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Tackling the menace of drug driving

Plans to make it easier to prosecute those who drive under the influence of illegal drugs have been published by Roads Minister Stephen Hammond.

In January 2012 the government announced that it would be introducing a new offence of driving with a specific controlled drug in the body above the specified limit for that drug.

A consultation published today (9 July 2013) puts forward proposals on the drugs to be included in the legislation and the limits to be specified.

more information

Hard hitting Documentary – License to Kill

If you didn’t see the documentary on BBC3 called ‘License to Kill’ – watch it here.

Sophie Morgan, who herself was paralysed in a car accident, presents a documentary on why traffic accidents are the single biggest killer of young people.

This is a hard hitting documentary thats a must see for anyone learning to drive, or any driver.

(Please note this is an after watershed video and does contain some disturbing scenes)


Drink driving rules tightened to improve road safety

Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond has announced that the most dangerous drink drivers will now have to pass a medical before they’re allowed back on the roads under a change in the law.

The changes, which come into force from 1 June 2013, mean that High Risk Offenders will need to pass a medical confirming they are no longer alcohol dependent at the end of their disqualification and before they start driving. You can read the about drink driving penalties on GOV.UK.

Drink / drug driving

Alcohol and drugs
The Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales. It’s essential reading for everyone. Here’s a reminder about alcohol and drugs.

Rule 95

Do not drink and drive as it will seriously affect your judgement and abilities. You MUST NOT drive with a breath alcohol level higher than 35 microgrammes/100 millilitres of breath or a blood alcohol level of more than 80 milligrammes/100 millilitres of blood.

Alcohol will:

give a false sense of confidence reduce co-ordination and slow down reactions

affect judgement of speed, distance and risk

reduce your driving ability, even if you’re below the legal limit

take time to leave your body; you may be unfit to drive in the evening after drinking at lunchtime, or in the morning after drinking the previous evening
The best solution is not to drink at all when planning to drive because any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely. If you are going to drink, arrange another means of transport.

Driving on motorways – Highway code


The Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales. It’s essential reading for everyone. Here’s a reminder about motorways .

Rule 266

Approaching a junction. Look well ahead for signals or signs. Direction signs may be placed over the road. If you need to change lanes, do so in good time.

At some junctions a lane may lead directly off the motorway. Only get in that lane if you wish to go in the direction indicated on the overhead signs.

Driving in adverse weather conditions


The Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales. It’s essential reading for everyone. Here’s a reminder about driving in adverse weather conditions.

Rule 229

Before you set off:

you MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows.

you MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible.

make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly.

remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users.

check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfalls or severe weather are predicted.

Driving in wet and windy weather guidance


The Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales. It’s essential reading for everyone. Here’s a reminder about driving in wet and windy weather.

Rule 121

Brakes affected by water. If you have driven through deep water your brakes may be less effective. Test them at the first safe opportunity by pushing gently on the brake pedal to make sure that they work. If they are not fully effective, gently apply light pressure while driving slowly. This will help to dry them out.

Rule 227

Wet weather. In wet weather, stopping distances will be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads (download ‘Typical stopping distances’ (PDF, 127KB)). This is because your tyres have less grip on the road. In wet weather you should

keep well back from the vehicle in front. This will increase your ability to see and plan ahead
if the steering becomes unresponsive, it probably means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road. Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually
the rain and spray from vehicles may make it difficult to see and be seen
be aware of the dangers of spilt diesel that will make the surface very slippery
take extra care around pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders
Rule 232

High-sided vehicles are most affected by windy weather, but strong gusts can also blow a car, cyclist, motorcyclist or horse rider off course. This can happen on open stretches of road exposed to strong crosswinds, or when passing bridges or gaps in hedges.

Rule 233

In very windy weather your vehicle may be affected by turbulence created by large vehicles. Motorcyclists are particularly affected, so keep well back from them when they are overtaking a high-sided vehicle.

Potential driving test examiner strike 30th November

Driving examiners who are members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union could take strike action on Friday 30 November 2012.

DSA’s Chief Executive Rosemary Thew said:

“Not all examiners are members of the PCS union. Even if they are, we can’t be sure that they’ll support the strike. So we’re asking you to come for your test so it can go ahead if possible.

“We’re sorry for the inconvenience this will cause. We’ll do everything we can to minimise disruption for our customers.”

You won’t have to contact DSA to rebook if you can’t take your test because of the strike action. You should hear from the agency with a new date within 5 to 10 working days.