Thursday, 3 May 2018

World's first electrified road for charging vehicles opens in Sweden

The world’s first electrified road that recharges the batteries of cars and trucks driving on it has been opened in Sweden.

Just over a mile of electric rail has been embedded in a public road near Stockholm, and the government’s roads agency already has plans future expansion.

The technology solves the issu of electric vehicles charged as energy is transferred from two tracks of rail in the road via a movable arm attached to the bottom of a vehicle. The design is similar to that of a Scalextric track, although should the vehicle overtake, the arm is automatically disconnected.

The electrified road is divided into 50m sections, with an individual section powered only when a vehicle is above it.

The system is able to calculate the vehicle’s energy consumption, which enables electricity costs to be debited per vehicle and user.

The “dynamic charging” – as opposed to the use of roadside charging posts – means the vehicle’s batteries can be smaller, along with their manufacturing costs.

Säll said: “There is no electricity on the surface. There are two tracks, just like an outlet in the wall. Five or six centimetres down is where the electricity is. But if you flood the road with salt water then we have found that the electricity level at the surface is just one volt. You could walk on it barefoot.”

Photograph: Joakim Kröger/eRoadArlanda

Please read the full article at The Guardian

Driver who sped at 101mph after wife went into labour could be fined £2,500

A father clocked speeding at 101mph on the M5 motorway after his pregnant wife went into labour on the passenger seat has been threatened with a fine of up to £2,500.

Louis Baker wrote to West Mercia Police appealing for leniency over the “life or death” situation after being caught by a speed camera on the M5 in Worcestershire on April 14. They told him he will have to appear in court at a later date.

Mr Baker rushed his wife Laura and their unborn child to hospital amid complications surrounding the pregnancy, meaning she needed to be given antibiotics for four hours before giving birth. They were also worried because their previous child was born four years ago after an 11-minute labour.

The baby was born at Worcestershire Royal Hospital two hours after the alleged offence, 

Mr Baker said: “I have been driving for 10 years and I have never had a speeding ticket or a motoring offence in my life.

“When I first got the fine I spoke to a lady at West Mercia Police and she was very supportive and said to write a letter of appeal.

“I appealed but they rejected it and said due to excessive speed the fine could not be waived

“I would say that if it was your wife and child at risk in the same situation, anyone would do exactly the same thing.

“I have spoken to a solicitor but until I get a court date there is not much I can do.”
Laura, a trainee pharmacy technician, told the Birmingham Mail scans had shown her baby had stopped growing from 36 weeks.

The 26-year-old said: “Louis drove at 70mph for most of the journey but towards the end, because of the intensity of the contractions, I really thought the baby was coming.

“Louis wasn’t concentrating on his speed at that point, he was trying to stay safe on the road and get me to hospital as quickly as possible.”

A police spokesman said: “Due to the speed involved this case is being referred directly to the Magistrates Court.

“The independent magistrates will take into account any mitigation presented when determining their decision on the matter.”

Monday, 30 April 2018

Tesla driver banned for M1 autopilot seat-switch

Photo: Herts Police
A driver who moved into the passenger seat after putting his electric car into autopilot while at 40mph on a motorway has been banned from driving. 

Bhavesh Patel was filmed by a witness in another car sitting in the passenger seat of his Tesla S 60 on the M1 between junctions 8 and 9 near Hemel Hempstead.

The footage was posted on social media before it was reported to the police.

The court heard Patel told officers what he had done was "silly" but his car was capable of something "amazing" when he was interviewed at Stevenage Police Station.

He added he was the "unlucky one who got caught".

A statement provided by a Tesla engineer said the autopilot was intended to provide assistance to a "fully-attentive driver", the court heard.

