Majority Want Drink-Drive Limit Reduced
The strong message from the general public was revealed in a survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
Currently, the legal booze limit in Scotland is 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. This law came into effect in December 2014, with Police Scotland then revealing that they saw a reduction of almost 20% in drink-drive misdemeanours over the Christmas period in comparison to the previous year.
As well as wanting a reduction in the drink-drive limit, Brits also want drink-driving to receive more focus and attention over the festive period.
Close to 50% said they want more priority given to Christmas drink-drive campaigns by our police.
They point out that with more campaigning and greater awareness, more people are tested over the festive period but not convicted of drink driving.
Almost half also want the police to be granted more power so that they can randomly stop any driver to ask for a breath test.
Scottish drink-drive numbers are continuing to fall, and IAM’s chief executive officer Sarah Sillars wants more focus on a long-term solution all over the UK.
“Many of our survey participants would like to see stricter laws introduced, in order to discourage those who continue to risk one or two drinks when driving.
“Christmas is a time when people are more conscious of the risk of drink-driving and the IAM supports campaigns which makes the non-drinker the hero on a night out so that everyone stays safe.”
Ford’s Self-Driving Car Ready To Go Public
Not that it took them long – Ford have only been working on their vehicle for just over a year.
The U.S. automotive giant has announced plans to start testing its autonomous car in January 2016, with Palo Alto primed as the initial test location.
The self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid’s will be driven around its research and innovation centre, where 100 people are now employed – there were just 15 at the start of the year.
Initial testing will be tentative, with driverless kilometres not expected to be logged until at least July 2016.
Overall, the news is good for Ford, who are ready to join Google in the autonomous car sector.
Google have said for a while that they don’t wish to manufacture self-driving cars themselves, but instead want to partner with existing automakers. They have so far worked with Lexus among others.
Mercedes-Benz have also been sniffing around the self-driving sector, and introduced their Luxury in Motion prototype earlier this year.
BMW, Audi and Tesla have also been experimenting with driver-assist technology, while cab-hailing mavericks Uber have also shown some interest in the arena.
So far, Lada hasn’t shown any interest.
A benefits claimant we spoke to in Salford said the self-driving car has been coming ever since microwaves were invented. “I was just surprised it took them so long, our kid. You had sliced bread, then the microwave, and now the self-driving car. Makes our life a bit easier, don’t it? That’s all you can ask for during a recession.”
European Car of The Year Shortlist Revealed
We love the European car of the Year awards. Ever since the unassuming Nissan Micra scooped it in 1992, we know that pretty much anything can happen.
No Volkswagen, of course.
A long-list of 40 cars was initially announced back in the summer, with judges whittling the shortlist down to just six cars, eliminating all the Volkswagen’s. The winner will be announced in March 2016 at the Geneva motor show.
The Audi A4 is the red-hot favourite; a fifth generation junior exec saloon, it boasts more space than last time around.
The BMW 7 Series should not be overlooked though, and has done well in a market dominated by the ebullient Mercedes Benz S-Class. It still isn’t available to the general public, but early testers and motor critics have given it the thumbs up.
Our personal favourite though, is the Skoda Superb, an exec saloon that has seen off stiff competition from last years’ winner, the Volkswagen Passat, as well as the commanding Ford Mondeo.
Other contenders include the Volvo XC90, a premium car that is responsible for boosting Volvo’s worldwide sales to record heights; the Vauxhall Astra, a shorter and lower specimen than its sporty predecessor; the Mazda MX-5, an inexpensive racer, and the sophisticated Jaguar XE.
Volkswagen’s Misery Continues Just In Time For Christmas
European car sales in general rose by 13.7% in November.
But whereas numerous brands recorded strong gains, such as Ford and Opel, Volkswagen continued to count the cost of their emissions test-rigging debacle.
The German automobile manufacturer have seen their brand market share fall from 13.5% to just 12.2%.
On the whole though, they have posted a gain of 3.9%.
Sales were more markedly down in Britain than anywhere else, tumbling by 20% according to new data published earlier this week.
In general, the European auto recovery is expected to continue into next year, following an 8.6% increase between January and November.
Ernst & Young analyst Anil Valsan said: “The car market is expected to remain on the growth track driven by the positive environment, low financing costs, low fuel prices, high discounts and some remaining pent-up demand.
“However, growth is expected to be slower, with interest rates likely to edge up.”
Ford, Fiat, Chrysler and Opel have seen sales increase by almost 20%.
Renault has also been performing well, with sales advanced by 15.1%.
Woman Who Lives In Car Wants Just One Thing For Christmas
Christmas should be a time for giving; a time for compassion.
Thieves in Miami, however, clearly never take a day off.
A Miami woman – known only as Shelley – had been living in her car with a friend and their dog in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
One morning, she and her friend were woken in the early hours by a man who knocked on their window to tell them that someone from the Wal-Mart store wanted to speak to them.
Shelley and her pal got out of the car and began to walk towards the store, only for the thief to jump into their vehicle and drive off – with their beloved dog still in the back.
“They had the keys on the dashboard,” said Detective Mohammad Razi. “He reached in, grabbed the keys while they were sleeping, said “somebody from the store was calling for them”.
“The suspect jumped in the car, started it … and left the parking lot.”
It’s a devastating blow for Shelley; not only has she lost her home, she has also lost her 8-year old dog.
“I just want the dog back,” she said. “The belongings, I can always buy more stuff. I just want the dog back.”
Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and goodwill, but Shelley is now down on her luck and left with nothing.
“They’re living in their car,” said Razi. “This is their whole life and somebody comes up while they’re sleeping and steals everything they’ve got.”
Come on Miami thieves, have a heart this Christmas!
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