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Saturday, 29 October 2016

Don't be dark on the roads when the clocks change

As British Summer Time comes to an end this Sunday, IAM RoadSmart brings you some tips to make your journey as safe as possible in the dark.

The UK switches back to Greenwich Mean Time at 2am on Sunday October 30.

  1. With fog expected during mornings and evenings, it's important that you keep your windows clear of ice and frost throughout. Use a good quality windscreen washer fluid to keep them clean, and keep the reservoir topped up.

  2. As you will be using your dipped headlights more often it's important you make sure they are working properly. The same applies for all other car lights, indicators and tyres too – make sure you check the tread depth regularly. If any of these need replacing, do so as soon as possible. A spare set of light bulbs is a very worthwhile investment for your car.

  3. Automatic headlamp systems do not always put dipped headlamps on in foggy weather conditions, so you may need to switch them from an auto to manual setting. Remember, you don't need to wait until it's completely dark before you switch on your dipped headlights – you may need to use them in reduced daylight conditions too.

  4. Where there are no street lights or you are driving on an empty stretch of road in seriously reduced visibility, switch on your full beam to help you see further ahead. However, you mustn't use your full beam during the day even in poor visibility as you risk dazzling other road users.

  5. Look out for vulnerable road users in the dark including motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. Take particular care when driving near schools in the late afternoon when children are travelling home – see and be seen at all times.

  6. Pedestrians are not easily spotted when they wear dark clothing. Keep your eyes peeled and avoid speeding when your vision is reduced in both dark and bad weather conditions.

  7. Judging the speed of vehicles is difficult in the dark – increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. If you cannot see ahead, you must slow down to give yourself more time to react to a potential hazard.

Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart head of driving standards, said: "It might sound obvious, but you cannot drive the same way in the dark as you would in daylight – but that's what a lot of people do.

"Don't forget that dark mornings are likely to make you feel more tired. Make allowances for your own abilities in darkness; your eyes take time to get used to the dark. And be aware others might not be as careful as you, and might not be wearing reflective or bright clothing as they should do. Take on the responsibility of looking out for others, and your journey will give you a warm glow inside – even if it's chilly outside."

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Trick or treat





Trick or treat

Ghost and goblins, spooks galore drive safely or scary witches will be at your door. In case you haven't figured it out yet it is Halloween! Many of us will be taking to the road this week, going to scare and have a good time at parties and haunted theme events. Here are some tips to prepare drivers and riders on this eventful season from IAM RoadSmart's head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman.

  • Look out for the little ones. Many little children will be taking to the road on a candy hunt. Although many will be accompanied by an adult it is also best to drive slowly in residential areas as children can be very unpredictable
  • Check the weather – if its wet and windy then looking out for cars will be the last thing on a soaked pedestrians mind as they rush from house to house
  • Dress accordingly.  Try to carry your costume in the car as opposed to wearing it to the event. Some costumes such as masks can obstruct your vision. It is better to book a taxi rather than driving
  • Make sure you have a designated driver if you are planning on drinking
  • Try to keep the noise down.  Understandably you are going to be with your mates but if you have pulled the short straw and are driving it is vital to have full concentration on the road
  • Have fun but keep it PG. Not everyone on the street is out with good intentions. If you do see anything that alarms you, we recommend dialling 999 and having the police deal with it

Richard said: "Long flowing costumes and the little ones on a major sugar rush can be a recipe for disaster on the roads.  No one wants to put a damper on the fun but just taking a few moments to check everyone is safe before you set off will ensure the evening is memorable for all the right reasons."

IAM Roadsmart & BBC sweep the board

IAM RoadSmart and BBC pair prove fuel champs as they scoop three awards in economy driving challenge
Fuel champ Shaun Cronin from IAM RoadSmart teamed up with the BBC's transport correspondent Paul Clifton to help Honda to two category wins and a runner-up place at the closely fought MPG Marathon.

