Friday, 14 January 2011

News Roundup 14 January 2011

Welcome to 2011 and a new idea for the blog; a news roundup. If I can do it weekly then great but hopefully it will be a regular and frequent source of updates. So, here goes…

Uninsured drivers are a menace on the roads so any measure to crack down on them should be welcomed. However, government initiatives should always be welcomed cautiously. For some time there has been talk of enforcing continuous vehicle insurance and it looks like it will pass into law in the next few months. The idea is that the DVLA and Motor Insurers’ Bureau will work together to identify cars that appear to be uninsured. The registered keeper will be informed of the situation and could face fines or even have the vehicle seized and crushed. Where a SORN declaration has been made there would be no requirement to have insurance.

The problem is that serial uninsured drivers probably don’t bother registering cars in their own name or at their own address. And even if they did, would they pay any attention to a fine delivered by post? I can’t help thinking that the best way to deal with uninsured drivers is to have more police patrols with ANPR stopping uninsured vehicles and, where the driver does not have valid insurance, taking the car on the spot and making the driver and passengers walk home. More “Police: Stop” type programmes on television showing this might get the message across more effectively. Above all, the guiding principle for the government (any government) is that effectively enforcing the legislation you’ve got is better than writing new laws.

Date for the diary

From Fourwheelsteer: Motoring Writer

A couple of years ago I want to the Historic Motor Sport Show at the showground in Stonleigh, Warwickshire, as it wasn’t far from home. Full of interesting machinery and people it seemed like an event that deserved to prosper. Now, in the guise of ‘Race Retro’, the event does indeed appear to be doing well and this year’s event takes place on 25th-27th February. Why should you care? For one thing the 1950s Moto Guzzi, 500cc V8 motorcycle will make its UK debut – not just as a static exhibit but it will be fired up so visitors can hear it running. Also running on a special rally stage will be a variety of cars including a Lancia Delta Integrale, Vauxhall Chevette HS and Mercedes 190E Cosworth.

New Car of the Week

From Fourwheelsteer: Motoring Writer

Land Rover Defender X-Tech. I have a soft spot for Land Rovers and the silver and black X-Tech Defender limited edition looks almost too cool. If only it were available with a petrol/LPG V8…

Disappointment of the Week

From Fourwheelsteer: Motoring Writer

When I saw that Skoda had produced a Fabia to mark 100 years of the Monte Carlo Rally I thought it might be a special version of the sporting vRS. Maybe an even hotter vRS, or just given a green and white body/interior like Skoda’s rally cars. Instead the Fabia Monte Carlo is based on the SE and comes with some fairly ordinary engines. I’m sure it is a perfectly fine car and that some clever person with a spreadsheet has calculated that this model will sell better than a limited edition performance variant. But when Skoda has been heavily promoting the performance Fabia you’d think a rally-themed model was just the thing to give it some serious credibility.

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