Grand Prix revealed, when great minds think alike and when you have plenty in common, any age gap becomes irrelevant…