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  1. UK licences may no longer be valid on their own when it comes to driving on the continent if no deal is reached with Brussels British drivers could face the "extra burden" of applying for a permit to drive in the European Union in the event of a "no-deal" Brexit, the government has warned. In the latest batch of papers outlining how a failure to reach a deal could impact on British life, ministers revealed UK driving licences may no longer be valid on their own for driving on the continent. This is because the EU might not agree to recognise UK licences, a development which would require drivers to apply for International Driving Permits (IDP). These cost £5.50 and motorists would be able to apply for them at 2,500 Post Office branches across the UK in the event they become a necessity. If they fail to obtain the permit, British drivers face being turned away at borders or being hit with enforcement action. In an extra layer of bureaucracy that could hit drivers, there are two different types of IDP. This is because different EU nations have recognised different conventions on road traffic. So some journeys would potentially require both permits, for example, if you wanted to drive into France and then Spain. AA president Edmund King said: "This will be an extra burden for UK drivers wanting to take a holiday abroad. "We envisage quite a rush on post offices next year for the £5.50 IDPs if no deal is reached. "Hopefully an agreement can be reached to prevent further red tape and expense for drivers." The Department for Transport said it thinks up to seven million permits could be requested in the first 12 months after a "no-deal" divorce. A total of 28 "no-deal" technical notices were published on the government website on Thursday, following the release of 24 last month. As well as driving licences, the latest batch covers topics like roaming charges for mobile phones and the potential impact on passport rules. The papers warn that UK citizens could be prevented from entering EU countries even if they have a valid passport. Britons currently do not need to have a minimum or maximum amount of time left on their passports to travel to the continent, but this could change if there is no deal. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has called on phone companies not to impose roaming charges on customers under "no-deal". Such charges were abolished in June 2017, but a failure to reach a deal would mean surcharge-free travel to the continent could no longer be guaranteed. However, the government has said it would introduce a cap on charges if there is no EU agreement. Ministers would set a £45 a month limit and force companies to send alerts to customers when 80% of that had been reached. Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, which cover more than 85% of the market, say they have no plans to change their approach to mobile roaming post-Brexit. But while the chances of British customers being stung by sky-high charges appears remote, those living near the Northern Ireland border could face higher bills. The government has warned consumers and businesses to be aware of the potential for "inadvertent" data roaming, where a stronger signal from the Republic kicks in.
  2. The Motorists Guide

    £20 fine for leaving your engine idling

    Latest air quality measure means you could be hit with a £20 fine for leaving your engine running while parked A new measure to prevent drivers from leaving their engines idling while parked is gaining traction in multiple areas of the country. Councils in Nottingham, Norwich, Reading and London have all adopted the on-the-spot fines, and the Times reports that 30 further areas are planning to introduce them, in a bid to improve air quality in the UK’s urban areas. The fines are aimed partly at parents picking up and dropping off their children at school; this contributes to spikes in pollution in those areas. A new study carried out by King’s College London highlighted the dangers of car pollution for those living in affected areas, claiming a seven-week life expectancy increase for those born after air quality legislation was introduced. The RAC's head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, said: “With the spotlight firmly on reducing pollution in urban areas, we welcome a focus on reducing unnecessary engine idling. The correct procedure should be for an enforcement officer to ask the driver to switch their engine off, and if they refuse, they will be issued a penalty. Idling engines can produce up to twice the amount of emissions of an engine in motion, and for drivers it can mean higher fuel bills." It’s the latest charge in the name of air quality, with the T-Charge costing London drivers £10 daily if they’re at the wheel of the pre-Euro 4 car, petrol or diesel. Other parties have suggested alternative measures, though. A health group previously suggested the removal of traffic calming measures in residential areas, to prevent the pollution caused by the on-off braking and accelerating associated with them. Read the full article: View the full article
  3. FLIP flops are becoming part of Brits’ daily wardrobe as temperatures continue to soar. But those who choose to drive in their summery shoes could find themselves in hot water if they are involved in an accident While driving in flip-flops isn't illegal in itself, wearing them could lead to a careless driving charge if they impede your ability to drive safely. Under Rule 97 of the Highway Code, drivers are advised they must have “footwear and clothing which does not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner”. Flip flops could slip off, become wedged under pedals and prevent you from pressing the pedals with enough force to brake quickly, which could cause you to drive erratically or even lead to a collision. If you are stopped by police while driving in a potentially dangerous manner or your footwear is a reason for an accident, you could be charged with driving without due care and attention (careless driving). In the most serious cases, careless driving can attract a hefty £5,000 fine, up to nine penalty points and even a court-imposed driving ban. A recent study by insurance brand, ingenie, found that a whopping 27 per cent of drivers could be risking this penalty as they ditch their shoes in favour of flip flops while driving. Despite the large number of Brits taking the risk, around one in three actually thought it was illegal to drive in loose fitting footwear. RAC's guidelines for suitable driving footwear According to the RAC there are some guidelines for what footwear is suitable when driving: Have a sole no thicker than 10mm, but the sole should not be too thin or soft. Provide enough grip to stop your foot slipping off the pedals. Not be too heavy. Not limit ankle movement. Be narrow enough to avoid accidentally depressing two pedals at once. Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research, told Sun Motors: “Before setting off. You should ensure that clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner. “If flip flops stopped you being in control you could be prosecuted, as you are breaking Highway Code Rule 97. “Careless driving is mostly judged on the impact your driving has on others around you, so if you are spotted swerving or braking erratically and then stopped and found to have inadequate footwear, you could be prosecuted. “If you do cause a crash, then it could also be an aggravating factor against you in court and lead to a slightly higher fine or longer ban.” THE ROAD LAWS YOU NEED TO KNOW REGULATED ROADS- Is the Highway Code law and can you actually be penalised for breaking it? LAW AND DISORDER- The eight laws you had NO idea you were breaking Selim Cavanagh, Chief Executive at ingenie said: “It’s promising that almost a third of drivers assume driving in flip flops is illegal, because it’s really dangerous. “They slip off, slide under the pedals, get caught between your feet and the pedals and if your feet are wet, they’ll affect your ability to brake if you need to. “Aside from the actual rules though, driving in flip flops can create a dangerous driving environment, and put you, your passengers, and other road users at risk. “So, if you’re heading to the beach this weekend, make sure you’ve packed some sensible driving shoes to get you there and back safely, as well as your flip flops to wear while you’re there.”
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