THE Motorman column is backing road safety charity Brake’s Road Safety Week initiative from November 14 to 20. The theme through the week and beyond is ‘Safe Roads For All’, with opportunities for everyone to reflect on how we use the roads and what we can do to reduce risk.
The initiative encourages individuals to pledge to use roads safely, minimise vehicle use and support safe system solutions. Schools for example can help by teaching young people to step up and learn how to create a safe and healthy future and to use our roads more safely. Emergency services professionals can highlight their vital role in helping keep us safe, and policymakers can develop and mandate safe systems for all road users. Safety Week organisers urge everyone to pledge their support for road safety and try to reduce risk to improve safety on all of our journeys.
To help achieve improved safety, here are five simple tips suggested by the organisers that will result in safer road journeys for everyone:
1. Think about how you can use roads safely on every journey to protect both yourself and other road userS as well.
2. Observe speed limits and in doing so play your part in making communities safer.
3. Banish distractions. Switch your mobile phone off before you set off, if you need to check messages pull over and stop somewhere safe.
4. Take it easy on bends and country roads, and always make sure you can stop in the distance you can see ahead.
5. Don’t treat a road journey as a race or a contest, don’t try to beat your best time, instead focus on arriving safely in a calm frame of mind.
If we resist the temptation to be competitive, we’re removing a significant cause of many collisions, and in so doing will be reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. Road Safety Week is co-ordinated by Brake and supported by a wide cross-section of employers, organisations and individuals and this motoring column is pleased to play its part in raising awareness of road safety issues, not only among our readers but across the wider community. Please drive safely – you know it makes sense.
Exciting week of racing on four wheels and two
AT São Paulo’s Brazilian Grand Prix it was a weekend for firsts. A delighted Kevin Magnusson claimed his first pole position– and his team Haas’s first – in a qualifying session interrupted by a red flag and rain.
George Russell scored his first F1 sprint victory, which was also Mercedes’ first race win in 2022. Russell passed Max Verstappen soon after the midway point in a bruising race in which Verstappen sank to fourth after a colliding with Carlos Sainz. Sainz went on to take second place behind of the second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.
n the main race, a few more firsts: George Russell won his first grand prix in his first season and Mercedes won their first grand prix in 2022. The race was marred as a spectacle from the start when first Hamilton and Verstappen clashed, ending any chance Verstappen had. Ricciardo took Magnussen and himself out on the first lap and Norris spun Charles Leclerc out to the back of the field.
It was a great victory for Russell who was chased all the way to the line by teammate Hamilton, whos was less than two seconds behind. Third was Sainz with teammate Leclerc recovering from the back to fourth. It was a brilliant fifth for Fernando Alonso from a hard-charging Verstappen in sixth, fighting his way back from last after that clash with Hamilton. Verstappen was asked to give up his sixth place to teammate Perez who was running seventh to help Perez’s fight for second in the championship, but Verstappen threw a strop and refused. In eighth was Esteban Ocon, ninth was Valtteri Bottas and tenth and last points scorer was Lance Stroll. The final round is Abu Dhabi next week.
In World Superbikes Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista became the first Ducati rider since 2011 to win the world title. The fight for the championship came to a thrilling conclusion in Indonesia as Bautista took the title by finishing in second place in Race 2. Despite Toprak Razgatlioglu claiming a hat-trick of wins, Bautista’s second place was enough for the Spanish rider to take the crown with a round to spare.
Bautista headed into Race 2 knowing a podium finish would secure him the title and he did just that to secure his first title. In doing so, he becomes the third different rider from a third different manufacturer in three seasons to claim the title, Razgatlioglu and Yamaha in 2021 and Larne man Jonathan Rea and Kawasaki in 2020 going before him. This Titanic trio were inseparable all season with the three battling for podium slots throughout. Congratulations to Alvaro Bautista and thank you for an amazing season.
In Japan in the final round of the World Rally Championship Thierry Neuville led Elfyn Evans by just four seconds heading into Sunday’s five-stage finale. It was set for a thrilling final day of the 2022 season as the cars roared into morning service for the last time and tyres were the talk of the town. Meteorologists from both camps offered contrasting opinions on whether rain would fall in the early afternoon.
Neuville believed it would and took wet weather tyres as spares. Evans, on the other hand, wasn’t convinced and took only dry weather tyres.
It appeared Evans had made the correct choice when he moved to within six-tenths of a second of Neuville, but the excitement was short-lived, and disaster struck on the very next test. A miscommunication between Evans and co-driver Scott Martin saw Evans nudge a kerb with his rear left wheel, the resultant puncture took more than 90 seconds to fix, stopping the victory scrap dead in its tracks as Evans plummeted down the order. Whilst rain did arrive for the final two tests, by then it was no worry for Neuville. On his wet weather tyres, he cruised to the finish over a minute clear of team-mate Ott Tänak.
A fine suggestion in testing times but other considerations need taken into account
A MOTORING organisation has made an approach to authorities asking that parking fines be suspended during the cost-of-living crisis. The reason for the request was that people cannot afford to pay fines in these unprecedented times of austerity.
The response from the authorities was that parking fines are not enforced to raise funds, they are enforced to stop people parking where they are not supposed to park.
Illegal parking can cause a danger to pedestrians and other motorists by restricting the view of the road, preventing deliveries from being made and blocking dedicated spaces that disabled drivers and/or parent and toddlers only are entitled to use.
Yes, fines during a cost-of-living crisis would seem somehow immoral, but is parking illegally and blocking people with special needs not as bad? Don’t risk a fine, only ever park legally.
In other motoring news, an English driver found guilty by dashcam footage of intentionally blocking an ambulance on its way to attend an emergency has had his licence suspended for three years, fined £600 and ordered to do community service.
Volkswagen claims it has developed a hydrogen-powered car with a range of 2,000 kilometres on one fill, yet at the same time we have received news that hydrogen refuelling stations opened by Shell between 2017 and 2019 have all been closed, Shell citing a lack of confidence in the future of hydrogen powered-vehicles.
Meanwhile, expect exciting developments in the world of hydrogen-powered trucks. Watch this space.