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Other Motoring Issues

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      05.06.2012 02:43
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      We cant put a stop to most of this, but what if we tried?

      I used to love driving. I used to love getting in my car and driving. No idea where, i just drove for a random amount of time for the fun of it, maybe to see some mates, maybe to go browse the shops and sometimes even to just use the free air and water machine at a local Sainsbury's. Now though, all travel is essential, it costs too much, the fun is gone, and the way Road Laws are changing so fast I need a new highway code every 4 seconds. I have never been a fan of pollution, believe me i hate it and im not someone who thinks its ok to just carry on the way we are going but thats the problem: we cant have that balance anymore. In order to have fun we need to have lower fuel costs, less worry about global warming and then in turn, everything is cheaper. Unfortunately thats not the polluted disgusting world we live in today, and thats where it all begins on the long road to global wipeout of the earth. But then i realised something, if i was a millionaire, and global warming was a myth, i still wouldnt enjoy driving as much as i used to. Speed cameras are ready to pounce at every blind corner, road rage is out of hand completely now, there are accidents and road deaths happening every single day, traffic flow is being ruined by excessive amounts of vehicles on the road, creating traffic jams, creating yet more accidents. Pollution is out of control in cities, cars are less fun to drive with all the gadgets and gizmos that help you drive and new laws are being passed all the time to put the strain on motorists. It doesnt matter who you are, how much money you've got, or what you drive, this will all have an affect on the way you drive, and what you see on the roads each day. Recent government talk was about privatising the british roads and abolishing tax, i am completely against this because i will need to plan where i can and cant go in my own country, its like living in North Korea, its not freedom anymore. A tax disc is an unlimited pass to go anywhere and everywhere. I pay my Road Tax, I get the use of the roads in turn. Perfect. End of. Motoring is becoming more dreary, hated and agressive in my life. Take for instance road rage, i have experienced it before, seen it before and if you havent, check some youtube videos out. Search road rage. People decking one another for cutting someone up, smashing mirrors for queue jumping, things like this are making it more stressful and an unwanted part of daily life. At least for me anyway.

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        13.05.2009 14:54
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        Government grant of £5,000 towards an electric car - discussion

        Titled - GWIZZZ, £5,000 FOR METAL MICKEY! --------------------------------------------------------- No, it isn't an online auction to sell off the scary metal freak from last century; it is the latest entrapment of green policies Westminster has thrown onto the environment heap, the Electric car, which has been around for fours years already. Firstly, the green issue ----------------------------- There is one matter that we cannot control apart from Sir Fred Goodwin's pension or MP's expenses, and that is climate change. It is shocking that over the last 25 years we have now a generation that has been aware of global warming and CO2 emissions, and yet have not clamped down on the corporate giant perpetrators, by introducing green taxes half a century ago. If Westminster imposed this tax the UK would be leading the world in climate change and the US would have been forced to tow the line also. Yet we have wasted time. Time we cannot afford to lose. Our politicians have been bathing in wealth from the super rich companies who have systematically exploded billions of carbon emissions into the atmosphere without any concerns of an iron-fist green regulatory body on their cases. It all sounds too familiar doesn't it! Now the wealth has been handed back by Westminster to ailing banks in their own words 'to protect the taxpayer'. So where are the funds to protect us from a mightier force being 'climate change?' By not having green taxes in-place for a quarter of a century another financial black-hole has appeared in redeeming this serious matter; and it doesn't depend on world market share-prices. GWizzz, £5,000 for 'Metal Mickey' ------------------------------------------ I am an avid believer in green policies and I feel this should be a good green ethical one when it comes to greener motoring and CO2 emissions; yet I grasp at whether it is right that the government to levy this through at such a pace, because the incentives of cash will not be ready till 2011 or maybe 2012. - To put it bluntly the technology was available in the mid 1980's. One of the earliest forms of electric transport was Sir Clive Sinclair's C4 death-trap, it was a knee-high three wheeler with as much style as a drunk Russell Crowe balancing on a bar-stool. The concept was 'spot-on' but the execution was like watching a banker sealing a risky deal, it was all wrong. No one has seen Sir Clive since as he was carted off to the funny farm, whose have the last laugh now eh? At the moment the whole pipe dream is just a sound-bite to us normal folk, except in London as there are now 1900 units sold and on the streets of our great city, these are called the 'Gwiz' the hybrid electric hub-matic transformers are to me like a car equivalent to 'Metal Mickey'; they're designed for non family orientated individuals who like to be the first in trying new things out, regardless of how ridiculous you look. It should suit me but I just don't like 'transformers or metal robots from the 1980's. Though I must confess Vauxhall have got the Vectram electric car and that is a slight improvement; then again I don't like Vauxhall, I'm a nightmare, I know. Westminster's sound-bite green offerings are still pretty poor when it comes to the bigger climate change issues. The whole greener motoring is fine if the correct ground work before-hand has been incorporated in our environment; but like the 'Climate Change Act' it is a farce. In Scotland alone there are only 2 Car Charging points at present, unless Westminster reforms the initial CCA 2008 prompto the whole green policy levy will go up in smoke in a load of CO2 emissions and taxpayers cash, which is currently estimated at 404 Billion by the year 2050, not exactly great policy making and will inevitably rise, plus it depends on the GB pound strength in the world markets in years to come. The current proposals are part of a minuscule £250m strategy that is a sound-bite for a revolution in Britain's road transport network based on ultra-low carbon vehicles; no signatures have been made and at present Westminster is looking at the general public response with the measures, which proves to me they do not have a clue what they're doing. It is a currently Geoff Hoon, the transport secretary, and Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, with the aim of turning the ignition to the market for cleaner road vehicles and slashing the UK's CO2 emissions sound-bite who will be at the bottom of the list of forth coming cabinet ministers who will follow until anything will be done. One piece of valuable information for you statisticians out there, apparently 35% of all our Carbon emissions caused by domestic transport, of that 58% are caused by the motor car, surprising stats especially when in all our daily lives we have known about CO2 emissions since the mid 1980's, and of course adding from that fact the electric car won't stamp-out complete CO2 freedom, we still will require massive amount of fossil fuels to run the scheme, so it all looks likely to be a load of hot-air, sadly non emission free. I don't doubt the emission overall will improve because of the Gwhiz and other brands, but it doesn't solve the problem if Westminster chooses to be entirely emission free, which I can state is not their plan. Their long term plan is to tax petrol beyond belief and fossils fuel further to bridge the gaps incurred by the green black-hole for over twenty five years. The fact the MP's have exploited their own expenses for many years like pigs in a trough is not the same, even though it's the same green notes and believe you me the culture of greed does not go overnight. The current price for a electric car is around £18,000 and that is a big drop in the ocean for many cash-strapped recession hit people who want to be green. The choices in designs are pretty poor and quite frankly bordering on the off-beat, maybe ugly, definitely mundane, sorry 'Metal Mickey'. I truly feel the government will have to give a huge cash incentive in two years time to even give the impression they're opting for greener motoring by 2011. By then the electric car may get a bit more stream-lined or become an UK icon as the Austin Mini has. At the moment it is just the 2004 Gwiz that glimpse through London rush-hour going only about 2 miles then charged up in a garage; the owners then would do the food-shop in the ever reliable petrol guzzler counter-acting any good they did to the environment earlier in the day, this is the main trend, as they see the electric car as a small 'play thing' rather than a vital part of life. Yes there is a recognized understanding but again no proper 'order' or regulation such as 'green police' to stop people using the easier accessible fuel guzzler. Again, these regulations need to be implemented if the electric car is to be a mainstream lifestyle. - Leading up to the 2011 electric car deal that would enable the UK public to take advantage of the £3,000 - £5,000 incentive., it is estimated about 200 manufactured models will be available to purchase, and test drive. Hopefully by then Lotus would have got on the bandwagon and make the electric car design sexier, just like the Mini E series as tried to do with their electric motor munster and failed. A huge marketing campaign will have to be decisive out reaching to all markets enticing a feel-good factor that just may invite aging Michael Winner saying "It's electric you know"; or maybe get Katie Price saying "It'll have to be electric now". What happens if there is a power-cut? The MP's wouldn't be able to get back to their third homes, in Southampton; maybe it could be a good thing. One thing is for sure if the government is serious about this scheme; the government has to get all car manufacturers working together in building the motors of tomorrow. Westminster will have to bail-out the motor industry from certain closures. Chrysler have hatched a deal with the US federal government as they have momentarily been saved by the current global financial crisis. Westminster may have promised that funds of over £100 Million will be available for electric car manufacturing collectively, but I do fear that it may become pie in the sky if it is sifted through under the current Climate Change Act 2008. The rhetoric that seems to spill out of Westminster is under nourished of basic true content. Whether the UK is able to come up with the grants of up to £5,000 per road user by 2011 is a promise too far, our government seem to use unborn policies and shove them into the public domain as a 'think tank'. David Martell, CEO of the Electric Car Corporation feel the government yet again 'dragging their heels' on green issues regarding funding as the mandatory carbon requirements are available for a '4' seated car named the Citroen C1 today - In my opinion the PM is capitalistic seduced by huge corporations such as BP and that is inadvertently slowing green policies down to a minimal. You just got to look at where we are with corporate 'green taxes', it has been disregarded. The bare facts in London alone speak for themselves, there are 900 petrol stations in and around the capital, but there are less than 10% of that figure for electric car charging points, and where are they? The rest of the UK the stats are worse. At this time the C1 costs £16,850, it is double the fee for the petrol version; even with the higher end of the supposed grant of £5,000 it is not viable. The petrol guzzling CO2 pumping lifestyle looks a better option, the only way to embark on a greener UK is to incorporate incentives. There are many Jeremy Clarkson's out there. What is happening at the moment is that there is a product in the US market-place called 'Smart Electric Home-Care Chargers'. The Washington Company is ahead of the greener motoring grand prix, the device is ahead by some distance as it is combining wireless technology that guarantees that consumers get the cheapest deals to for charging their electric car, it opens up the market for a bigger picture whereby monopolizing won't be an issue. The government have looked at Europe at being their competitors in the greener motoring race, and all we have to offer is a few 'Metal Mickey's' - Gwiz! - Westminster it is about time you pulled your noses out of the money gravy troughs, the rest of the civilized world is taking the 'Metal Mickey' out of us. Thank you for reading this article, it would be great to hear your thoughts. Copyright - 05 - 2009 1st2thebar

