RAC AND AUTO TRADER WARN OF VEHICLE PAYMENT SCAMS – FAKE TEXT MESSAGE ALERT / CASUALTIES INCREASE IN 20 MPH ZONES / PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS FEEDBACK FORM / SAINSBURY’S PARKERS FACE £70 FINES / TEXTING AT THE WHEEL? ILLEGAL? SHOCK FINDINGS IN RAC REPORT / ‘NOT ENOUGH POLICE ON ROADS’ SAY MOTORISTS
RAC AND AUTO TRADER WARN OF VEHICLE PAYMENT SCAMS – FAKE TEXT MESSAGE ALERT
“Ask yourself the question: why would I need this service?”
BOGUS WEBSITES are offering a secure deposit and payment system for private car purchases, the RAC warn.
Even the RAC has been the target of criminals who have used the RAC’s brand name to set up such a website.
An RAC spokesman said: “We act swiftly to close these down but they are targeting other motoring and financial brands and will apparently stop at nothing in an effort to fraudulently obtain money from used car buyers and sellers.
“It is vital you maintain your vigilance and report anything you think is suspicious to the police or Trading Standards.”
“The best advice is not to trust someone purporting to be a go-between between you and a vehicle seller. “Ask yourself the question: why would I need this service?
“Deposits can be paid in cash, cheque or a balance transfer direct to the seller’s bank account giving you a clear record of payment.
“And, when you purchase or sell a car privately be sure to get a receipt detailing exactly what you are purchasing. “This should include the vehicle registration, make, model, colour, the price and any deposit, the date and the name and contact details of both the seller and buyer.”
AUTO TRADER WARNING ON TEXT MESSAGE
A STATEMENT on Auto Trader’s website says: “We have been made aware of a text message being sent to some of our customers, asking them to visit www.sell-autotrader.com & www.webuy-autotrader.com sell their car quickly for cash.
“They ask for a deposit in order to secure your appointment to take advantage of this offer.
“This is not a genuine offer, and this website is in no way affiliated with Auto Trader. “We are currently working to have this website shut down.
“If you have sent a deposit please contact Action Fraud immediately on 0300 123 2040www.actionfraud.police.uk
“Please be aware that there is currently a phishing sites open:
“We are currently working on closing these down.
“If you have any concerns you can contact our Customer Security Team on 0845 071 0487 or e mail us at [email protected] (Sources: RAC press release / Auto Trader website)
CASUALTIES INCREASE IN 20 MPH ZONES
The number of serious accidents on 20mph roads has increased by over a quarter (26 per cent) last year, according to analysis of government data by road safety charity, Institute of Advanced Motorists. Slight accidents on 20mph roads increased by 17 per cent.
Casualties in 20mph zones also saw a rise. Serious casualties increased by 29 per cent while slight casualties went up by 19 per cent.
In the same year, there was a decrease in the number of serious and slight accidents on 30mph roads and 40 mph roads. Serious accidents went down nine per cent on 30mph roads and seven per cent on 40 mph roads. There was a five per cent reduction in slight accidents on 30 mph roads and a three per cent decrease on 40 mph roads.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “The government and councils need to take stock on the effectiveness of 20mph signs. “Recent advice, guidance and relaxation of regulations has all been about making it easier for councils to put 20mph limits in place.
“More and more roads are being given a 20mph limit but they do not seem to be delivering fewer casualties. “The IAM are concerned that this is because simply putting a sign on a road that still looks like a 30mph zone does not change driver behaviour.
“More evaluation and research is needed into the real world performance of 20mph limits to ensure limited funds are being well spent.
“In locations with a proven accident problem, authorities need to spend more on changing the character of our roads so that 20mph is obvious, self-enforcing and above all contributes to fewer injuries.
“In Europe, it is long term investment in high quality segregated or shared surfaces that have led to a much safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians.” (Source: IAM press release)
PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS FEEDBACK FORM
MOVES TO enable Londoners to report concerns about pedestrian crossings online are being drawn up, says Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
His announcement came in a response to Liberal Democrat London Assembly leader Caroline Pidgeon in a Mayor’s question time.
Caroline Pidgeon: Given that TfL has indicated they are keen to receive information about unsafe pedestrian crossings from members of the public, would you consider establishing a web form to enable people to easily submit this information?
Written response from the Mayor: “I am pleased to say that in light of recent feedback on the draft Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP), TfL is already developing an action as part of the Plan to enable better ways for Londoners to easily report concerns about pedestrian crossings. This will be done online.
“TfL recently invited the public and stakeholders to comment on the PSAP (Pedestrian Safety Action Plan). “Over 100 responses were received during this time, many of them positive. “TfL intends to publish the final plan later this summer.”
Caroline Pidgeon is Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, Deputy Chair of the London Assembly’s Transport Committee and Deputy Chair of the Police and Crime Committee. Caroline leads for the Group on Transport, Policing and Education issues in London.
SAINSBURY’S PARKERS FACE £70 FINES
MOTORISTS STAYING for longer than three hours at the Sainsbury’s car park off Westow Street, Crystal Palace face fines of £70.
Drivers will also face fines of £70 if they:
- park in a disabled bay without a valid blue badge
- park in a parent and child bay without being accompanied by one or more children up to the age of 12
- do not park in marked bays
Sainsbury’s says the fines apply to both the outside and inside car parks.
A new sign has been installed which records the number plate of the vehicle arriving and gives them a three-hour time stay.
Leaflets have been handed out at the store in Westow Street, Upper Norwood SE19 which declare: “Parking at your store is about to get easier”.
