Tag Archive | "LEGISLATION"

REPORT: DIESEL CARS PRODUCE ‘MORE CO2 OVER LIFECYCLE’

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REPORT: DIESEL CARS PRODUCE ‘MORE CO2 OVER LIFECYCLE’


Two years after the emissions scandal, a new study by Brussels-based  thinktank Transport & Environment (T&E) claims that diesel cars not only pollute the air but also emit more CO2 over their lifetime than petrol cars. A lifecycle analysis of vehicle emissions proves that diesel cars over its lifetime emit 3.65 tonnes of CO2 more than a petrol equivalent.

The group claims that the  higher climate impact is due to a mix of more energy-intensive refining of the diesel fuel; more materials required in the production of heavier and more complex engines; higher emissions from the biodiesel blended in the diesel fuel; and controversially, a claim that derv-powered cars cover a greater mileage ‘because fuel is cheaper’.

Julia Poliscanova from the group said: “The legacy of Dieselgate are the 37 million grossly polluting diesel cars still on Europe’s roads. While some of them will be taken off German roads, these dirty cars will soon end up in Central and Eastern Europe choking citizens there. We need concerted and coordinated action EU-wide to ensure these cars stop belching toxic fumes for another 10-15 years. It is time for the carmakers to take responsibility for their clean up and cash out for the local measures to tackle the urban air pollution crisis they have largely caused.  National vehicle regulators must ensure this happens or the European Commission step in and sort out the mess.”

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DRIVING CHANGE: HOW COMPLACENCY CAN KILL

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DRIVING CHANGE: HOW COMPLACENCY CAN KILL


Driving for work is a ‘work activity’ like any other. However, our familiarity and, in some cases complacency, with the activity can make it difficult to manage despite it being one of the greatest risks we face. With the trade running fleets of delivery vehicles, the issue of road safety should be high up on the agenda. Indeed, it’s not hard to find web-hits such as ‘Van driver hurt in crash’ or ‘Truck, lorry and van driver injury compensation claims’.

THE LAW
There is a raft of criminal offences that capture individual drivers who decide to break the law. These include death by dangerous driving, careless driving and driving without a valid licence or insurance. The law recognises that properly licensed drivers have a personal obligation to take care of themselves and others on the road.

However, organisations, managers and colleagues could also be implicated if they are considered to have “aided and abetted” that criminal behaviour. A potential example of this would be where a manager
knew that a driver’s insurance had expired but did not alert anyone within the business or prevent that individual from driving. Organisations often collect vast swathes of information that are relevant to managing driving, but are not used as such. Working time details, health information and job descriptions are all good examples.

Prosecutions for ‘aiding and abetting’ offences remain rare, but a fatal road death may result in a Coroner’s Inquest and the organisation having to answer some difficult and probing questions on behalf of the deceased’s family.

Within the more typical health and safety arena, prosecutions could arise where the culture of the organisation is such that driving for work is not managed properly and individuals are put at risk.

In fatal incidents, under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, an organisation can be held liable if “working regimes, dangerous or illegal practices or negligence have contributed to the death”. The police will investigate for the offence of corporate manslaughter and will want to establish the attitude of senior management towards managing driving for work. Were policies in place and enforced, and was there real and visible leadership from the top?

Further, the Health and Safety at WorkAct 1974 states that organisations have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all employees while at work, and that others are not put at risk by work-related driving activities.

Beyond the broad 1974 Act there are various other health and safety regulations that apply to work activities such as driving. The key action point is to appreciate driving for work as a work activity and treat it as you would any other, providing suitable instructions, information and equipment based on a sound risk assessment process.

CONSEQUENCES
The most obvious consequence of getting it wrong is that an employee or members of the public is seriously injured or killed as a result of your organisation’s driving activities. Organisations recognise the moral reasons for keeping people safe.

In addition, there is the risk of a subsequent prosecution for individual criminal offences or for organisational or management failures.

The potential consequences of getting health and safety management wrong have become all the more severe since February 1 2016, which saw the introduction of a Sentencing Guideline for health and safety offences and corporate manslaughter (among others) and creates the potential for higher fines and prison sentences than we have seen historically. The guideline uses ‘potential harm’ as one of the determinants when deciding upon a sentence; the potential harm associated with driving is obvious.

In addition to a criminal prosecution, you may have to deal with any civil claims brought against the business by individuals who have been involved in an incident. Insurance may be in place for organisations and those that use company cars, but what about those who use their own vehicles? Everyone ‘driving for work’ needs to have ‘business use’ insurance. Without it, insurance policies can be revoked and the individual or organisation is left to pay.