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          10.04.2009 23:41
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          It ain't easy out there on those roads!

          Whilst browsing through dooyoo I can across the title 'Other Motoring Issues' and I had to get a few issues off my chest. I have been driving for 21 years. I have never had a fine and believe I am a reasonable driver. I believe I am a better driver than I was when I first started driving. There are a few things I need to say though (i) Why do most drivers now feel as if they don't want to give way anymore. There are exceptions but these are the minority. Whenever I drive my daughter to school I have to edge my car out into oncoming traffic just to get across the road. The only way anybody gives way is when I'm half way across the road. Even my daughter can't believe just how inconsiderate other drivers can be. It usually ends up with a driver shouting or swearing or hooting the horn. So what is the alternative in rush our traffic - stay at the junction all day!! (ii) Cars feeling it necessary when I am obeying speed limits, to overtake me and flash me when I am in the fast lane. Or those who are about 2 feet behind me. Now if anybody does this I purposely slow down and don't move over. (iii) Parking assistants hiding behind corners waiting for a driver to nip into a shop for 5 minutes. Then getting out and booking the driver. (iv) Police parking on double yellows and popping into the chippy or newsagents. One rule for one - one for another. Well I've got it off my chest now.

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            25.10.2008 00:33
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            Motoring issues.

            These are the things that get me really annoyed, upset and generally disheartened about drivers and motoring in general. I tend to walk anywhere less than three miles these days unless in a hurry, and use a bike when the weather is fine. Number one offence in my book. Red light jumpers. Not only do people jump red lights, dangerous in itself, there seems to be a growing trend to jump them AND speed up to get through them. There is a set of lights near where I live that has had three major crashes in the last two months. A 10 year old lad got knocked down whilst the crossing 'green man' was on, the driver carried on driving. There is no need for it, it is selfish and dangerous, stop. 2. Kids with no seatbelts on. Come on parents are you that stupid or uncaring that you are not bothered if your childs brains are all over the inside of your windscreen if the above red light jumper plows into you 3. Texters. Using a mobile is bad enough but texting, you stupid, stupid people. This is true, my wife and I saw a guy on the M1 (black '07 plate BMW) with a phone to his ear (held my his shoulder/neck) and texting with his right hand....he overtook us and we were doing about 70mph. 4. Motorway lane dodgers. People who cut inside and then outside in motorway jams do three things: Annoy other motorists, put themselves and others in danger, and, by causing people to brake, you actually slow the traffic more, doh! 5. Motorway tailgaters. If i am on the outside lane doing 70-80 mph to overtake a lorry in the middle lane, flashing me, beeping your horn and giving me a w****r sign will not make me cross in front of the lorry or speed up, in fact, I will deliberatley drive more sedately. Less serious but quite annoying: 1. Fog lights. You do not need front foglights on when it is not foggy, and in the dark they are particularly annoying, oh yea, against the law too. 2. Too many cars per household. Four people, one house, six cars, why? 3. Parking in disabled bays when not disabled. Just selfish and blocks up the bay for someone that does need it. Same goes for parent child spaces. 4. Local school run. I actually saw, as I was walking, someone get in their car, one child drive less than 400 metres to a school and drop the child off, bad enough if she was off to work afterwards...no....off she went back to her house, less than 400 metres away, and parked up. 4x4's that only ever go off road by parking halways up the pavement outside school. Minor misdemeanours: Throwing litter out of the window, tooting up outside a house instead of getting out and knocking, parking and not bothering buying a parking ticket, big exhausts on little cars, parking over two parking bays/lines, parking the car at the car wash and then going to get a car wash voucher whilst I have mine and are stuck waiting for you, 'child on board' thingies, meaningful stickers, too many cars altogether...........alright I'll stop now, c'mon Dooyoo with my suggestions otherwise people may have to read more of this rubbish.

