TOPS NEWS September 2008

Worcester City Council has decreed that ice cream van jingles may not exceed four seconds because they are too noisy.


A Syrian lorry driver taking luxury cars from Turkey to Gibraltar was sent on a 1,600 mile detour to Skegness by his Sat Nav which had the Rock listed as UK territory and directed him to Skegness's Gibraltar Point.

An Italian court has ruled that the government must pay €100,000 in damages to 26 year-old Danilo Giuffrida who was told to retake a driving test because he was homosexual.

Mexico has designed and built its first sports car, the Mastretta MXT - a 2 litre capable of 160 mph. £33,000.

Lotus has made its first all-new car for 13 years. It has a V6 Toyota engine and was code-named Project Eagle. It is now called the Lotus Evora.

Coys offered for sale a 1951 French Talbot T15 Cabriolet. With the exception of 4 lines relating to the condition of the car, the entire 20 line description was about the English Talbot company from 1904 to 1930, which had no bearing whatsoever on the French Talbot.

Cardboard cut-out policemen have proved so successful at getting speeding drivers to slow down in Romania that the project has been expanded to include cardboard police cars. Last year, 1,174 people died and 365 were severely injured in car crashes on Romania’s national roads.

New legislation will allow councils to tow away cars which have three unpaid parking tickets.

Max Mosley won his privacy action against the News of the World newspaper for printing pictures and publishing videos of a five-hour sadomasochistic sex session with prostitutes in a cellar in Chelsea. He is now hinting of again standing for re-election to the FIA.

General Motors, owners of Vauxhall, has suggested manufacturing ‘green cars’ in England in return for support from the British Government over green cars in Europe.

Councils are to be allowed to fine motorists for parking more than 19.7” from the pavement.

Drivers pay £200 a minute to the public purse, prompting the Tories to accuse the Government of using them as "cash cows".

Figures recently released indicate that the Government has made £15m in the last 5 years from selling names and addresses of 6 million motorists to private firms.

Vehicles driving in the planned eco-towns will have to observe a speed limit of 15 mph.

2,115 speeding tickets have been cancelled in Lancashire due to the incorrect setting up of a speed camera and incorrect paperwork processing.

100 taxi drivers in Bournemouth have been suspended after refusing to take a health and safety exam on personal hygiene, how to lift heavy luggage and speak to their customers.

Asphalt Industry Alliance claims there are more than 3 million holes in local authority roads and the authorities are spending more on compensating people for injuries and vehicle damage caused by potholes than they spend on repairing them. Some authorities have redefined potholes as from 2 cm to 5 cm deep.

Joanne Billington was given a £50 ticket for bad parking by a traffic warden after her Ford Ka, which she'd left correctly parked, was hit by another driver and pushed into a tree. The traffic warden claimed he thought it had been parked that way – the ticket has now been cancelled.

The Home Office is considering preventing firms charging more than £135 for clamping fines.

Traffic wardens in Westminster, London, have been ordered to do a charm offensive course and only issue tickets as a last resort. They are to help elderly people with their shopping, give directions and generally help motorists. Undercover staff will be employed to check the way they operate to ensure that motorists are being given a second chance…………

Metal road signs in Essex are being replaced with plastic to stop them being stolen.

The Continental Tyre Company, which also makes brakes, satellite navigation systems and dashboard components, has been bought by Maria and Georg Schaeffler who already own a ball-bearing business. The Schaeffelrs now own the world’s largest car parts company.

A rickshaw made out of a Mini Cooper is being used in Beijing. Designed and produced by BMW, it has the original rear half of a Mini car body and is equipped with safety belts. It features four gold-plated dragons and other Chinese decorations.

The 420 bhp Veritas RS III a £250,000 supercar prototype, crashed into a lamppost. after two fans persuaded a garage manager to let them take it for a trial drive in Mönchengladbach, Germany. The car does 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds.

German police are looking for a skateboarder who was filmed, and shown on YouTube, travelling around 80mph on a motorway near Goeppingen, Stuttgart, where the limit is 62 mph.

A Norfolk parish council has put up road signs in the village of Wiveton in local dialect. Instead of a 30mph limit sign, drivers are warned: "Slow You Down".

Tests found some police vehicles carrying two hefty officers are within 14 stone of legal weight limits, and therefore can only carry one suspect in the back of the car. The standard patrol car is a 1.6-litre Ford Focus or a 1.3-litre Vauxhall Astra. As well as police officers they carry computers, cameras, fire extinguishers, stingers, metal road signs and body armour.

The EU is trying to remove the Block Exemption rule which allows small garages access to manufacturers electronic data to service customers cars, thereby forcing owners to go to official dealerships According to the AA, the average hourly charge is £55.63 compared with £94.70 at a dealership workshop.

Essex and Kent police have bought a helicopter (£2m) which carries thermal imaging and a camera which can read car number plates from 700 ft. Drivers are warned by a reflective blue and white sign with a helicopter picture and the words ‘Police traffic enforcement’.


Abridged notes from TOPS NEWS

edited by Trisha Pilkington