Tips

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Tips

The top 5 theory test apps in 2022

We all know that learning to drive can be a tricky experience. Along with the novelty of getting behind the wheel, there’s the theory test to pass… The experts recommend 20 hours of revision before you attempt to take your theory test to ensure you have all the knowledge locked in your brain! The added pressure of a timed theory test could seem daunting, which is why downloading theory test apps to help you learn the ways of the road could save the day. But which ones are the best…?

Driving Test Success 2022 4 in 1 Kit

This app promises a first-time theory test pass, or your test fee money back! Available on Android and iOS app stores at a cost of £4.99, you have the ability to test yourself on 85 hazard perception clips, the 2022 Highway Code, UK road signs and theory test questions. The app will monitor and track your progress over time, allowing you to be aware of your results and know when you are ready to take the test… The app also contains bonus content uncommon across others. This feature informs you of the 10 top ways to avoid failing your practical test, as well as additional exclusive offers. This app has a pass rate of an enormous 97%. Say hello to driving test success!

Official DVSA Theory Test Kit

Having been created by the DVSA themselves, you can rely on this app to be 100% accurate – a reason why it remains so popular amongst learner drivers. Available across iOS and Android, the app comes at a price of £4.99, but those will be pennies well spent as you will be able to revise and test your knowledge with multiple choice questions before sitting accurate practice tests. The questions throughout the app mirror the ones you can expect on the real test with slightly alternate wording, as well as 34 CGI hazard perception videos and the ability to revise the Highway Code. The app will also send you helpful and encouraging reminders as your real test date approaches!

Driving Theory Test UK 2022

This app offers a free trial, before paying a price of £3.99. This cost will allow you the options to listen to, as well as read, the questions you are attempting to answer, and revise the Highway Code in their accompanying app, also included in the price. Available across Android and iOS app stores, you will have the options to both revise the questions and sit a mock test, ensuring that you are ready to pass your theory test in no time. This app has intelligent learning systems to take into account your past scores and the topics you need more practice on.

2022 Driving Theory Test UK

This app, available on iOS 13.0 or later, offers you a free trial allowing you to revise sections of the updated 2022 Highway Code, exam questions, all UK road signs and participate in hazard perception videos. This is accompanied by a cheat detection software, encouraging you to be truthful to yourself! You can then purchase the full app at a price of £4.99, unlocking the remainder of the questions within each section. The app also works offline, allowing you to practice whilst on the move.

Driving Theory Test Genie UK

This driving theory test app is based on information from the official 2022 Highway Code manual. It includes 725 questions that are written based on this updated manual, meaning that there are no surprises when you get to the real test! The app provides theory test revision questions, detailed explanations and varying difficulty levels so that you can control your own progress. There are new questions every time you enter the app, to keep you on your toes! This also works offline so that you can inch closer to your practical driving test every day, without worrying about Wi-Fi!

Top tips for passing your theory test

As well as practicing on your theory test app for the big day, there are a number of tips you can follow to ensure a good result!

Book in advance

Booking your theory test in advance will give you an incentive to do the revision. A deadline could give you just the right amount of pressure to make sure you open up that app and work through the multiple choice questions on a regular basis.

Pay attention when travelling

Whether you’re on the bus or a passenger in a car, consistently pay attention to the road. Observe how cars go over roundabouts and the road signs that are sprinkled along your journey – this will also help you with hazard perception!

Take regular mock tests

Mock tests are the best way of monitoring your progress. The more you do these tests, the more prepared you will feel for the real theory test. Confidence will help you on the day of your test, along with being as ready as possible.

On the day… take your time

For your test, you will be given 57 minutes to answer 50 questions. Make the most of this time and consider each question carefully – rushing could mean that you miss the details in a question, resulting in the wrong answer!

On the day… flag the hard questions

If you find a question particularly difficult, there is a feature on the test technology which lets you flag the question, and come back to it at the end. This ensures you have enough time to complete the test, and give the question more attention.

After you’ve passed your theory test, your practical driving test will be looming. Give yourself the best chance you can at becoming a proficient car driver, and invest in lessons from Lanes School of Driving! Our experienced instructors will ensure you’re safe on the roads and feel confident behind the wheel. Give us a call on 020 8166 5678 or email us at .

Tips

Learner drivers: Can you drive at night?