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              15.09.2008 11:59
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              Pay the man!

              As expected the government has found yet another ruse to make more money out of us. Those with the European Union plastic driver's licenses may not be aware that when they run out you now have to pay a sizable sum to renew them. I'm still on the old pink slip myself and it runs out in 2038, but the new higher tech ones have a loophole where the Treasury can get yet more out of you with this unexplained additional fee. Few people are likely not to renew their driver's license because of that fee. It's also the same with passports now. Another bit of Euro driver's license madness is this new approved motor cycle test that's now Europe wide from September 29th. According to Newsnight (the popular BBC news magazine program), due to some conflict between the miles-per-hour and kilometers breaking ruling and our road restrictions the emergency stop speeds of 30kmh and 50kmh specified in their tests are causing a major paradoxe here and costing the taxpayers millions. British Ministers have seemingly blindly signed up to the test, not realizing that the bike has to reach 50kmh for the stage two breaking test to occur , which, of course is 31mph, illegal in built up areas where people and instructors teach in the U.K. Now Britain has to spend £70 million pounds to build new off road tests centers to counter the problem and so test can actually be held legally. Taking students out on to 40mph roads is going to be expensive with those high petrol prices and time consuming getting out of the urban zone, although most of the local bikers around here do twice that over the local golf courses. Apprently only 29 of the 39 test centers will be ready by the September 29th start day so it's wise not to take the bike test and lessons this winter kids. Some riders in Scotland will be more than 100 miles from the nearest centre whilst there's none planned for the Isle of Wight. Cynical old me may say the ministers who didn't ask for an exemption on 31mph when they signed the thing at the time probably had shares in the test centers. Or they are just incompetent idiots and the European Parliament is taking the pi** again. I think it's the latter. Where money can be saved without the bloody Europeans meddling is drivers cutting back on petrol costs in the U.K. According to the Daily Mirror (I think), in the first six months of the year high fuel prices and the dipping economy saw roughly a 20% fall of traffic on our roads, reflected in a likewise rise in petrol and insurance costs. This has seen two major changes in traffic flow with less congestion and some thing more unexpected, the average speed of cars falling from 63 mph in June 2007 to 62 mph in June 2008, rather contradictory to the congestion fact. 21 and 31 -between the M1 interchange and Thurrock, Essex. The traffic flow was measured by 'Trafficmaster', using its 7500= CCTV cameras on our major trunk roads and motorways and its 80,000 black boxes in the cars of its subscribers. It clearly showed it wasn't jams slowing the cars but the drivers, conserving fuel by staying home or even costing with the engine off down hills. Demand for gas guzzling cars has also collapsed. These are not green conscious motorists and truckers falling for the global warming hype (look out your window) but drivers trying to save money, the only real way to focus their minds on driving issues if you want the green mantra to get through. The Green Party and the Liberal Democrats suggested five pounds a galleon a year or so back but now they have it and you see the mess the economy is in because of it they seem to have gone quiet on eco issues. I do hope these green hippies will go away now. It's not like it's hot and sunny out there. Now if we say traffic has got slower by 1 mph nationally and there are 20% less cars on the road (meaning car journeys) then its will be intriguing to see if speeding fines have also dropped at the same ratio. I think you all know the answer to that one. I do believe the government, hooked on this speeding revenue, has recently allowed cops to use disguised vans with cameras in the back to catch more speeders. Coupled with the new generation of average speed cameras I can only see the numbers rising. As they catch us doing 35mph on a 30 in the middle of nowhere at night. It's also claimed that the cameras have saved far few lives than they actually have. Under current rules cameras are erected on roads were there have been eight accidents in three years, including four serious crashes, which, if taken literally, could be pretty much on any stretch of unmeasured road sequence. However in a country the size of Britain, clusters of accidents are not always caused by dangerous driving roads or speed. Driver error, simple bad luck, or drunks can play a part. If a camera goes up in one of those fluke spots then its inevitable road crashes numbers will fall and so partnerships claim the camera has been successful. The last national accident reduction figures were released in 2006 and showed a 22% drop in accidents and a 42% drop in fatalities at camera sites, what you would expect. We all jam the breaks on so to avoid a ticket. The government says the 8000 plus speed cameras save around 110 lives a year, where as the adjusted figures for other factors say it's nearer 50 lives. What is certain is that 1.8 million tickets were issued in 2006 at £100 million pound profit. The most deadly road in my region, the 30 Mile Drain in Norfolk, has no speed cameras on it, presumably because the traffic flow is low and so would not generate any hard cash. I'm sure some do good dooyers will be screaming there's no need to speed but I bet they aren't drivers and bet they have never been late to get somewhere that may see you fired if you don't. The good news is that the oil price-and so eventually petrol- has fallen from an all-time high of $147 per barrel to yesterdays $92 a barrel. The problem is that because sterling is so week all of those barrels are paid for in dollars around the world and so the drops have not be as fast as we hoped, still hurting the economy. I'm predicting prices will stabilize around $70 by Christmas and so Sterling will recover. But these big bank collapses may see a run on oil again. If you aren't moving very fast on the roads because of fuel rises then its wise not to stop, a parking warden never far away. Bet you didn't know that in Britain, half of all parking ticket appeals end in success. But only 1% of us appeal. Maybe 99% of us are just lazy parkers and do break the stringent rules or maybe we just don't have the time to fight the system stacked heavily against us. Who hasn't found a warden lurking at your car when you have paid for the ticket but it's about to tick over to make the council £60 quid!!!! Northampton town centre is in huge decline because of the wardens over zealous ticketing. Most of these successful appeals, of course, are in comfy middle-class towns where councils don't need to hire 40 wardens to fleece their residents out of yet more cash to pay for asylum seekers and lay-abouts. Where there's no escape from parking revenue these days are big NHS hospitals. Some £110m raised through charges last year by raising hard cash from patients, relatives, visitors and even staff. It's something you don't think about until you have to use your hospital and for me it hit home in the Christmas /New Year of 2006/07 break when my dad died of dementia. We were charged £1.25 an hour to park the car in the official car park on Christmas Day. This was pure exploitation and the excuse used that they have to charge so to stop commuters stealing the places was nailed on as bo**locks there and then. They were milking all concerned to make money. According to the the Daily Mail, Nottingham University Hospital Trust topped the list by raking in £2.65 million off the sick and concerned last year. Overall, nationally, £78 million was paid by visitors and £25 million by staff. I know a nurse who has to pay a parking permit of over £350 per year! And because she does different shifts she needs to park at the hospital to avoid and any dangers at night. How did Great Britain get to that point? (Above infomation aquired from reading proper newspapers and magazines)