Aside from financial implications, incidents and prosecutions can attract significant negative publicity, which in turn could affect an organisation’s brand and reputation. Many vehicles now bear corporate logos and branding which can have unwanted consequences in the event of a serious incident. The impact of an investigation can also create significant business interruption, with the seizure of vehicles, computers and other records, even if a prosecution does not result.

Driving for work can be a risky business and should be taken seriously by the whole organisation; not just the driver.

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ECP CLEARED OVER TV ADVERT

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ECP CLEARED OVER TV ADVERT


Six complainants went to the Advertising Standards Authority to challenge whether a TV advert for Euro Car Parts promoted reckless and dangerous driving.

The adverts featured a woman driving through a country lane. The camera shot to the woman adjusting the volume on the car stereo, and then switching gears while speeding up. The camera then shot to the woman pressing firmly on her brake pad and stopping suddenly to avoid hitting sheep in the road. A voice over thanked her local technician for replacing her brake pads earlier and so avoiding her hitting the animal.

In response, ECP quoted the Highway Code to prove that the subject was not driving outside of and said that the words ‘fast and efficient service’ used in the voice over did not refer to the subject’s car.

The ASA noted the points and did not find the advert in breach, so no further action was necessary.

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RAC FOUNDATION WARNS OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE MOT CHANGES

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RAC FOUNDATION WARNS OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE MOT CHANGES


A Director of the RAC Foundation has warned of how the MOT will need to adapt as vehicles have an increasing amount of autonomy, backed by sensors.

In an interview on Radio 4’s Today programme Wednesday morning, Steve Gooding said: “We need to get our heads around how to certify that these vehicles are roadworthy. We are dealing with artificial intelligence and that represents a challenge”

Gooding also spoke about an issue that had been recently raised by a House of Lords technology committee that the most concerning issue about the vehicles was the point that they hand control back to the driver.

Also speaking on the same segment was Paul Newman, Founder of Oxbotica – a company developing control systems for autonomous vehicles. On the subject of connected cars and hacking, he said: “It is something we think about all the time and it is important… We need to bring trust in these vehicles”. He added that the same concerns would in time ‘affect anything that moves’ including farm vehicles and mining machines.self driving Jaguar

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LONDON MAYOR PROPOSES SCRAPPAGE AND TOUGH ULEZ

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LONDON MAYOR PROPOSES SCRAPPAGE AND TOUGH ULEZ


London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has launched plans for ‘the toughest crackdown’ on older vehicles ‘by any major city around the world’. An extended Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be part of a major public consultation launched on July 5.

The idea of an expanded ULEZ was already on the cards, but the new proposals go further and will be implemented sooner than the original stratergy.

Parts of the Mayor’s detailed proposals include plans for a new national scrappage scheme, as speculated on catmag.co.uk over the past few weeks.

Diesel vehicles stand to loose the most, but all vehicles that fail to meet Euro-4 standard will have to pay a surchage for each day they are used. For light vehicles this is likely to be £10, rising to £100 for HGVs and coaches. This will be in addition to the congestion charge.

The public have until Friday July 29 to feed back on the first round of the consultation, further more detailed consultation will take place later this year and some measures could be implemented as early as 2017, with the rest following in 2019.

Sadiq Khan said: “Tough challenges call for tough measures, so I’m proposing a new £10 charge for the most polluting vehicles in central London from 2017, followed by an even stronger crackdown on vehicles pumping out hazardous pollutants”.

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CHANCELLOR PROPOSES MOT FREQUENCY CHANGE

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CHANCELLOR PROPOSES MOT FREQUENCY CHANGE


George Osborne has announced a review of the MOT frequency, proposing that the first MOT for cars and motorbikes be increased from three years to four.

In his budget speech, the Chancellor said: “We will consult on extending the deadline for new cars and motorbikes to have their first MOT test from 3 years to 4 years, which would save motorists over £100m a year”.

This suggestion has not gone down well with the trade. The RMI’s Independent Garage Association Director Stuart James said: “The government seems to take the view that the MOT is a burden on motorists – we think that motorists deserve more credit than that. Road safety is a priority for them and their families and they understand that roadworthiness testing of vehicle is an important part of making our roads among the safest in Europe.”

The Chancellor didn’t specify when the consultation might start, or how wide reaching it might be. However, it is notable that the wording of the speech excluded vans as it is has been noted in previous frequency reviews that vehicles in MOT class VII generally lead a much harder life and need more frequent checks.

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