TOPS News May 2007

tried to sue the FIA due to irregularities in the tender process over their granting of exclusive tyre supply to Pirelli for 3 years World Rally Championships,  but the courts have refused permission.

Fraudsters are making £300m p.a. by staging crashes in which they ram cars and then claim on insurance.  The worst area for bogus crashes is Blackburn with 1,710 in 7 years.

French police are targeting cars which have sat-navs pre-loaded with speed camera locations.  They have the right to confiscate the car.  Several British motorists have been fined £1,000.  It is legal to carry a listing of fixed camera locations in France.

German Didi Senft, has built a bike, 3m high, 9m long and made from 10,000 bike bells, it is shaped like a fish.  

The AA has said that 20% of drivers are now opting for eco-friendly cars.

A report states that 63% of motorists have their headrests at the wrong position resulting in 125,000 whiplash injuries being avoidable.


The smallest yellow line in the UK is in Highbury Crescent in Highbury.

Arthur Bulmer, a Blackpool pensioner, has been threatened with legal action if he puts sand, which blew into his garden and covered his car, back on the beach. Storms left gardens, roads and footpaths in St Anne's covered in tons of sand up to 2ft deep.

The  FFSA has decided that France (Magny-Cours) should have an  F1 race in 2008. 

Police discovered an illegal cannabis farm in Leeds when part of a road collapsed.  Cannabis growers had tunneled under the road to connect to a mains electricity supply. 

Thieves who stole a JCB led 5 police cars and a helicopter on a 20mph chase for 13 miles along the A1 and then on to country lanes near Darlington. Two men were arrested.

A German lorry driver was caught watching a portable TV while he drove on the A1.

A parking warden smashed the windscreen, back window and mirrors on a Rover 75 with her ticketing machine after having a row with the owner who tore up the ticket.

Council spending on repairing potholes on the UK’s roads is only one tenth of the estimated yearly cost of damage to vehicles.

Police foiled 70 attempts by rioters to sabotage the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Romanian police who were given a confiscated Porsche 911 for undercover work found 60kg of heroin hidden under the back seat.

During a Securicor van robbery, 1 box burst open showering bystanders with £20 notes.  Some people put the cash back in the box.

BA is using an inflight 'skymap' which shows passengers where they are and puts Stansted Airport 40 miles out of position in a village in Kent which shares its name. 

The owner of a car crushed by a tree during a storm returned to find a parking ticket on it.

Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb is being completely re-surfaced.

Norfolk designers of the Trident Iceni claim it does 170mph and 70mpg with a 6.6 litre engine running on biofuel and crop oil using an 8 speed gearbox.  

Macedonia's Interior Minister, Gordana Jankulovska, who is driving David Beckham's stolen car, says he can have it back - if he collects it.  The local laws mean the car can only be returned if the owner turns up in person to collect it.

Driving examiners are to get panic alarms after a sharp rise in attacks by learners who fail their tests. 348 examiners were assaulted last year. Examiners will be trained in how to handle aggressive candidates and get psychological counselling.

Maung Myo Win stole 11 vehicles in Myanmar (Burma) just for the fuel.  Private car owners are allowed to buy 60 gallons a month, after that they have to resort to the black market. 

The Tyre Industry Council warn that just 5 secs use of a pressure washer on your tyres could cause a blowout.

700 motorists in Staffordshire have been prosecuted for adapting their registration plates to spell names.

Polluting lorries are to pay £200 p.d. to enter London from next year and owners who fail to pay will be fined £1,000 each time.

The Lambeth Council has refused to compensate the owner of a Bristol 411 which was improperly seized and destroyed.  Parking attendants assumed it was not properly taxed but the Bristol displayed an exemption notice on the windshield.   

About 4,000 parking meters are to be removed in London and replaced with the use of mobile phones to text your credit card details and parking whereabouts.   One machine operating by a Pay and Display area, notes the car’s registration number and if the driver overstays, the machine sends a text to the nearest traffic warden so that a ticket can be issued immediately.

A Texas resident is fighting a photo penalty ticket 265 miles from where he was and in a car he has never owned.  The computer misread a letter and the authorities say he must appear in court to prove he never owned the car – 530 mile round trip. 

Drivers in the UK must pay £105 if they want police to investigate theft of their car. The new fingerprinting tax is designed to raise £10m p.a.  No similar tax is levied on victims of other crimes. 

PIPS Technology, a company making speed cameras and number plate recognition systems, has been put up for sale - £75m.

Motorists on the A12 pulled over to watch as engineers swung 150ft  above them to repair electricity cables.  

There are 750 G-Wiz cars on the road in London but it may be banned after failing a basic crash test.

The old Bus Stop at Spa has now been re-vamped and re-surfaced for the F1 circus.

Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone have been demoted to 20th in the Sunday Times Rich List with a modest £2250m and Paddy McNally is 117th with £623m.

There were 1,100 crashes involving foreign lorries in the UK in 2005 and half the 34,500 foreign lorries tested were found to be dangerous.

A plumber, caught speeding at 7 mph over the limit by a tripod-mounted laser mobile camera, was let off in court when he contacted the manufacturers who said their cameras were only accurate up to 100m.

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