Up to 10 local authorities could be planning to introduce workplace charging levies, which could cost employees up to £1,000 per year to park at work. According to The AA, Hounslow Council is proposing to introduce a charge between £500 and £1,000 and nine other councils are considering similar measures. The schemes are designed to reduce inner-city emissions and improve air quality by discouraging drivers from using their car to get to work.
Millions of newly qualified drivers will be better prepared for life on the road under changes to the driving test that will better reflect real life driving. The proposals announced by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will help reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads, and ensure safer drivers and journeys.
A growing number of motorists use the internet as the start point when searching for car maintenance services, and the AA has responded to this practice with the launch of AA Garage Guide, an online search and booking tool that helps motorists find the best local franchise dealerships and independent garages in the UK.
AA research reveals that the UK continues to levy the highest level of road fuel tax in the EU – despite four years of a fuel duty freeze. Analysis of road fuel tax levels in Europe shows that, despite UK fuel duty being frozen at 57.95p since March 2011, drivers in this country still pay the biggest chunk (69 per cent) per litre than those in other European countries.
The Government’s Road Conditions in England Report brings a mixed bag of results with some minor improvements on certain road categories and deteriorating roads elsewhere. Generally the AA believes that a great proportion of motoring taxation should be ring-fenced for road improvements.
Modern cars are in danger of being hacked by criminal gangs, motoring experts have warned once again. Possible motivations for hacking are said to include theft of information, extortion and even causing vehicles to crash.
Security vulnerabilities in connected cars and in TPMS/RFID systems have been identified before (see “Automotive suppliers, smart cars, intelligent tyres and safety concerns” in last February’s magazine and “Researchers Hack a Hole in TPMS” in the September 2010 issue of Tyres & Accessories), but now attention is turning to cars fitted with wireless networks and Internet. The fear is that these connections can be exploited by hackers with access and control a car’s systems, including braking and acceleration potentially being overriding remotely, according to security consultants.
The AA has welcomed the latest Department for Transport Think! campaign looking at the dangers of rural roads. Edmund King, AA president, said: “Many drivers, particularly young drivers, are under the miscomprehension that motorways are more dangerous than rural roads.”