A Sainsbury’s spokesman told News From Crystal Palace: “We offer three hours free parking and the system is designed to make parking easier for all our customers. “Charges may apply if drivers overstay beyond the three hours or, for example, park in disabled bays without a blue badge.
“The automatic number plate recognition system covers both our surface and multi-story car parks” he added.
Historically, the outer parking area was a council car park and has been used as a public park since the development was completed. (The site, prior to redevelopment in the early 1980s, included a much larger council car park).
NFCP understands that Croydon sold this off in 2000 among 2,000 pieces of land borough-wide but we have not yet been able to confirm this – yet.
TEXTING AT THE WHEEL? ILLEGAL? SHOCK FINDINGS IN RAC REPORT
A “SHOCKING” 61 per cent of motorists still have not got the message that texting at the wheel of a stationary car with the engine on is against the law despite the fact it has been illegal since 2003 for drivers to use a hand-held mobile phone, says the RAC.
RAC research* shows a frightening level of ignorance about the law relating to the use of hand-held phones with 12pc not knowing texting and driving is illegal and 21pc not realising it is illegal to check Facebook and Twitter while driving.
In fact, there is greater awareness about the illegality of the new offences of tailgating or middle lane hogging on the motorway than texting whilst stopped in traffic, with a nevertheless disturbing 31pc and 42pc respectively, not knowing they have been outlawed.
“According to the research only 53pc of motorists strongly disagree that it is safe to use a mobile phone while sat in traffic lights or stuck in congestion and over a quarter (26pc) think it safe to text and look at social media sites when stationary with the engine running – behaviour which is blatantly illegal.
“There seems to be a perception among many motorists – rightly or wrongly – that they won’t get caught if they use their mobile phones while driving.
“More than half (51pc) believe it is unlikely that they will be caught sending texts while their car is stationary. And, four in 10 (42pc) motorists also think it is unlikely they will be caught texting while driving, with 16pc believing it is ‘extremely unlikely’ they will get caught.”
RAC technical director David Bizley said: “The distraction caused by hand-held mobile phones ranks alongside the cost of fuel and the state of the roads as a major worry for motorists.
“Over a third (34pc) worry about other drivers being distracted by talking on mobile phones while at the wheel. “And it is the older generation who are most concerned about this with half (49pc) of motorists aged 65 or over voicing discontent – a nine pc increase compared to 12 months ago.
“British motorists regard themselves as law-abiding and out of 35.8 million driving licence holders in the UK, around three million (less than one in 10) drivers have points on their licence.
“But more than one million drivers have been convicted of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving since 2003, when it was made explicitly illegal. “This prompts the question as to whether motorists are deliberately flouting the law or whether they are just unaware of exactly what is, and what isn’t legal?
“While the law is clear it seems that motorists regard using a mobile phone while stationary at traffic lights or when stationary in congestion as more socially acceptable and less dangerous than using their hand-held phones while on the move.
“They forget, for example, that when concentrating on their phone, a cyclist may pull up beside or just ahead of them and they may pull away, totally unaware of the cyclist’s presence.”
The law regarding in-car mobile phone use says it is an offence for anyone to use any type of hand-held communications device when driving. The definition of driving includes whenever the engine is switched on, even if the vehicle is stationary.
It is therefore an offence to use a hand-held mobile phone or smartphone when the vehicle is stopped at traffic lights, is stationary in a traffic jam or is parked with the engine running. (Source: RAC press release)
‘NOT ENOUGH POLICE ON ROADS’ SAY MOTORISTS
Law-abiding motorists frustrated by the lack of police presence on Britain’s roads now believe there is little chance of law-breakers being caught and prosecuted.
The RAC Report on Motoring 2014* reveals many motorists in 21st century Britain think there is little risk of being caught breaking the law at the wheel for anything other than speeding or running a red light: offences typically enforced via cameras.
Two in five drivers (40pc) believe anyone committing common offences such as texting at the wheel of either a moving or stationary vehicle, aggressive driving, tailgating, middle lane hogging or undertaking on the motorway would more than likely get away with it.
As a result 60pc of motorists surveyed for the report – now in its 26th year – believe there are insufficient numbers of police officers on the roads to enforce driving laws.
While the vast majority of motorists are law-abiding, with only three million of more than 35.8m drivers having points on their licences, there seems to be a perception among many motorists – rightly or wrongly – that drivers won’t be caught if they flout the law.
This is especially the case with the use of mobile phones while driving as, disturbingly, half of motorists (51%) think it is unlikely drivers will ever get picked up for texting while stopped in traffic. In fact, only 18% believe motorists are likely to be taken to task with the rest (22%) uncertain as to whether they will or they won’t.
The only offences that motorists truly believe are dealt with effectively are the ones that are enforced via cameras such as speeding and traffic light violations which nearly half (45% -speeding and 46% – running a red light) think drivers are likely to get caught for.
Of those motorists surveyed for the RAC Report on Motoring who have speeding points on their licences half (49pc) say they were trapped by a speed camera, whereas only a quarter (24pc) were caught by a police officer.
RAC technical director David Bizley said: “Our research shows that millions of law-abiding motorists are frustrated with the reduction of traffic police and believe that the chances of drivers being pulled up for breaking the law are now minimal.
“Motorists are tired of constantly seeing other drivers breaking the law and getting away with it so it is hardly surprising that they want to see a greater police presence on our roads to enforce motoring legislation more effectively, which would also act as a genuine deterrent” he added. (Souce: RAC press release)