TOPS NEWS September 2012


The French have run out of the compulsory  breathalyser kit to be carried in a car and have had to grant a 3 month amnesty (until November)! 


Bill Randall the country's first Green mayor was forced to pay £70 for a taxi after his brand new council-leased electric car ran out of power.   This would be enough money to fully charge the electric car 28 times.  The Renault Fluence ZE costs £17,500 plus £76 per month for the lease of the batteries.


Mr Forrer took his old cooker to the scrapyard and while he went into the office a crane lifted his delivery van and crushed it. 


Distracted motorists cause an average of 2,525 crashes every day - the equivalent of 921,840 per year according to researchers.  Drivers crash more in the summer when men and women are wearing less clothing.  


The average age of first time car owners has risen to 25 from 21 in the 1960s.


Roger Pion from Vermont, angry about a recent arrest for drugs,  used a large farm tractor to drive over seven police vehicles, then tried to run over two officers who pursued him.   The Sheriff said, they were unable to pursue him because they had no intact vehicles.


A Belarusian man driving a Porsche emblazoned with the red and yellow flag of the Soviet Union was denied entry into Lithuania on the grounds that the public display of such symbols in the Baltic country is illegal.


A CCTV used on a bus in Paignton showed a young man eating a bus seat causing £200 damage.  The police are trying to identify him.


A Norwegian driver who swerved his car on a rural road near Oslo to avoid running into a moose hit a bear instead.  The country, nearly the size of Germany but home to just five million people, has around 100,000 moose and 150 brown bears.


The owners of the AA are exploring a sale of the 107-year-old motoring organisation as part of a £9bn break-up strategy.


Consumer watchdog has warned that texting at the wheel is more dangerous than drink-driving.

Bidders have been exploring the possibility of a Grand Prix in London, with the Olympic Park among the proposed venues.   A feasibility study conducted by  Santander bank has laid out a route which would pass Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square.   The race would start in The Mall and cars would reach speeds of 180mph on the 3.2-mile circuit.  However, is Admiralty Arch wide enough for 2 cars to pass?


The Daily Telegraph announced that “the original Bluebird K3 Land Speed Record boat would be on show at the Goodwood Revival”.  


Ministers are to trial traffic lights for cyclists, giving them a head start.


Archaeologists believe they have found, in the Car Park of a social services office in Leicester,  the (1485) burial place of Richard III in the church of a Franciscan friary later destroyed under Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries.  They have found a skeleton with a curved spine and metal arrow in its back.


Beijing now has 1.05 million people in the monthly lottery draw for 20,000 permits to buy a car.


London Mayor Boris Johnson took former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger for a ride on one of his 'Boris bikes', a system operated by Serco which has recently won £4.2bn in new contracts.             


140 councils have paid £4.8m to drivers whose cars were damaged due to potholes.   


BP has been forced to recall 2m barrels of fuel after it was contaminated during blending at their refinery in Indiana.  Over 16,000 calls were received from motorists having engine problems.


Councils in Catalonia, Spain, have re-allocated free parking spaces forcing residents to pay, resulting in  ticket machines  being vandalised - cost apx £14,200 so far.  The council has also doubled fines for minor road infringements. 


A parking warden gave a coach a ticket while the driver helped a disabled passenger get off.


To avoid building up stock GM is to cease production for a week at the end of September at its Vauxhall plants in Cheshire and Bedfordshire.  Volvo is cutting 400 jobs. In France Renault’s Douai factory will close for 4 days this month and in Italy Fiat will close its Naples plant for 2 weeks.  Ferrari sold 3,664 cars in the first 6 months of 2012, up 11.9%.   Honda plans to double sales within 5 years to 6 million vehicles but Toyota and Nissan are reducing production in China after anti-Japan protests.


F1 Williams GP Holdings increased profits from £1.7m to £6.3 m in the first 6 months.  Williams is to help Jaguar Land Rover build a green super car and is developing energy storage technology for Go-Ahead buses. Jaguar Land Rover continues to increase production and has announced that its next Range Rover will be 39% lighter (420kg). 


A British couple touring Kruger National Park were amazed to find a 5 metre python curled around the engine when they tried to find out why their car would not start.


Frank Boyce has been nominated for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize for his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, a sequel to the original classic.


Corporal Jones's butchers van used by the Home Guard platoon of Walmington-on-Sea in the television comedy Dad's Army is for sale—£20K.


The Foreign Office has recently repeated the warning it gave in 2007 for Spain and France about the dangers of caravanners stopping outside official sites due to the number of reports of  being gassed while asleep and then robbed.  They also warn of gangs which trick drivers into stopping by faking accidents or throwing stones at windscreens so that they can steal valuables or even the car itself.  France has one of the highest levels of civilian gun ownership in Europe.


Motorists have more accidents passing Stonehenge than any other British landmark, a new study found.


964 Ferraris were on the track at Silverstone in September—a new world record.


Cheltenham council has spent £85,355 putting in automatic number plate recognition car park payment machines and £8,000 showing people how to use them.


Abridged version of News sent toTOPS members

















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