TRISHBITS November 2014


Roy Sowerby who has only one arm has been told by Middlesbrough Council that he does not qualify for a disabled parking permit unless he loses another limb.

A section of pavement in Chongqing, China has been reserved for people using a mobile phone because they do not look where they are going.

In the UK, hundreds of pedestrians have been hit by cars as they crossed roads while talking or texting on their phones.

Jon Hunt cycled 220 miles for charity and booked himself and bicycle on a train home from London but he was refused boarding as they would only take 2 cycles per train and someone else got there first.

Engineers say 'self-healing' concrete that uses bacteria to stop cracks and gaps getting bigger could be used in the future to rectify potholes.

Mercedes-Benz is recalling more than 8,000 of its new executive C-class saloons in the UK because of a steering-wheel fault. It is part of a world-wide recall of 28,000 of the brand new cars.

According to Auto Express magazine the South Korean Rodius is a ’melted hearse’ with the worst styling ever made.

Toyota is recalling 1.75 million vehicles globally over brake problems and other glitches. Toyota
has recalled almost 11 million vehicles since the start of the year.

A US study claims that Biofuel made from vegetable oil has more toxic fumes than petro-diesel.

The RAC says that a fifth of drivers are considering the use of an in-car video camera to protect themselves against fraudulent claims. They suggest making them compulsory on new cars.

Aviva insurance reports a 21% increase in fraudulent crash cases over last year and says over 50% are linked to known organised crime rings. Claims in the Birmingham area were over £4.7 million just in August. Tom Gardiner, head of claims fraud, has asked the Government to consider compensating whiplash with rehabilitation instead of cash.

An insurance company claims that motorcyclists have better road safety knowledge than car drivers e.g. stopping distances in rainy conditions and road signs.

The speed limit for lorries on single carriageway roads is to rise from 40 mph to 50 mph next year. Under consideration is raising the speed for goods vehicles from 50 mph to 60 mph on dual carriageways. The speed limit for tractors is to be increased from 20 mph to 25 mph next spring.

Jaguar Land Rover has opened its first plant in China and hopes to make 130,000 vehicles in its first year. Tata Motors bought JLR in 2008 for £1.15 billion. They have 2 factories in the UK.

The London Borough of Ealing is to try the use of illuminated chevrons on the entrance to bus lanes to inform drivers when they are open for general use.

VW vehicle sales were up 4.1% at a record 2.43 million cars, boosted by European and Chinese buyers of its Audi and Porsche models.

Crash test dummies in the US will be made fatter to reflect the larger size of more than a third of adult Americans. The increase is from 167 lbs to 270 lbs.

Declen Patten's insurance premium more than doubled after he was caught speeding, despite his attendance at a safety course.

Ron Patrick created a jet-powered bug by fitting a 1500hp engine to the back of his Beetle. It can now reach speeds of 140mph leaving a 50ft trail of flames in its wake. It took him 6 years and cost £125,000. "It is road legal since the only pertinent law in California, has to do with how much things can stick out the back of the car, the law says 14 inches and my VW Beetle is 13 inches.

Ferrari has agreed to pay a $3.5 million civil fine for failing to file ‘early warning reports’ about safety issues with their sports cars.

Luca di Montezemolo who was ousted by the Ferrari board, is to ‘lead’ Alitalia which was rescued from bankruptcy by Etihad Airways, main sponsors of the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix.

5 million penalty charge notices were issued in London last year for parking, bus lane and moving traffic offences.

Car sales in the UK reached a new record for the 2014 year at over 2 million. The Ford Fiesta is Britain’s best selling car.

Roads across Britain could be given official ‘star ratings’ for safety to help drivers avoid dangerous routes. It would be similar to the EuroRAP programme which covers major roads across Europe.

Toyota has said they consider hydrogen will power cars in the future. Their latest is the Mirai, able to run 300 miles on a single top-up of hydrogen fuel into 2 underfloor tanks with zero-carbon emissions.

Savjibhai Dholakiya, an Indian diamond merchant, has given his staff 500 cars, 525 pieces of diamond jewellery and hundreds of houses, to mark the Hindu festival of Diwali. Some of the workers will have to learn to drive.

Abridged version of TOPS NEWS sent to members
Trisha Pilkington