The number of penalty points issued to motorhome owners driving in the Republic of Ireland has seen a significant drop of almost 10%.
The CSO (Central Statistics Office) said just under half of the points issued (48%) were for speeding, with men more likely to receive points than women. There was a rise in the overall number of offences detected, but the figures suggest that mobile home owners were being caught committing less serious offences, which attract fewer points. For example, there was an increase in the number of drivers caught on the hard shoulder of the motorway which carries a one point penalty on a licence, while speeding incurs a two point penalty. With fuel prices increasing, the last thing any owners want is points on their licence which would also mean higher motorhome insurance premiums once they have reported the points to their insurer. Mobile home owners can easily be caught out without realising it if they are driving on unfamiliar roads.
The Central Statistics Office figures also show that the number of points issued for failing to obey traffic signs fell by a huge 76%, with just eleven issued in the last twelve months. Only eight motorhome owners were penalised for negotiating a roundabout in the wrong direction, compared with twenty-eight in 2011. There was a 6% increase in points imposed for drivers caught without motorhome insurance and a similar increase in the number of mobile home owners who did not have a valid MOT Certificate. Motorhome owners are being warned that enforcement of road-traffic legislation is being made a priority in the run up to Christmas and through to the New Year.
There has been a big increase in the number of UK mobile home owners crossing the Irish Sea and exploring the gorgeous scenery that Eire has to offer. Even those who decide to stick to coastal roads are being warned that if they break the laws of the road they will receive points and a fine which could ruin a holiday and effect future insurance premiums.
Motorhome and campervan insurance companies will be delighted with Government proposals that could see drivers who are caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 30mph forced into taking extended driving tests before they get their driving licences back.
The get tough approach to motorists who have a complete disregard for the law will also be applauded by mobile home owners across the UK. Although each and every motorist in the UK will admit to having crept over the speed limit unconsciously from time to time, transgressing by over 30mph cannot be defended and doesn’t happen by accident. A driver travelling at 100mph on the motorway for instance is well aware of the fact he is travelling over 70mph.
The proposals by the Department of Transport (DfT) will see the great majority of drivers who receive a ban for a single speeding transgression now be treated in a similar fashion to those who lost their licence due to drink driving, dangerous driving and causing death by dangerous driving. Incredibly 9,000 drivers received a ban because of a single speeding offence last year, which usually indicated they were travelling more than 30 mph over the posted limit. It is thought the new proposal will also mean some drivers convicted of careless driving will receive the same treatment.
It is a brave step by the DfT because at the moment only a little over 5,000 offenders are compelled to take extended tests before they got their licence back, and each of these have been banned for a minimum of 56 days. The proposal will easily double the figure and will probably make the roads safer for the rest of us. The errant drivers will also be hit in the pocket as the extended driving test which takes approximately double the forty minutes of a conventional test also costs double the usual fee, £124 instead of £62.
Also under the same set of proposals drivers may be refused the option of a second blood test at a police station after failing a roadside breathalyser and the DfT is considering an option to confiscate the vehicles of drivers who are convicted of a drink driving offence for a second time.
A new survey of more than two-thousand 18 year olds whose parents have a motorhome shows that the youngsters can plainly see the driving faults of their parents. The survey involved asking youths from throughout the United Kingdom about their parents driving habits and was compiled to see if there are any possible destructive driving habits of parents observed by the teens that they may have picked up when they drive themselves.
According to the teens surveyed, a large number of parents (82%) will frequently talk on mobiles while driving their motorhome and 47% will often drive without a seatbelt. Not surprisingly the teens indicated that their parents are their primary driving influence. The survey also found that few of them speak up and ask a parent to stop engaging in distracting behaviour while driving. But there’s some good news in the study too; youngsters can impact their parent’s behaviour as when they do speak up 90% of parents will change their driving.
A huge 62% of the youngsters say they will talk on their mobile while driving, and approximately half who do not yet drive expect they will engage in this behaviour when they begin driving. A further 27% believe speeding is safe after seeing their parents do this.
The research will worry motorhome insurance firms as these bad habits could lead to accidents and claims on insurance policies. Parental influence on young drivers may help explain a clear connection between how younger drivers actually pick up their driving habits. Nearly 9 out of 10 of those taking part in the research (89%) describe themselves as safe drivers, yet many engage in risky behaviour that often leads to crashes, including speeding, neglecting to use seat belts, and talking on a mobile. What’s more, they do not view these as dangerous, again suggesting that they believe they are safe because their parents drive the same way.
A number of motorhome insurance firms are thinking about the future and writing to all policy holders asking them to avoid bad driving habits the younger generation may pick up by watching them drive.
Although it may come as a surprise to most holders of motorhome insurance policies, recent research suggests that the vehicle that goes whizzing past you well over the speed limit is more likely to be driven by a female rather than a boy racer.
The report, released by a leading online motor insurance company, studied over a quarter of a million quote forms to find that over 70% of convictions for driving offences against women were down to speeding offences, a clear 10% more than those for males. The survey also revealed that almost 50% of women admitted to driving through a red light and that 10% had flirted with road traffic officers to try and avoid being prosecuted once they had been stopped. Unfortunately 1 in 8 also freely admitted they used mobile devices to text people while they were driving their vehicle.
In fact the research did show that men were more likely to have points on their licence, 10% compared to just 5% of women drivers, and that they were also more likely to take risks when driving with almost 1 in 3 men saying they have taken their hands completely off the driving wheel to perform another task. It seems though that women are more easily distracted from the task of driving their vehicle safely. Over 60% said they sang and danced along to music while driving and 1 in 4 said they took their hands off the wheel for such things as fixing their hair and applying lipstick.
Steve Chelton is a claims manger at the company who collated the data and said: “Many drivers do not realise the implications of averting their attention from the road. Singing in the car is a given for most but dancing behind the wheel or performing any activity that requires both hands being removed (from the steering wheel) means that the driver has no control over the direction in which the vehicle is travelling. In a worst case scenario, this could result in a serious accident. Our research should be a wakeup call to all drivers, and we can’t stress enough the need to keep full attention to driving when behind the wheel.”