CASHLESS PARKING FOR PAY AND DISPLAY BAYS IN CROYDON / THIRD OF MOTORISTS DON’T KNOW PAPER TAX DISC IS BEING SCRAPPED / NEW APPLE SMART WATCH MAY IMPAIR DRIVING PERFORMANCE, WARN IAM / COMEDIAN ALAN DAVIES HELPS LAUNCH NEW THINK! ROAD SAFETY CAMPAIGN FOR BIKERS
CASHLESS PARKING FOR PAY AND DISPLAY BAYS IN CROYDON
CASHLESS PARKING is being introduced to on-street pay-and-display bays in Croydon.
Croydon council have started rolling out the RingGo service, launched in its car parks a year ago, to the thousands of parking bays in Croydon’s streets. The roll-out is expected to be completed by 31 October.
A Croydon council spokesman said: “The service offers residents, shoppers and visitors a simple and efficient way of paying to park their cars.
“A quick, easy-to-use mobile phone service, RingGo lets motorists pay for their parking with a credit or debit card, rather than using cash at a ticket machine.
“They need simply park their car, contact RingGo by smartphone app, telephone, SMS or online, and pay the parking charge via their phone.”
Motorists can pre-register online by going to www.myRingGo.co.uk/register or by using the RingGo smartphone apps (downloadable either through handsets or from the relevant store).
Pre-registering for the service will require the following information:
• the vehicle’s make, registration number and colour; and
• payment card details.
Alternatively, registration can occur at the time of parking, either by using the RingGo apps or by calling 020 3046 0010.
Once registered, RingGo recognises the mobile phone number and retrieves the information previously provided. When paying, the motorist has only to state:
• the location code – each area has its own individual four- or five-digit, clearly displayed location number;
• the length of time they want to park; and
• their payment card’s three-digit security code.
Motorists can, if they prefer, use the automated phone service when parking by calling the clearly displayed telephone number. RingGo will recognise the mobile phone number and ask the motorist to:
• confirm the vehicle;
• confirm the location;
• say how long they want to stay; and
• provide their payment card’s security code.
Alternatively, the quick and easy RingGo “text to park” option can be used, allowing the nominated vehicle to park all day, simply by sending a message, containing their location’s code, to 81025.
With no ticket needed for display in the windscreen, civil enforcement officers will, with a simple check of registration plate details on an internet-connected handheld unit, be able to tell if a vehicle’s fee has been paid by mobile phone.
The council say that in Croydon, thousands of off-street parking sessions per month are currently paid by phone, and more than half (53 per cent) of those are purchased via a smartphone app. “App use is particularly popular as, once set up, it takes just seconds to pay.”
Motorists will still be able to use existing coin-based pay-and-display machines to pay for their parking if they prefer this payment option.
Cllr Robert Canning, deputy cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for motorists to pay their parking charges.
“Cashless parking has proved popular in council-run car parks and the RingGo system has proved reliable and easy to use.
“Its roll-out across the borough’s streets is good news for motorists. “The days of having to scrabble about for loose change to pay for parking are over.” (Source: Croydon council press release)
THIRD OF MOTORISTS DON’T KNOW PAPER TAX DISC IS BEING SCRAPPED
More than a third of motorists (36 per cent) are not aware of the imminent move to do away with the need to display the paper tax disc in the windscreen of a vehicle despite the changes taking effect in less than two weeks’ time on 1st October, say the RAC.
And, almost half (47 pc) of the more than 2,000 drivers surveyed by the RAC were uncertain of when the changes were due to take effect.
Many motorists are also unaware that from 1st October, it will no longer be possible to transfer the residual VED (vehicle excise duty) to the new owner when a car is sold.
There will be an immediate obligation for the new owner to purchase VED and the previous owner will automatically receive a refund of VED paid for complete calendar months after the date of sale.
From 1st October it will no longer be necessary to display a paper tax disc in the windscreen as payment will be logged within the DVLA database, and automatic number plate recognition cameras will catch motorists trying to evade payment.
The RAC survey found 63 pc of motorists surveyed fear that scrapping the paper tax disc will result in a rise in the number of untaxed cars on the roads and a further 44 pc believe it will actually encourage people to break the law.