Shaun, regional delivery manager for the UK's leading independent road safety charity along with Paul, seen reporting each day on the BBC, drove a Honda CR-V EX 1.6 i-DTEC 4WD in the epic fuel saving challenge last week.

After three days of lightly sipping fuel in their Honda, the pair, who were overall winners last year, won the 'four-wheel-drive' and 'load lugging economy champion' awards and took the silver medal in the category of 'best percentage improvement – cars.'

The MPG Marathon is an intense two-day eco-driving challenge which tests the skill of the competing drivers and the real-world fuel economy of the participating vehicles to the maximum. Held on 18 and 19 October, the event saw competing teams face arguably the most challenging route and rules ever seen in the competition to plan their own routes to reach four different venues across the heart of the country.

Driving around 400 miles over the two days, teams aimed to achieve both the highest possible MPG and the most significant percentage improvement over the manufacturer's quoted MPG figure, with penalties at stake for every minute driven over the stated total driving time.

Paul and Shaun took home the 'four-wheel-drive' and 'load lugging economy champion' awards by registering 63.77 MPG, a best-in-class 15.11% uplift on the car's official quoted figure; and with it also second place overall in best percentage improvement on MPG. Over the two days the pair covered 389 miles, using just 27.73 litres (6.1 gallons) of fuel.

Shaun said: "Sipping fuel so lightly is like sipping a cup of tea! Anyone can do it. Driving with an eye to economy is not only something for the experts. We achieved a great result here; with simple measures everyone can achieve big savings to their weekly fuel bills – and who doesn't want that!"

Paul said: "That was the toughest MPG Marathon yet. Over two days we effectively climbed from sea level to the top of Britain's tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, three times. So to beat the car's official economy figure - and by a big margin - is very rewarding. With a very gentle right foot and smooth safe driving, this shows that even a bigger four-wheel-drive car can achieve outstanding real world economy. With fuel prices rising again, this is something everyone can do to keep costs down."

Paul has also passed his IAM RoadSmart Advanced Test, and this week took and passed his Masters qualification too.

Based at the Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire, day one of the 2016 event saw the teams head out towards Ludlow, Shropshire, before resuming the afternoon with a trip to Stroud in Gloucestershire, then making their way back to Heythrop. The following day the teams set out for the iconic Silverstone circuit, then Hatfield, Hertfordshire, before returning once again to Heythrop to park up and await the much-anticipated final results.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

KGAM goes to the Dogs

Our Vice-Chairman, Max Power, took on the Bookies at our Dogs night and won an amazing £58 pounds!!.  There was talk of tap water all round to celebrate but fortunately for Max the bar had closed.   So it can be achieved  ………well done Max!


                                           Max happily counts his winnings  





        and Members study the form over a delicious two course meal



Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Welcome to the dark side!!

As we prepare to gain an hour of sleep the days are getting shorter as darkness is falling all over. Many of us will be off on the morning commute and it can be daunting driving in the dark for the first time in months. Here are some tips to prepare drivers and riders for driving in the twilight zone from IAM RoadSmart's head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman.
  • Familiar routes can pose totally different challenges in the dark so make sure you are wide awake and looking out for pedestrians and cyclists in the gloom

  • Check your car lights. They are there for your safety and those around you. Do a daily walk around to check all lights are working and use a wall or garage door to check the rear lights if you are on your own. Changing a bulb on a modern car is often a garage - only job so get it done before the police stop you and issue a ticket or repair notice

  • As well as being seen you need to see so get an eyesight check-up. It is vital to have your sight checked regularly as this may heavily affect your night vision. With age your eyes take in less light, no matter how fit you may feel, so be aware of your limitations

  • Don't blind me! One of the biggest night-time hazards is the dazzle affect caused by the bright light from on-coming motors. Dip your headlight when you meet other vehicles

  • Carry a basic emergency kit. Anything can happen at night and it is important to be prepared. Having a tool kit, torch, map and a first aid kit (if you don't have one already) can make a real difference

  • A fully charged mobile with the details of your breakdown cover is another must

Richard said: "Per mile driven the risk of a crash is actually higher at night despite the quieter roads. Getting used to night-time driving can take time so take it easy until the old skills come back and you can start to enjoy the new challenges."