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                18.08.2008 08:47
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                A rant about loony driving by Miss Perfect Driver. :-)

                I drove to Leeds last week over the M62. It's usually a really enjoyable drive with fantastic scenery. Unfortunately the weather was bad and to add to my joy, somebody had declared that it was 'National Dickhead Day' on the roads, without telling me about it first. Now then; Can one of my esteemed fellow reviewers please tell me why........ A. White vans are exempt from the 'Don't drive down the hard shoulder at 70mph because the emergency services need access' rule? B. Huge lorries driven by unshaven Michelin men don't have to have mud/spray guards on their wheels that actually do anything? C. Some people have a natural gift to see through the aforementioned lorrie's spray and feel safe to carry on at 80mph? D. These same people have been granted God given powers to even see through thick fog and drive as though they are at a Grand Prix? E. Most peoples indicators don't work? F. Some drivers have secretly purchased sole use of the middle lane and are allergic to the first lane? G. Certain drivers are determined to climb up my exhaust pipe? H. BMW drivers never ever say thank you in any way when I let them into traffic. I. People stopped on the hard shoulder can pull out suddenly (and I mean suddenly!) in front of me when there is no-one behind me for about a quarter of a mile? Okay, I admit it! They were totally rhetorical questions. I think I know the answers really but I would be interested in your take on them. I, of course, am a totally faultless driver who never puts a foot wrong and who never has off days. The same as you are! But really!!!!!! I just find myself baffled at the stupidity I see. So how come these people survive when logic dictates that most of them shouldn't? End of rant. (Until I need to go to Leeds again!) :)

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                  16.10.2002 05:05
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                  I've been driving for a long time now, well not constantly driving and I'm not actually driving at this moment, well I might be when you're reading but not when I was writing, ach you know what I mean. It's been about seventeen years and during that time I have came across some right twonks out on the road. I toyed with the idea of listing some of the individual tosspot behaviour that I have come across, but those people are probably dead by now anyway so I'll stick to a more general theme. If you are ever charged with road rage simply print out this list and present it to the judge, the case will be thrown out and you'll maybe even get a medal for smacking one of these fools in the chops. So, without further ado let me present to you Charlies Motoring Morons Chart. I was going to do a top ten, but hardly anyone reads any more so I won't waste my time. Umm, five it is then. 5. If I'd done a top ten, like I was going to, I'd have started with "straight in at number ten is Tony Blair. Oops, that was a different opinion, sorry", I'm glad I didn't though coz that was crap patter. At number five is the middle-lane motorway moron. Picture the scene, it won't be hard because you see it every time you go on a motorway. A wide open road, an empty inside lane, a queue of traffic lining up in the fast lane to overtake some plonker in a 1987 Ford Fiesta. The motorways in Britain are murder at times, but they needn't be if people would use them correctly. Here's the lowdown, you drive in the inside lane until you catch up with the person in front. If you want to overtake them you move into the middle lane. If there is someone slower than you already overtaking in the middle lane you move into the fast lane. When you have passed them you move back into the inside lane. Simple. If I catch you hogging the middle lane don't be surprised if I run you off the road and stick your 1987 Ford Fiesta right up your own tailpipe. 4. Speed Freaks. Nuff said, they do my box in. I mean, take the guy that I spotted the other day whizzing down a country road like a maniac. Jeez, he must have been doing 75-80mph when I overtook him! Really though, and particularly with town/city driving, what are they gaining? A minute, two? Is it worth putting your own life, and more importantly other people's, at risk to get somewhere a couple of minutes sooner? In some circumstances it might be understandable, although not acceptable, but 99 times out of 100 it's some plonker going to the shops or suchlike. Chill out fer chris'sake. 3. Suburban Street Parkers, actually, anyone who parks in stupid places, but mostly suburban street parkers. We've all been there haven't we, driving up a street with cars parked on either side and an approaching vehicle. It's showdown time, you would have to reverse half a mile to let him/her pass, and he/she would have to do the same. You're not budging so you start reading a book to show them you're prepared to wait all night, they do the same. More cars come behind you, and more behind them. Eventually you both get out your cars and both end up in hospital with immediate physical injuries, and longer-term stress related disorders. I know it doesn't apply to all such streets, but in many cases have a look at the empty driveways. WHY do people not park in their own driveway? Is it because they are too crap to be able to reverse out in the morning, or are they just crap full stop. Never mind parking tickets, I'd take their cars off them and park them right up their...oops, sorry. Anyhoo, long live traffic wardens, they do a grand job sorting out the lazy *******'s who don't park in non-annoying places. 2. People who aren't like me in general in general in general. I can drive reasonably well, in fact I think I'm quite good at it. Lots of other people can drive fine as well, tho se are the people I mean by 'like me'. People who know how to control the car and are confident enough but not overly cocky. But there are a few classes of people who should basically just give up, walk, get the bus/train/cab. Old people, not all of them, but the ones who can't see three feet in front of them and pull out of junctions in front of you at 3mph and continue at that speed forever. Or learners who haven't quite mastered the art yet, y'know the ones who hit the kerb one minute and cross the centre line the next (though personally I blame the instructors for taking them out on the open road, particularly in the rush hour, death to instructors). Or cocky little twerps with baseball caps and thump thump music driving daddys car, or sales reps in company cars, or white van man who think they own the road - don't they know *I* own the road?? If you ain't like me get off the road dude, it's mine, all mine y'hear. 1. The ultimate moron spot is reserved for a habit peculiar to the female of the species. I've tried my hardest to find a bloke guilty of this one but sorry girls, it's your exclusive domain. This one is scary, but it's perhaps one that you haven't really noticed - do look out for it though, I can guarantee that when you see it happening there will be a female behind the wheel. I call it the womans three foot to one inch rule (well I don't actually call it anything but I thought I should give it a name for this opinion). It mostly happens on narrow streets where cars are parked, but it can occur anywhere that there is a stationary obstacle on the offenders side of the road. Ladies, when there is a stationary vehicle on your side of the road, and a moving one coming towards you on the other side it is wiser to leave a bit more space between you and the MOVING vehicle, really, believe me. You don't need to leave a gap of three feet between you and the parked car, particularly when that only leaves an inch between you and the moving car. Hitting the moving car will be worse, it will be, think about it, it ain't rocket science chickies. Add to the list if you want, I'm off now to find some clown driving with their fog lights on in a fogless situation - I fancy giving someone a well deserved raging ;o)

