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Driving charity supports point increase for phone use

A road safety charity has welcomed reports that the government is considering doubling penalty points for those caught using their phone while driving.

Brake is backing the proposed point increase that was recommended by the Metropolitan Police Chief.

This is a welcome proposal, and we hope the government will implement it.

Brake has long campaigned for tougher penalties for mobile phone use at the wheel because of the suffering we see the bereaved and injured victims of road crashes put through as the result of such a senseless and unnecessary risk.

An increase in penalty points is a step in the right direction, but it could provide a more effective deterrent if combined with a increase in the fixed penalty fine to £500-1,000, as well as heightened traffic enforcement, so risky law-breaking drivers know they will not get away with it."

– Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake

Motorist designs app to avoid queues at level crossings

Help could soon be at hand for drivers left fuming, waiting in queues at level crossings. One driver from Thatcham in Berkshire is so infuriated at the problem he's decided to do something about it.

Steve Ardagh-Walter is developing a system that tells drivers when the barriers are down so they can avoid the queues. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

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More education for young drivers says RAC

It's a chilling fact that parents of young drivers fear the most: teenage motorists are more likely to be involved in a car crash than any other age group. That's despite the fact that those youngsters make up only a very small number of drivers.

The RAC say if new licence restrictions for inexperienced drivers were brought in, every year more than 43 people could be prevented from being injured or killed. Derek Johnson reports, speaking to mother Denise Tegg and safety expert Wale Yusuff.

Mother's tailgating warning 10 years after toddler crash

A mother from Surrey, whose toddler was killed 10 years ago this month, wants motorists to beware of how dangerous Tailgating is.

Marcus Mohabir was just two-years-old when the car he was in was involved in a terrible accident on the way back home to Godalming from a day-trip to Brighton. Seven other people died in the crash.

Tailgating - when a car behind drives too close to the one in front - is the biggest annoyance for motorists but as the death of Marcus shows, it's dangerous and can claim lives. David Wood spoke to Tracey Mohabir, Marcus' mother and Ed Morrow from Road Safety charity Brake.

People worry about tailgating but admit to doing it

Tailgating on the motorway is a worry for drivers, even though over half of people admit to doing it.

The survey, organised by the charity Break and insurance company Direct Line, showed that 57% of people owned up to leaving less than a 2 second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front.

But out of the 1000 asked, 95% said that they were worried about tailgating.

It also showed that men were worse offenders than women.

The survey also showed that 60% break the 70mph motorway speed limit by 10mph or more.

Drivers admitted to tailgating but were also worried about it Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Campaign to reduce crashes on Kent roads

The campaign looks top reduce crashes on Kent's roads Credit: PA Wire

A road safety team from Kent are working to reduce the number of motorists killed on the county's roads.

They are planning to work with the insurance industry to define crash risks and driver profiles so that there can be better focus on driver activity.

In Kent, the number of people killed or serious injured in road crashes fell by half between 2000 and 2010.

Research shows that nearly 80% of crashes occur because of behavioural factors - such as driving while drunk, on drugs or with distractions.

Kent County Council works in partnership with Kent Police, the Highways Agency, Medway Council and Kent Fire & Rescue Service under Kent’s Casualty Reduction Group (CaRe), the countywide body that collaborates over casualty reduction across the county.

David Brazier, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Environment & Transport, said:

“Making sure our roads are as safe as they can be is a key priority for the county council as we work to keep the Kent economy moving and support healthy living.

"In 2012, 524 people were killed or seriously injured on our roads. While the long term trend in our county is down – between 2000 and 2010, the number of KSIs fell by 50%, the figures for 2013, which are currently being validated, appear to be increasing."

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Call for people to stop driving when dementia starts

The families of people with dementia are being urged to encourage their loved ones to give up driving, because of the potential dangers including the threat to their own lives, and those of others on the roads.

Alzheimer's Disease affects 800,000 people in this country, and before diagnosis and even after - some sufferers are still driving when they should not be behind the wheel.

A survey by a road safety charity has found a decline in the cognitive abilities of older motorists was the biggest worry for more than half of those questioned.

When David Orr from South Oxfordshire was diagnosed with Alzheimers, his family convinced him to stop driving. He has said that although it was a hard conversation to have, he is glad his relatives were honest with him. He told his story to our reporter Kate Bunkall.

Police warn drivers who hog the middle lane

Police across the South are cracking down on so-called middle lane hoggers on our motorways. Forces were granted more powers in July to stop drivers who don't move over and cause congestion.

Since then Surrey Police have prosecuted more than 20 drivers on the M25 and M23, but thousands more have been warned. Many who are pulled over say they simply don't realise they are causing problems.

Christmas driving tips from the AA

The AA has released a list of tips for drivers over the busy period at Christmas and New year on the roads.

Day 1: Do something selfish - drive safer and adopt safer driving.

Day 2: Do something unselfish - drive friendlier. Make it your New Year's resolution to treat vulnerable road users better.

Day 3: Do something for a friend - take better care of your friend - your car and check the oil, water and tyres.

Day 4: Do something for the planet - Drive greener by changing gear earlier and sticking to the speed limit.

Day 5: Do something for the future - Do more interesting things with your car and your life- visit www.twixtmas.com to find alternative country routes to the main roads for a more enjoyable journey.

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