Mr Patel pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at St Albans Crown Court, he was disqualified for 18 months and must do 100 hours of unpaid work. He also had to pay the Crown Prosecution Service costs of £1,800.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Man jailed after giving speed cameras the finger

North Yorkshire Police have today been promoting their recent conviction of Timothy Hill with a laser jammer to all the major news outlets. Reading between the lines we wonder if he was prosecuted for hiding his Range Rover and denying he was the driver as much as he was for having the jammer. The news story confirms the jammer ‘did its job’ and they could not get a speed reading on which to prosecute. It would also seem from this news story that the jammer unit was in some sort of continuous jamming mode.

However this guy was clearly an idiot for attracting attention to himself and having no regard to law or the police and we do not condone his actions. Jammers should be used to alert you to speed traps and give you a chance to check and adjust your speed if necessary, not to carry on driving with impunity with no regard to the laws of the road.

You can read the North Yorkshire Police statement here.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Fines for parking and using bus lanes dropped four out of ten times when appealed

40% of appealed parking and bus lane fines issued by local authorities have been cancelled, figures suggest.

Nearly half of appeals to councils across the country over 5 years have been successful.

The RAC described these statistics “frightening” adding that drivers were “right to appeal”.

The Local Government Association praised the “effective” appeal process leading to this data.

Of nearly 4.3 million appeals, 1.8 million were successful, figures released under the FOI Act reveal.

More on this story available here:

Traffic warden photographed parking on double yellow lines

Workers in an industrial estate were left shocked after a traffic warden parked on double yellow lines before proceeding to check the parking of others. 
A passer by photographed the car after seeing a warden in uniform, with ticketing machine, get out and lock his car to begin his rounds.

The photographer joked: “We were wondering whether his was going to be the first ticket he issued or the last.”

He continued: “We could not believe it when he pulled up, got out of his car and walked off, presumably to do his rounds, bold as brass. The county council put double yellow lines all over the industrial estate because of the parking problems, yet it seems that doesn’t apply to traffic wardens. I guess that if you are the warden there is no one who is going to ticket you. We were just so struck by the irony. He was parked there for around three-quarters of an hour and then left. I don’t know whether he gave it up as a bad job or had a very lucrative trip. Either way he should have some questions to answer.”

The photo of the car was sent to Nottinghamshire County Council, to which Mr Gary Wood, of the highways team replied:

“Although we haven’t had a direct complaint made to the council, we have been made aware of a Civil Enforcement Officer parking on double yellow lines on Wednesday afternoon (of last week) along Brunel Drive, so will be following this up and carefully looking into the circumstances.

“While most Civil Enforce-ment Officer work is carried out on foot, occasionally a car is necessary so they are exempt from most parking restrictions while carrying out their duties.

“This includes double yellow lines, as alternative parking is not always practicably possible.”
For more on this story visit:

Friday, 26 January 2018

Huge changes are being made to MOT rules - making it harder for some vehicles to pass

New MOT rules will be introduced 20th May 2018 making it harder for diesel cars to pass.

The vehicles are to be put through tougher emissions tests and faults rated in three defect categories -
  • Dangerous - immediate risk to road safety / impact on environment
  • Major - vehicle less safe, impacts environment, puts other road users at risk.
  • Minor -  no significant effect on safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment.

Any car that has been fitted with a diesel particulate filter that give out "visible smoke of any colour" during tests will get a Major fault and also automatically fail. If the filter looks as if it's been removed or tampered (unless it can be proved it has been done so for filter cleaning) the car will also fail.

Neil Barlow, head of MOT policy for the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency told Auto Express the new rules will "help motorists do the right thing".

He added: "We're changing the wording on the certificate. We've done a lot of research with motorists to find out what sort of information helps."

Steering is also to be looked at in the DVSA's new criteria.

A steering box leaking oil would get a Minor fault but if the oil was dripping badly it would be pushed up to Major and fail.

Reverse lights will be checked and brake discs also inspected to see if they are "significantly or obviously worn".

An RAC spokesman said they fear the changes could end up confusing motorists.

He said: "Rather than MOT failures simply being black and white, the new system creates the potential for confusion as testers will have to make a judgement as to whether faults are Dangerous, Major or Minor.