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                    16.07.2002 19:03
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                    ****!. I was thrust forward, smacked my head on the wheel, and the offending barge which happened to impede my progress sailed across the roundabout, never to return. I had hit the dozy sod in the rear after he singularly failed to note the complete absence of any traffic at the entrance to the roundabout. Yours truly was behind, observing said absence of traffic to the right, and moving slowly forward at the same time. The inevitable happened, and Polo attempted to climb up Barge's exhaust. My first ever accident in 18 years!.. and I ride bikes as well. The damage to the Polo was incredible considering the low speed shunt, and to cut a long story short the insurance company decided to write it off for £900. Armed with this bounty, I decided upon several choices of car as a replacement. Elsewhere on this site I have waxed lyrical over the vituous of buying decent cars for peanuts ( see Cheap Jag story), and this time was no exception. Fundamental requirement were for a 5 door hatch - for ease of handling a particularly wriggly 18 month old son and another on the way - with a bit of power for handling Cumbrian fells, and preferably something that would not fall to bits in the next year or so. This narrowed it down to a Fiesta LX, Peugeot 205, or VW Golf. The usual ports of call were trawled (Autotrader - now on web v.good - local rags, enthusiast club websites), and a few calls were made Various things to keep in mind when buying privately If the seller is dodgy, then likely as not, so is the car. Failure to answer simple questions is not a good sign Dodgy neighbourhood is not a good sign. The background in Autotrader photos sometimes gives this away - burning skips, boarded up windows, people hanging upside down from gibbets are not good omens. Horrid noises, rattles, clunks, difficulty in driving means you should run away quickly. No documents also equals no sale. Sometimes the sellor can be an indicator of the car's condition. My own personal rule of thumb is as follows Young lad = thrashed Older lad = trashed Mid aged bloke = Hyped up for the sale, be sure to look carefully Old bloke = Tarted up, not gone very far, perceived as bargain, but in reality nearly worthless Young woman = superficially cared for, but in reality neglected Older woman = hardly any maintenance, little TLC, used as shopping trolley. No metaphors intended After just missing out on a £500 L reg Fiesta LX, arguing the toss with dreamers, and pouring scorn on oil burning wrecks, I plumped for a Golf. Not any old Golf, but a Mk2 GTI 5 door in white no less! Now this sets all sorts of alarm bells ringing, it being a boy racer's delight, but in all honesty, I couldn't find much wrong with it. The engine was sound even at 98K on the clock, the bodywork was good, as was the interior, exhaust blew a little, and the wheels juddered at higher speeds, but nothing too serious. £650 was exchanged and the world was well. The driving position is excellent, the driver's seat having a tilt mechanism ( actually so do the other seats, just that the lever is missing), the engine is very tractable, and the handling superb. Build quality is typically Teutonic in its functionality, although the interior is a little drab. All switchgear feels suitably tough, and it even boasts a trip computer, sunroof and alloys. I immediatly changed the oil (single most important maintanance task) plugs, distributor cap, rotor arm, and friendly independant VW specialist fixed the exhaust. Wheels and track rod will also be attended to. Since then the car has been excellent. The injected 1.8 is a joy to drive, and is still a potent motor. I added a can of injector cleaner which seems to have made it a little more responsive. I reckon on 35mpg, and so far no oil consumption. For £650, an absolute steal. OK add on anothe r £100 for titivation, and instead of a car for general use and abuse, I have a decent motor. Defeats the object a little, as doubtless I'll spend money on it now to keep it in good order rather than letting it rust away gracefully. I await the Golf's elevation to classic status.

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                      27.01.2002 16:16
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                      January 18th 1978 the last VW Beetle rolled off the line at Wolfsburg BRD. But that doesn't matter since the evolution of the automobile had already ended much earlier. The age of the family automobile ended a few years earlier as the last great majestic American made 9 passenger station wagons were scaled down and ultimately cast onto the dustbin of history. Sure since then a few temporal forays into public acceptance have been made by Ford and Volvo but no one has attempted to replicate or replace the king of family vehicles, the 1974 Chevy Caprice wagon with a 454 inch V-8 engine. And I will tacitly explain how this has been the downfall of American life. A long time ago families used to spend time together. They went places in their cars together. The preffered manner of travel was in the family car, not being strewn across 7 different aisles of a cramped airplane, watching a sanitized version of "Meet the Parents" while eating politically correct meals and browsing through snobby airmall catalogs while travelling to some bullshit destination in Orlando, a 300 square mile phoney tourist trap designed to fleece families of every penny they had while catering to every individual in the family rather than the family unit. Nope, people got into their Safari wagon and drove to the beach or to the smokey Mountains. Now people drive around in SUVs and Mini vans that have tellies and individual stereo jacks so nobody has to listen to anyone else instead of singing songs together in that 1976 Ford Fairmont wagon with the nice wood panels. All these people try to figure out when and where our kids all started listening to Marilyn Manson, painting their fingernails black and torturing the stray cats and learning all the lyrics to 2LiveCrew instead of learning their Sunday School Memory verses. I will tell you when it happened, it happened when people started buying these chickenshit cars instead of a nice big Lemans wagon. A kid used to be able to get in the wagon and dad would slam that great big heavy rear gate that was formidable like the Great Wall of China and that kid knew he belonged with his family and was safe with his family. Now with all the crap in these cars a kid feels like he is nothing more than a fashion accessory or a humble distraction to his parents life when they put in all this crap to amuse them while mom listens to some self help book on tape or Yanni on the tape deck. So when did our kids start turning out like shit? When we told them, by proxy of the auto manufacturers and our travel habits that they were shit. When a kid rode in a Buick Roadmaster wagon, he knew he was a prince and his dad was the king as they rode down the interstste at 85 MPH with that big 455 humming, listening to The Boston red Sox play in the World series. What is a kid supposed to think about his place in the world with his dad driving a damn Yugo or Dodge Intrepid? How in the hell can he sit in th eback with the seats folded down and play with his GI Joes in a freaking Toyota Camry? My only intent in life right now is to get me one of those nice big old 9 passenger wagons so my kids will know they belong to a family that loves them. Maybe my mom's friend Carol will sell me hers.

