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LETTERS to Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

Well done on stand against tailgaters

I COULD not agree more with the two articles ‘Cameras target the tailgaters’ and ‘Race to send tailgaters to the back of the grid’ (Fleet News, October 12).

May I applaud the Highways Agency for this scheme, which for once I believe will prove to make our motorways even safer.

As a vigilant driver, I always leave a safe distance of at least two seconds between me and the car in front when I’m on the motorway.

It’s normal for a vehicle to cut in front of me because the two-second gap between the vehicle in front and my own is too inviting not to squeeze into, forcing me to slow to maintain a safe distance.

It seems that despite my best efforts to keep safe, drivers will always use this gap to cut in because they appear to be in a great hurry.

On several parts of the motorways there are chevrons painted on the road and it appears that at these points drivers are sticking to the two-second rule, but only as they are prompted. I fear this will also be the case in Oxfordshire, where the cameras will be trialled. But if these new schemes can work in conjunction with each other throughout the country then our roads will become much safer.

DAN PEARSON
Projects administrator Close Assistance

Lane hogs should pay more to drive

THANKS for a well-balanced article ‘Race to send tailgaters to the back of the grid’ (Fleet News, October 12).

You mentioned the problem of the centre or outside- lane hoggers, who seem to be in the ascendance. It would be good if we had more physical police enforcement to deal with them, for such drivers often also speed, sticking out like a sore thumb in the outside lane in two and three lane highways. They perhaps speed in the belief that they are going so fast that no one would want to overtake them, so they don’t need to look in the mirror.

In this age of technology as we head inexorably to road charging, what about a big price differential for travelling in lanes one, two and three? Then there might be a financial incentive to move back when it is safe.

RICHARD SWEETMAN
Kelvedon Risk Consulting

Service and repairs a letdown at dealers

IN response to the article ‘Vehicle suppliers worst for service’ (Fleet News, October 12), indirectly vehicle suppliers are the worst for servicing and repairs too. Our cars are contract-hired and the supplier specifies where the cars are serviced – usually the local main dealership.

Often you’ll be lulled into a false sense of security by the desk staff appearing extremely efficient. In reality, efficiency is not their watchword at all.

Typically, I will book a car in for service or repair at least two weeks in advance to enable the driver to be offered a loan car. If I don’t do this, the garage ‘kindly’ offers the driver a lift to and from work. This results in the loss of at least an hour of the working day because this lift has to fit into the dealership’s delivery and collection timings.

Having taken the vehicle in for the service or repair, on collection you will almost certainly be asked to re-book it in at another date because certain vital components for the job are out of stock.

On at least one occasion I have collected a car and have needed to ask the garage to remove oily finger marks from the steering wheel or oil marks from the seats and upholstery. Because we are told where to have the car serviced it is difficult to compare the quality of service of a dealership against a local garage. I can only relate to the days when I had a private car. The local garage I used was always more then helpful, usually exceeded expectations and always seemed fairly priced. The proof of the pudding would be to take the company car to a local garage for the next service. However, this would inevitably invalidate the warranty.

STEWART COX
Divisional procurement manager, Holliday Pigments

Sat-nav has positive impact on business

IN reference to your article ‘Driver safety top of sat-nav review’ (Fleet News, October 12), satellite navigation units are a distraction for drivers, myself included. But, as with all things, common sense needs to prevail here.

There have been a number of television programmes and editorial articles slamming these devices, but they do have a very positive impact on business when used correctly.

On a recent journey I was unfortunate enough to grind to a halt on the A14 at 4.25pm because there had been a major accident.

I didn’t move again until after midnight and finally, when I thought I could stop for a much-needed break on the M6, there was a lorry across three lanes, causing the motorway to close and all traffic to exit at junction three.

I did not have a clue where I was and without this unit would not have managed to find my way home. I drove sensibly and allowed time to follow instructions from the unit. Problems happen when drivers do not listen to the full directions given. People also need educating in programming prior to driving, not during – much the same as mobile phone usage.

Like all things, there is a market for this device, which requires instructions to be followed, and if they are, the facility offered is excellent.

ANN DUKANOVIC
Fleet manager, Kaba Door Systems

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