Fleet News

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LETTERS to Fleet News’ editor John Maslen.

Stop this sat-nav madness

SIR – The issue of experienced and accident-free drivers being ‘done’ for speeding isn’t going to go away, and I have railed in these pages on the subject before.

I have always contended that there are issues that are more dangerous, which a camera will not catch, but a traffic officer would.

For instance, there is currently a vogue for PDA-style navigation systems which attach by sucker to the inside of the car. I now see several a day positioned just below the rear view mirror, in exactly the part of the windscreen where a pedestrian, cyclist, or even a 40-tonne truck, might emerge into view. Of course, these idiots will never know how dangerous they are because no one will ever stop them and throw the book at them, which they deserve.

There are clear laws regarding the obstruction of view through the windscreen and in any case only an idiot would block their own view. It is surprising how many idiots there are around and how few get ‘done’.

Andrew Wright
Sales director, McKenzie Myers

We must tackle poor driving

SIR – The general standard of driving has dropped over the past few years. It is a daily occurrence to see drivers with one brakelight or headlight not working. They can’t be bothered to use indicators half the time and try to turn corners and negotiate roundabouts while holding a mobile phone to their ear. These so-called speed cameras (for safety) can’t record these aforementioned offences.

If we had police traffic patrols on motorbikes and cars this would help to reduce bad habits and driving, because you never know when you will meet the police on the road.

I know from reports in Motorcycle News that many police forces no longer have a traffic section, sending a car to go and deal with whatever is needed instead. I am 61, drive a car and also ride a motorbike, and I for one would like to see more proper traffic police on the road helping to keep up standards of driving.

David Groves
Support services supervisor, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply

Roadworks rage is justified

SIR – I have to agree that there are many frustrations caused by motorway maintenance, as you reported recently (‘Roadworks rage drivers resort to dirty protests’, Fleet NewsNet, July 7).

Yesterday, I travelled from Barnsley to London, starting off at 4pm. During that journey we had to ‘slow down, workforce on road’ to 40mph in Leicestershire, where I could see no one working, then pass through several 50mph zones, where again there were no workers.

In addition, by the time I got to Bedfordshire overhead signs showed the M25 was closed between junctions 21 and 22.

This was at approximately 6pm, a significant time after it had actually reopened.

Mile after mile of empty roadworks lead to people disregarding the speed limit and in the end everyone goes faster. I tried to find out about road conditions during a stop at the services, but nothing was available.

I know there used to be screens at some services that showed road reports. Surely the Highways Agency could sponsor this service and it would benefit all?

I had a fairly clear journey. However, it would have been better if valid speed restrictions had been in place.

I have no objection when people are working but believe the restrictions should be lifted when personnel are off site.

Trevor Toombs
Facilities and Compliance Manager, Braitrim (UK)

How do drivers avoid poor-quality diesel?

SIR – Your recent article ‘Minute particles, maximum damage’ (Fleet News, June 16) about poor-quality diesel raises important questions. The article says ‘you get what you pay for’, but how do I know that I am getting good-quality diesel? There are two garages on opposite sides of a local road and one offers diesel for 2p per litre less than the other. Why? Does price really link to quality or is it simply profiteering? As an aside, three of our fleet drivers have accidentally put petrol in their vehicles and not run them. The cost to rectify differed enormously. For a SEAT, we were charged £50, but for a Honda, we were charged £250. So drivers beware!

Alex Marks
By email

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