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                        18.01.2002 18:44
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                        There are so many ops on garages and car dealerships and how they rip people off etc, but I haven’t read one where you get the other side of the argument. So here goes. As you may have guessed, I am in the car trade. I do in fact own my own car dealership or showroom, call it what you like. First, let me give you a run down of my credentials in the Motor Industry, so that you can see whether my claims are just and fairly subjective. I left work in April 1997, as I wanted to be a salesman. This was largely due to two book’s I read called “TNT the power within you!” and “Soft Sell: winning without intimidation” Now I have always been a person with a strong, if sometimes overpowering, aura, and I believed in finding a job by walking through the door and asking for one, rather than going through interviews. I found a job the very same day, as a double-glazing salesman for a company I am glad to say, don’t exist anymore. I was sacked after 2 weeks for refusing to sign up an unemployed couple for double-glazing with their house as collateral. I knew they couldn’t afford the payments, but they got carried away with the sales pitch and thought of their house looking lovely. The sales manager told me that I would never make a salesman, as I wasn’t tough enough! I walked out of that office with my head held high, and promised myself I would be a great salesman, just to prove him wrong! The next day I walked into a Fiat garage, and they had no vacancies. The next garage I walked into was a high profile used car operation with a tendency to lure people in with finance deals. The manager said I could start on Saturday. I sold three cars on my first day, and two on the Sunday. They took me on permanently on the Monday. I joined half way through the month, but was only two cars shor t of being the top salesman for April. After 6 months of working with this company, we had a huge fall out over pay. In my best month, I sold 54 cars and took home less than a thousand pound. (My first month, April I sold 18 cars and took home £2000) I am not a drama man when it comes to leaving, so Friday night, when everyone had gone home, I put my keys through the letterbox and went home. The following Monday I walked into the largest Car Dealership in the area and asked for a job. I was taken on two days later as a used car salesman. Three months later, I was promoted to Finance Manager, due to my accountancy background, from the navy and my ability to up-sell warranties and other add on products. After winning national awards as Fords top Payment Protection seller and a golden microphone for best sales presentation, I was again promoted to Sales manager. The highlight of this was in April 2000, Auto Trade Magazine nominated me as a contender for Used Car Retail Dealer of the Year. I went to the Hilton Hotel in London, and beat Porsche, BMW, and 6 other dealers to walk away with the title. Two things grabbed me then. The words of the Double Glazing Sales Manager, and the belief that Sherry, my wife had in me and her support when I walked out of two jobs to pursuit my dream. Later that year, I was made redundant, when they centralised the operations of the dealership to Nottingham. Living in Poole, Dorset, I had no inclinations to move. After a short spell with Dale Carnegie Training and Westover Nissan, I decided I couldn’t trust another company, and had to strike out with my own business. I spoke to a good friend who was then a sales manager at Bournemouth Ford, and we decided to open our own place. And here I am! Right, I can only say that in the years I have worked in this industry, I have been disgusted by t he way Dealerships have treated customers, and customers have treated dealerships. Here are some examples of customer issues I have dealt with and see if you can see where I am coming from. A young man had bought a 6-year-old car from the Ford dealership I worked at, and had driven the car for 11 months, 2 weeks. The engine seized up through gunk building up and blocking some technical thingummies! The warranty company refuse to pay as they said the car hadn’t been properly serviced. He brought his mother in to argue the case (he was 27) and they flew of the handle at me straight away. Now I had not been informed of any of this, so I had to sit them down, take the abuse for a few minutes and then sort the issue out. After two hours of dealing with the warranty company, they reluctantly agreed that the servicing was fine, and they agreed to pay £1000. The new engine, fitted was £1500. I spoke to the customer and said that they would get £1000 towards the cost. They refused it and said they wanted the whole engine paid for. I could see their point, however the warranty book did say £1000 maximum claim, and they had had the car for almost a year. No budging or even sensible conversation. I spoke to the workshop and they agreed to discount the labour and make the total cost £1200. I went back to them and said that I would split the difference and we both paid £100 each. No, no way would they budge or pay a penny. By now they were annoying other customers and shouting etc in the showroom. I had two choices. I phoned trading standards and asked their advice. They told me that I was well within my rights to tell them to pay the £500 as they were given a warranty, which covers the part damaged. So I should then go and tell them that if they wanted me to repair their car, they paid for it. Or I could give in to them a nd pay the lot. I went back to the workshop and haggled with them, and eventually got them to do the job for the £1100. I told the customer, who then left the dealership, but not before asking for a courtesy car, which I provided. Three days later, when they had the engine out, a technician noticed the clutch was worn, and would probably last another 6 months to a year. He said while the engine was out, he could put one in at no labour charge, just the £56 part cost. I thought that was pretty good going and phoned the customer to let him know. Ouch! He thought that I should supply him the clutch free of charge and refused to return the courtesy car unless I did! That was the last straw. I told them to fit the engine and old clutch, sent the customer a legal letter saying his car was ready for collection, if he didn’t pick it up by Friday, there would be a £50 a day storage fee, plus a £40 a day fee for the courtesy car. I cancelled the insurance on the courtesy car and informed him that if he drove the car or even parked it in a public place he was breaking the law. He can for his car later that day. Now that is one scenario where you can’t do enough for someone. Another customer came to pick up a brand new Ford Escort CL and while he was filling in the paperwork, a valeter drove it through a shutter with the hatch open, bending the roof out of shape and wrecking the car to the cost of £5000. The customer couldn’t believe it! I showed him the car so that he knew I wasn’t lying to him, and he was nearly in tears. As this was our fault, I showed him an Escort LX, with air con, a feature his CL did not have, and said he could have that instead at no extra cost. He was over the moon. I had the car ready in 4 hours and he walked away shaking my hand and singing my praises! Even now, with my own dealership, I will do anything to make sure I do not knowingly sting a customer. A lot of the cars I sell are Part Exchange Bargains, which come with no warranty. I tell the customer, drive the car for a week, if you don’t like it, bring it back and I will refund you your money, IN FULL! That isn’t a sales ploy, but a genuine gesture from myself to maintain a high level of customer service, something I strive for in life. I have had an old chap come back three times with a F plate Nissan, the horn went one time, and I fixed it at no cost to him. That is how most dealerships I know work, they will gladly help you if you are honest and don’t shout and ball at them. What other industry can you think of where the seller has to take so much crap from people? I still despise the look of contempt that customers have when they talk to me (not all, but some are so ignorant!) The Arthur Daley’s still exist, and common sense tells you which ones they are. Look for a reputable garage, or better still, ask people where they bought their car from and how good/bad the buying experience was. Ask a garage about its after sales service, and if they wont let you return the car in 1 week for a genuine reason, then don’t buy it from them. But remember this! A car showroom/dealership is there to make money, not lose it. If you want a cheap car, buy privately and have literally no comeback or guarantee. Go to the auctions and pray you have good advice or knowledge. Or buy a car from a dealer with guarantees, warranty and good faith. Just go easy, we like to be spoken to with a civil tongue. I have heard horror stories about garages, and most of them can be resolved by talking to the garage or Trading Standards. Don’t threaten the garage with trading standards though, unless they wont hel p you. If someone does that to me, I say fine, go to Trading Standards. When they phone me up, I say that I am quite happy to resolve the situation, but I wont talk to the customer until they stop threatening me! Trading Standards laugh with me and tell the customer to try and resolve the issue before involving them. Simple isn’t it. Respect is a mirror, give it out and it reflects back at you. Enjoy your car. Angus Reid

