Lots of things are always happening at Cougar Accident Repair Centre and we endeavor to keep you informed of our activities on this page.
Putting You In The Know About Drug Driving Limits
The Police have recently announced they will be putting new laws in place that will catch those who are under the influence of drugs. This law has been welcomed with open arms by many, but it's not only illegal drugs that are the issue, it's also prescribed medication. These new rules will be put into place on March 2nd 2015 and introduce specified limits for 16 different drugs, similar to how drink driving is currently controlled.
The Police have decided against a zero limit, due to certain drugs being absorbed into the body and leaving trace amounts, along with those who may have been exposed to drugs such as cannabis smoke without knowing. Although this new legislation is a step in the right direction to ensuring the safety of British roads, you need to make sure you know the limits on pharmaceutical drugs before you're arrested for drug-driving without even knowing.
This new law will however, provide the means for a medical defence if you're taking prescribed medication that does not leave you impaired. This will only apply to illegal drugs if they have been prescribed. If convicted of drug driving you'll get a minimum of a one-year driving ban, up to a £5,000 fine and a criminal record that will stay there for 11 years. Not only does this cause numerous problems such as possibly losing your job if it requires a license and not being able to enter certain countries, you might also not be able to get insured. Some insurers have informed customers that they will not insure anyone who has a drug or drink driving conviction.
If you do take prescription medication, it will be important to make sure you carry relevant documentation in the car with you, in case you are stopped and need to prove your medical defence. To stay safe and ensure prescription or illegal drugs do not catch you out, here are the guidelines on the limits.
Prescription Drug Limits
1 Clonazepam (used to treat seizures and panic disorder) - 50µg/L
2 Diazepam (anti-anxiety) - 550µg/L
3 Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol - sedative) - 300µg/L
4 Lorazepam (anti-anxiety) - 100µg/L
5 Methadone (heroin substitute) - 500µg/L
6 Morphine (pain relief) - 80µg/L
7 Oxazepam (anti-anxiety) - 300µg/L
8 Temazepam (anti-anxiety and sedative) - 1,000µg/L
Illegal Drug Limits
1 Benzoylecgonine (cocaine) - 50 micrograms per litre of blood (µg/L)
2 Cocaine - 10µg/L
3 Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabis and cannabinol) - 2µg/L
4 Ketamine - 20µg/L
5 LSD - 1µg/L
6 Methylamphetamine - 10µg/L
7 MDMA (ecstasy) - 10µg/L
8 Heroin and diamorphine - 5µg/L
Move It Like a Motorbiker
Driving can sometimes be mundane and there's not many ways you can entertain yourself safely whilst doing so. Many of us will indulge in singing along to the radio or our favourite CD, but have you ever managed to fit in a little dance practice as well? Probably not…
However, things seem a little easier when you're on a motorbike and one man took full advantage of that. Whilst waiting at some red lights this motorcyclist took the opportunity to practice his body popping and we'd say he's not too bad at it either.
Insurers To Crack Down On Car Calls
The AA have looked into the consequences that motorists might face if caught driving whilst using a mobile phone, and found that insurers plan to get tough with offenders.
Unmarked Police lorries were recently trialled in order to spot drivers who are committing an offence whilst driving such as texting, phoning, or speeding etc. This 'Spy From The Cab' campaign has been put in place due to officers in standard police cars not being able to see all offences from their vantage point. From the viewpoint of a lorry cab, officers can video record offenders and then quickly call for bike or motor officers to pull the car over.
Insurance companies are taking this new move very seriously, and are showing their support in catching these drivers by putting premiums up for those caught, and some may even refuse to renew a insurance contract. A main reason for insurers toughening up is that drivers who use their phone are four times more likely to have a crash than any other driver. This new initiative is to help save lives and is welcomed by many, including Janet Conner, Managing Director of AA Insurance. Janet said: "While drivers may mistakenly exceed a speed limit, no-one uses a handheld phone by mistake. It's a deliberate act that diverts attention from driving, significantly heightening the risk of a crash."
When caught by Police the fine for the offence is the same as speeding, which is three points and £100 fine, but insurers may add to that by raising premiums by at least another hundred. Some insurance companies overlook drivers with speeding fines, but the AA believe they will ensure drivers are penalised for committing mobile related offences. Insurance premiums reflect the driver, the risk they put others at and the cost they will cause to the insurance company. Janet added: "Those who have a single speeding conviction are up to 30% more likely to make an accident claim than those who have a clean licence."
There is currently a widespread danger to all drivers, caused by those who insist on using their mobile devices whilst driving. In an AA poll many drivers believe that it is the biggest road safety concern and the most irritating behaviour of other drivers that poses a serious risk to those involved. Any form of distraction that could be the cause of an accident is dangerous, even using a handheld phone. "Drivers also even admit that hands-free phones can be a distraction and, in the event of a crash, police can take their use into account,” added Janet.
There is no excuse for using mobile devices whilst driving, and no call or text is more important than a life. Janet also suggested that those who call someone and can hear they're driving should immediately terminate the call as they are contributing to the risk. What do you think about insurers bringing in tougher consequences for these offenders? We are in agreement with insurers as lives are more important and those who take risks whilst driving need to understand how serious it is and face dire consequences. Do you also agree that this will hopefully make roads safer? Please let us know through Facebook or Twitter!