The Department for Transport estimates that Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) – ‘car tax’ – evasion* affected only 0.6 pc of traffic on roads – 210,000 vehicles – in Great Britain in 2013 which equated to £35m in lost revenue**.
Motorists’ fears about the number of unlicensed vehicles rising are likely to be fuelled by the estimate of around one million uninsured drivers on the road***.
As there is no visible way of telling if a vehicle is insured, motorists will inevitably liken this to the situation that will exist after removal of the requirement to display a highly visible paper tax disc.
If a similar number of motorists were to fail to pay their VED as are uninsured, the Treasury could lose a further £132m**** – 13 times the £10m savings identified by DVLA as part of the new system.
* The RAC Opinion Panel survey of 2,157 motorists was carried out online from 11-17 August 2014
*** The Motor Insurers’ Bureau estimates there are 1m uninsured drivers on UK roads
**** 210,000 untaxed vehicles and £35 lost VED revenue equates to £167 per vehicle, therefore 1m untaxed vehicles would cost £167m lost tax revenue or £131m more than current lost revenue estimate of £35m. (Source: RAC press release)
NEW APPLE SMART WATCH MAY IMPAIR DRIVING PERFORMANCE, WARN IAM
MOTORISTS ARE being warned of the potential risks associated with smart watches while driving by the road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
The IAM say the latest piece of wearable technology from Apple will allow users to make and receive calls, check their messages and monitor their health by operating the device on their wrists.
But the IAM warn that this could significantly impair driving performance – being a major cause for distraction and road accidents.
Existing research conducted by the IAM simulator study on smartphone use between 2006 and 2010 found distraction from a mobile phone was a contributory factor in 1,960 road accidents which resulted in injuries. This figure includes 110 fatal accidents.
“Having a wristwatch linked to users’ mobile phone only suggests a higher proportion of drivers’ performance will be significantly impaired” say the IAM..
“Constant alerts will require motorists’ regular attention. “As opposed to using a legal hands-free piece of equipment the iWatch will require drivers to use two hands to operate the device – impacting speed, lane position and time spent looking at the road.
“The Department for Transport has announced that using an iWatch while driving will carry the same penalty as using a hand-held mobile phone of three license penalty points and a £100 fine.
“As per the Crown Prosecution guidelines, however, where a motorist uses a mobile phone causing death by dangerous driving a harsher sentence of two years imprisonment is enforced.”
(Source: IAM press release)
COMEDIAN ALAN DAVIES HELPS LAUNCH NEW THINK! ROAD SAFETY CAMPAIGN FOR BIKERS
A NEW THINK! road safety campaign which encourages motorcyclists to undertake further training to improve their safety on the road has been launched by comedian Alan Davies, World superbike rider Chaz Davies and transport minister Robert Goodwill.
Despite racing bikes since 1995 former world champion Chaz Davies only took his road test this summer.
Last month he completed further training to sharpen his skills on the road and show riders that no matter how much riding experience you have, you’re never too good to learn something new.
Chaz Davies said: “You really are never too good to be a better rider – it’s as simple as that. “I’ve been working for 15 years to try and be better on the track and that applies on the road as well.
“There are so many more variables on the road and I think people can get a little bit over confident, but you are never too good. “You never know what’s around the corner.
“The training really got me thinking. “The instructors pre-empted every situation that I spotted a couple of seconds later. “It really showed me the importance of being one step ahead and reading the road.”
Both Chaz Davies and Alan Davies were joined by eight regular riders recruited through the campaign’s THINK BIKER Facebook page and through the motorcycling magazine Motorcycle News (MCN).
The group are filmed completing their further training course that covered key principles of advanced riding, including using a planned system of riding, positioning, speed and observation.
Transport minister Robert Goodwill said: “With motorcyclists 55 times more likely than car drivers to be killed or seriously hurt on the road, it is clear that no rider is ever too good for the road. “There is always more to learn – even if you are a professional rider.”
Riders can find out more about further training on the THINK! website and follow the campaign on Facebook by liking the THINK! BIKER page. (Source: DfT press release)