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                          11.01.2002 16:57
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                          All the time now we here from various sources that the car is becoming essential to modern living. I would like to dispute this in as many ways as I can. We live in a commuter culture and many people will spend as much as an hour each way getting to work. It is the car that created the culture, and not the other way round. Hands up everyone who doesn't get paid for the time they spend travelling and the fuel they use? Hands up everyone who can think of a better way to spend that time. Hands up if you don't actually enjoy it and find it stressful? Is anyone who commutes still sat there with their hands not up. (Ok, you didn't have to actually raise your hands, but you see the point.) Commuter culture is a self fulfilling prophecy - if you have to commute to get decent jobs, if you have to be mobile and you agree to this, you are stuck with it. I would strongly advocate resisting. What constitues a short walk? My grandparent's generation thought little of walking five miles to get to a pub, see a loved one or go for music lessons, in all weathers. These days, many people can't face walking half a mile, much less any further. How many people use their cars for ten minute journeys? I see too many of them every day. Walking is good for you and it costs less. We think we need our cars though, we think we can't get anywhere without them. We think they are vital. We fear the weather - and we seem to have got the idea that cars are faster. In a busy urban environment, cars can be very slow indeed, and there are often short cuts you can use on foot. We use our cars too much, having convinced ourselves that we need them. This allows us to wear impractical clothing and footwear, and that's all the good it does us. Here's the news - you can walk a mile easily. You can walk four miles in an hour, you can walk twenty miles in a day if you are even moderatly fit. Why pay for a car and then pay to walk a tredmill in a gym? Lots of p eople do. (Im not advocating walking twenty miles, but I just thought I would make the point that it can be done.) Cars are actually rather expensive to run, and only work out cheaper than trains and buses if you have three or four people in them. You pay for the car, the tax, the insurance. You pay for the fuel and the parking, for repaires, , for RAC of AA membership, for having it washed, for getting it MOT'd, and on it goes. Work out how many hundreds of pounds your car cost you last year, go on. Cars are dangerous to your health. When you sit in a car or drive along a mian road, you are filling your lungs with the muck that your car and everyone else's car excretes. Even if you can't work up any feeling for the environment, you should be able to care about the fact that you are poisoning yourself. Many people die in car accidents every year, many more are injured or maimed. So much for convenience. It isn't convenient to be dead or in hospital. Furthermore, motorists are responsible for killing, injuring and maiming large numbers of other road users - often those not in cars. Do you want someone else's death on your conscience, becaue it's something you should contemplate. At the end of a car's life, you end up with a large pile of junk. EU regulations are requiring car manufacturers to make these metal beasties more readily recyclable. Even so, they currently represent a huge disposal problem. We consume them, we throw them away and the mound of rubbish gets higher. So, is it possible to live without a car? Most people want to live somewhere lovely and rural but want to work somewhere high powered and urban. This is not a god given right, but a luxurey. It results in dormitary towns with little life in them. Live near where you work, it's not so great a hardship (and it might make people care more about the way in which their companys impact on the immediate environment, which would be no bad thing.) I know a fair few people who walk or cycle to work. It can be done, it just takes a little will. Public transport isn't great, and it does run at limited times, esepcialy if you are out in the wilds. People like being able to go where they want when they want. This is not a god given right either. You can get about quite well using a combination of public transport, taxis and feet. I know ths because neither I nor my husband owns a car at present. This is a choice, not a matter of of being able to afford one. He walks to work, I work from home. We walk to the shops ( a mile each way) we walk to the pub (and both drink, another plus.)If we want to go long distances, we use the train mostly. It can be done. If you are disabled, or miles from anyone or anywhere else, then you have a good argument for needing a car. Otherwise, you may think you need a car, but you have probably arranged your life around the premis that you will own one, and therefore have made it necessary. That was your choice. You do have alternatives. The car is not essential and even if you have one, you do not have to use it for every journey you make.

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                            28.10.2001 01:31
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                            No sorry not the programme on sky. Men and their motors in general, well now I've got your attention. The chances are as the topic is male orientated that I may be talking about someone very like you. Although I fail to believe that there can be many more men about like my husband. If there are I feel sorry for their wives anyway. If I asked you what was your number one love would it be your wife, girlfriend, mum, dog or like my husband his car. Do I come a close second, afraid not, that position is held by his 48 ton truck. I have my own car which I use to get me from a to b, I do not particularly care whether it is clean or dirty as long as it does its job. I suppose that makes me a normal woman car owner. My husband on the other hand is having a constant deep and meaningful love affair with his car when he is not at work, which is not very often and with his lorry when he is, this on average is 70 hours per week. He has been known, quite recently in fact to get up at 6.30 a.m. to "valet" his car, before we went on holiday. When I say valet, this isn't a once a month job this is once and sometimes twice a week ritual, lasting at the least 2 hours and at the most 4. The car in question is his car. If I need to use it, which is very rarely (mainly if there is something wrong with mine), I am given numerous instructions. "Don't park next to anyone in a car park, drive away from the edge of the road to avoid the potholes, puddles and sticking out branches, etc, etc. Today has to take the biscuit. My own car, which incidently is a Rover 220 GTI, not a poncy ladies car as you probably thought. Has been behaving oddly lately. Being a mere woman I don't know why or what is wrong with it, but it is very unreliable. I have been asking my husband all week if he will drive it to and from work so that he can establish what is wrong with it and either put it right himself, or get it put righ t. This morning he decided to take it to work and when he arrived telephoned me to tell me there was nothing wrong with it. When I explained what it had been doing, he said the engine probably hadn’t got hot enough. He would buy new points, plugs and something to put in the injection system. Knowing I need the car in the morning, I had anticipated that he would do the necessary when he came in from work at 4.30 p.m. But no, what did he do he cleaned ‘my car’ and his car and told me he would do it tomorrow. Why is a piece of metal with wheels on more important than a person, what have they got that we haven’t. If you know or are one those wives, girlfriends, etc referred to earlier, then please let me know.