KGAM Advanced Driving Test Passes

Well done to Joanna Beales
              and David Hayward

KGAM test pass

Congratulations go to Kelvin Hillman
on passing the Advanced Driving Test
seen here receiving his Certificate from
Examiner Lester Parsons - Well done!

National Observer Test Pass

Well done to Tim Blackwell on passing the
National Observer Test - Congratulations!!

KGAM test passes

    Congratulations go to David Holmes and
Mike Emery on passing the Advanced Driving Test
                       Well done Guys!!

Friday, 14 October 2016

Local Observer Test Pass

Hearty Congratulations from us all at the KGAM to Roger Vickery on
passing the Local Observer Test   Well done that man!!

Advanced Test Pass

Congratulations to John Surridge on passing the Advanced Test

Are you one of 3.4 million driving illegally because of your health?

Elderly man driving car in traffic
A new study has revealed that there's a real risk that 3.4 million people are driving with amedical condition that they are supposed to have told the DVLA about. If you have one of these conditions, and don't let them know, you are driving illegally and could be prosecuted.

The study calculated that almost one in ten people have a notifiable condition - which is around 3.4 million of the 35.3 million drivers. The conditions include visual impairments, diabetes, heart conditions or epilepsy. The study found that 9% of drivers have a heart condition, 8% have had a stroke or mini stroke, 7% have diabetes, 7% have a physical disability, 5% have a brain injury, 3% have a visual impairment, and 1% suffer from epilepsy.

When asked why they hadn't made the disclosure 51% said it was because they presumed their condition didn't affect their ability to drive, while 14% said they didn't know they were meant to, 5% didn't see why they should, and 4% had never thought of it. One in 20 didn't mention it to the DVLA out of fear they would have their licence taken away.

The consequences

If you don't let the DVLA know you could be fined up to £1,000 and risk prosecution. Admittedly, there's every chance that you won't be caught or prosecuted, because last year only 64 people were found guilty and sentenced in court for offences relating to non-disclosure of medical issues. That's around 1% of the total who are likely to be guilty of the offence.

However, that's no excuse for non-declaration, because there's the very real risk you could harm yourself or others, and if you are involved in an accident the consequences could be even more severe.

Gus Park, director of motor at Direct Line, commented: "With some medical conditions having more of an impact on driving ability than being over the drink-drive limit, it's frightening that almost one in ten motorists drives with a notifiable medical condition they have not reported to the DVLA. It's clear that there's no deterrent for those flouting the law in this way, as shown by the small amount of people convicted.

Park continues: "With the majority presuming their condition will not affect their driving ability, we urge motorists not to be complacent when it comes to declaring medical conditions. If you are in any doubt as to whether or not you should inform the DVLA, call them to find out. Not declaring a medical condition is illegal, puts you and other road users at risk and can potentially lead to fatal consequences."

What should you do?

If your doctor has told you that you need to stop driving, you will need to surrender your licence to the DVLA. Not everyone is eligible to continue to drive while their renewal application is in process, so check with your doctor and the DVLA.

If you hand over your licence voluntarily, it may mean you can start driving again sooner. There are different rules for when you can drive again depending on if your licence was voluntarily surrendered, or if it was revoked or refused for medical reasons.

The DVLA will send you a letter when your licence is taken away or surrendered, or if your application for a driving licence is refused. This tells you if there's a period of time you need to wait before getting a new licence. You can then reapply eight weeks before the end of this period.

You can reapply for your licence when your doctor says you meet the medical standards for driving. If you are eligible to reapply, you will need to complete a D1 application form and the form for your medical condition and send them to DVLA. You may also need to send evidence of your fitness to drive, but the letter from DVLA will tell you if this is the case.

If you have a medical condition and are unsure if it should be disclosed to the DVLA, then you can check