A lot of cars were stranded for long hours on the M23 in Sussex. The said traffic disturbance was caused by a heavy snow on the road. Snow has filled the roads and a tailback occurred for more than eight hours. Motorists were stuck because of the bad weather condition. It was also reported that not only M23 was affected by the hazardous snow. Other roads such as the A29, A26, and A27 were among those affected too. An inspector from the Sussex police said that there were areas that experienced worst traffic and these areas were around Handcross Hill.
The drivers who were stuck in their cars were already rescued after long hours of being stranded. The police and the members of the Highway Agency were the ones who rescued the stranded motorists. The Red Cross was also present in the affected areas to check the conditions of the drivers. A driver who was heading home was stuck near the Handcross Hill and has described the scene on the road. From a report in BBC news, the driver said the road has already become a car park. Most of the cars were not moving and inside it were family who were already sleeping.
The driver who was interviewed by BBC also added that since there was nothing to do about the situation most of the car owners slept and waited until it would be resolved. He said that they have all accepted that they could probably be stranded for more hours. It was already midnight and people couldn’t do anything and just rest their case. He described the area to be a lot quiet during midnight when everyone started sleeping inside their cars.
New government proposals may mean that drivers caught speeding at over 100mph will face tougher tests before they get their licence back. The extended test is already in existence for some offences, but not for excessive speeding. If a driver has been banned for more than 56 days for dangerous driving, drink driving or a number of other serious offences they are required to take the extended test, and the number of offences for which this can be required is set to be increased. Last year over 5000 drivers had to take the test in order to reclaim their licence.
The latest figures, available from the Ministry of Justice, show that 9000 motorists were banned for a speeding offence last year, and this figure could be boosted by a further 1000 if the new proposals are upheld. The current guidelines say that anyone caught in excess of the speed limit by 30mph gets an immediate ban. The proposals mean that the new test will be twice the length of the standard road test and, at £124, will cost twice as much. The current extended test is likely to be revised on nature.
A Timely Move
Motoring groups, in general, welcomed the proposals, with Robert Gifford, of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, explaining:
“This is a timely move to ensure that the requirement to take an extended driving test also has an educational dimension. Carrying a driving licence is a significant responsibility and drivers need to be reminded of that. This should ensure that the extended driving test for serious offenders is fit for purpose.”
There is also a proposal that will see the blood test rules in drink-driving cases altered, with drivers being unable to request a second blood or urine test. This is commonly used as a time wasting tactic as it can take some time to arrange, hence giving the culprit extra time to sober up. With accidents on the rise in the UK, thanks to the 30million – and rising – vehicles on the roads, such moves to make the roads safer should be welcomed by all.
One of the key factors in the calculation of car insurance premiums – gender – is soon to be removed from the equation. On Friday 21st December 2012 the European court ruling will come into effect, meaning that insurers will no longer be able to charge women less for their car insurance. British women were previously afforded this benefit on the basis that statistics prove that males, in particular the under 30s, have more car accidents and the claims they are involved in are generally more costly. As a group to classify risk, men are overall a higher risk for the companies to insure than women.
What is considered to be fair and what constitutes true equality are some of the issues raised by the EU ruling. It is the impact of this, however, that many people are unaware of. Little reason to celebrate; men’s insurance will not be reduced in line with that of women– its women’s premiums that will be increasing. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) estimates that the rise to the cost of insurance for young women will be around 25% due to these changes – this would be a few hundred pounds to the average policy. The backlash to the ruling is strong with many women feeling that their sex should be used to reflect on the statistical risk though those in favour of the ruling state the previous rules for insurance were discriminatory to men.
The picture is bleak for the youngest of female drivers, a group which may overall show a drop in the numbers who will be able to pay for car insurance. Research by the price comparison website uswitch.com indicates possibly one in ten women may now be unable to keep their car, and over a third will have to squeeze their living costs considerably to be able to pay their new higher car insurance costs.