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                              17.10.2001 21:25
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                              I bought my car in January a 1.4 Renault Clio RT and am now starting to think insurance renewals. By the time my insurance is due for renewal I will have 1 years no claims bonus (fingers crossed). However having only passed my driving test in August I seem to be having horrendous problems getting online quotes, comments along the lines of no claims bonus cannot exceed the no of driving years. I have looked at the reviews of variious insurance companies rated on dooyoo but when I go into their sites they are quoting more than I am paying for this years insurance, and considering last year I insured as a driver who hadn't passed their test and also had 2 additional drivers on my insurance I find this quite strange. So my reason for asking for help is, has anyone had a similar experience and who did you eventually go to for insurance. Any comkments recommendations will be gratefully receieved. Susan :)

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                                06.10.2001 03:43
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                                hI well it annoys me alot that when ever we go shopping anywhere there are people parking in the disabled spaces who arent disabled and dont have disabled badges they are not considerate to people with disabilty and dont think of anyone but them selves and never will! we try telling supermarkets about it but they never seem intersted in the slightest its like disabled people dont matter and that annoys me and my hubby alot and a lot of the time the staff of these supermarkets are parked in the disabled spaces and also parents and childs GRRRR why people just DONT do it and think of disabled people i dont know but they wont think of it until sadly any of them become disabled them selves......

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                                  01.10.2001 23:56
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                                  In this age of cars, bikes and buses its no wonder children have very little awareness on how to cross roads, are unfit, and not to mention the pollution in our air these days. I know there are a few adults who do walk their children to school because they have no choice, but is that an excuse? Anyone who goes on a school run will know how difficult it is. The rush hour traffic, kids running out in the road. Its murder, so heres a thought.................... What about a WALK TO SCHOOL WEEK? Scary thought eh? Walking, what's that? Well for those who are cello taped or super glued to their cars, its easy. Get up earlier, get ready and put one foot in front of the other.. that's it. .left, right, left right. Your walking. Easy isn't it. The Walk to School campaign was created by the Pedestrians Association in response to a huge decrease in the number of children walking to school in Britain over the last 25 years, paired with over 50 per cent * increase in car travel. Research has shown that around 20 per cent of early morning and mid afternoon traffic is caused by "the school run". Around a third of those children who are driven to school live within a 15 minute walk of school. Walking provides essential exercise, half of five to 11 year olds and more than one in three boys never take the equivalent of a ten minute brisk walk each week. * (Statistics from the National Travel Survey 95/97, published by the Department of Environment and Transport.) Walk to School Week is to promote several things in our motor orientated world. To ease up the traffic on the road, to teach your child safety on the roads, to be healthy. Its no wonder that children get knocked over left right and centre these days. Children have less sense on the roads these days due to the fact that they are ferried about in cars. You can tell them about the green cross code, but the only way they are going to know, its to experience what crossing roads are like. Most children which are knocked down in my area are not on major roads, but on quiet ones. Little street roads that are not used very much. My daughter ran straight across a small lane the other day and it frightened me senseless. This lane isn't used very often by if there had been a car coming, she would of been very lucky to be alive if a car had hit her.. The Green Cross code isn't something that can just be talked about, its need practice. To have practice children of all ages need to walk. THE GREEN CROSS CODE Choose a spot were you can see clearly in both directions and no behind parked cars. Stop and wait on the pavement near the kerb. Look right and left to see if traffic coming all the time listening with your eyes and looking with your eyes. If traffic coming wait until its passed and look right and left again When all traffic has gone, walk across looking left and right as you go. Sounds simple, but it isn't. Even as adults we take unnecessary risks when crossing the roads, even with our children. This stupidity is passed to our children, who will play on roads and not see the dangers of roads and traffic. 1 in 7 children now suffer from chronic asthma and many sufferers say that car exhaust fumes make breathing difficult when they do walk to school. Many children lack in confidence, stamina and energy levels which even a brisk walk of 10 minutes will increase tenfold. For us parents, walking to school reduces the risk of heart disease, stokes and high blood pressure. What better way to stay fit and healthy than to take a brisk walk to school with your children. For those who have your excuses lined up for the comments section, I'm sorry but there isn't any excuse. If you have to go to work afterwards approach your employer and ask them if they can give you a 20 min leeway. Many employers have been approached by LARSOA ( Lo cal Authority Road Safety Officers Association) in most regions across the country and asked them for support. Ask if your employer if they are supporting Walk to School week and ask if you can be a little bit flexible with your working time. Even it its just once this week and least you are doing your peice. Live too far away from school? No problem. You can drive part the way and walk the rest. This would help by reducing parking outside school gates and clogging up the roads. Again even if its five minutes up the road, you can talk about road safety to your child however old they are. You could even drop you child at a friends house who lives nearer to school and they could walk together with their parents. Older children might like this opportunity to walk and talk, and meet up with others along the way. You don't have to just arrange it for this week, you could arrange that on one or two days a week that your child and their friend could do this. Car sharing is another possibility, especially if you have to drive or you live too far from school. It just takes two or three parents to make a rota on picking up and dropping off the children to and from school. I see mainly cars with just one child in. Just imagine if that one person could take three other children, that's 3 cars off the road. 3 cars less that are polluting the air and 3 cars less blocking up the roads around the schools. Some child minders do pick ups and drop offs to schools, again if they have a car full its a few less cars on the road. Winters coming? Ok. Ok so ideally when its raining, cold and horrible its not nice, but even if its just cold and windy, its still worth while walking. Children have a lot of fun learning about different seasons and how it effects us. You could even make it into a nature walk, collect the already falling leaves and make pictures when you get home. Wrap up warm, grab your brolly and have some fun ! Unfortunat ely cars are an essential part of our busy lives nowadays but our health is important too. Walk To School isn't about stopping parents driving to school but just to consider what impact their choice of transport has on their own and other children. Many schools have problems with parking and many haven't got the funding for on site parking either. In our society many people are getting unfit and unhealthy and exhaust fumes affect our environment and this is the drawback of owning cars. That's of course if you discount the road tax cost, petrol prices, maintenance, insurance, its an expensive job keeping a car. This week, even though its cold, it maybe wet and I might be late in going somewhere else. I shall be making a point of either walking to or from or part the way to Jess's nursery which is part of the Kilnhurst primary school where I live. Its about 30 minutes walk for me. I have a warm coat. I have a brolly and a rain cover for my younger daughters buggy if it rains. I might not walk all week, but at least I know I am doing what I can to save my families health and doing something for the environment. If you want to know more about Walk to School Week have a look on www.walk2school.co.uk http://www.walktoschool.f9.co.uk/ Or ask you school. Support Walk To School Week and look out for the summer week too!

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