When you’re a provisional learner, it’s easy to think that you may not be allowed to do certain things. However, there’s actually more freedom than you think! For example, learner drivers are even allowed to drive on motorways with experienced instructors. Let’s start off with something a little more manageable though – driving in the dark. Are learner drivers allowed to drive at night, or is it something that’s left for when you have those ‘P’ plates?

Are there restrictions for learner drivers?

In short, no there aren’t any restrictions when it comes to when you drive – day or night, you can drive at any time. However, as with driving in the daytime, you need to meet this checklist:

  • Have a valid provisional licence
  • Be insured on the car you’re driving
  • Be accompanied by either a driving instructor or an experienced driver who is over 21, and who has had a full driving licence for at least three years
  • Display ‘L’ plates on the car you’re driving

What are the benefits of learning in the dark?

It can sometimes be beneficial to embark on some night-time drives as a learner. Although it comes with more risk, building up experience of driving in the dark can give you confidence so that when you’ve passed your test, you’ll be able to drive without worrying. It’s also a good time to take the opportunity to practise while someone experienced is next to you and able to guide you through the tricky parts. As it’s easier to become disoriented in the dark, practising more will benefit you and could increase your confidence for daytime driving too.

Tips for night-time driving

When you’re in your practical driving lessons and you’re driving in the dark, put these tips into effect and it may make the process easier for you:

Clean your headlights

Ensuring these are clear will make it easier for you to see in the dark, unobstructed by any dirt that may have been lingering on the surface!

Don’t wear tinted glasses

These can obscure your vision even more than the night-time already has! Make sure your environment is as light as you can make it.

Leave more time for your journey

In the dark, you may have to drive a little slower than normal. It’s hard to judge the speed of other cars, so it’s better to be on the safe side.

Know your car

It’s important that you know which headlights to use in which circumstances. This will make you more comfortable in your car and on the road.

Anticipate hazards

This is the time for your hazard perception to come into play! Noticing hazards while you still have time to react to them will be even more important in the dark.

Practise, practise, practise

Learning to drive is all about practise, and the more you drive in the dark, the more comfortable you’re bound to feel. It all comes with confidence!

Learning to drive in the dark can be so beneficial for you, helping you overcome your fears and worries. Whether you’re looking for block lessons driving a manual car or you’ve passed your driving test and have found yourself needing a refresher course, Lanes School of Driving can help you out – especially if you’ve never driven in the dark before.

Give us a call on 020 8166 5678 or email us at  top quality driving lessons!

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Tips

2022 changes to the Highway Code you need to know

How long has it been since you gave yourself a refresher course on the Highway Code? Now might be the time to get the books out, or to download an app to jog your memory on the way of the roads. As of 29th January 2022, the Highway Code was added to – you need to know these rules! Let’s go over what they are so that you know how to use the road safely, and in line with the newest guidelines.

  1. Hierarchy of road users

The new guidelines have outlined a new hierarchy on the road. So, who’s the new ruler of the kingdom? Pedestrians and cyclists have priority on the roads to ensure their safety, as they are the most vulnerable road users! Where safe, drivers must give way to people on foot and bikes. This is because they are most at risk in the event of a collision on the road.

  1. Give way to pedestrians on junctions

Drivers on the road should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting at the side of the road and junctions. This is relevant at zebra crossings and parallel crossings (which includes a cycle route alongside the stripes). In other words, if you are a driver you will need to give way to pedestrians in many situations to reduce the danger that they are put in.

  1. Road position of cyclists

The ideal road position for a cyclist is now in the middle of the lane. This makes them more visible, and means that drivers will find it easier to be cautious around them. Where possible, cyclists should be 1.5 metres away from the pavement. This means that as drivers, we need to be aware of them!

  1. Overtaking cyclists and horse riders

If there is a cyclist or horse rider near the pavement, drivers are now allowed to cross a double-white line if they need to overtake. If overtaking a cyclist, leave 1.5m of space between you and them. For pedestrians and horse riders, 2m is advised! If it’s unsafe to overtake, patience is key. Just wait them out until you can safely manoeuvre.

  1. Cyclists on roundabouts

Due to the change in the hierarchy, drivers and motorcyclists must give priority to cyclists on roundabouts. We shouldn’t try and overtake cyclists within our lane, and instead should follow them slowly to ensure their safety. Cyclists are at risk of the greatest harm on the roads, so driving carefully and giving them right of way is a step to making them feel at ease.

  1. The ‘Dutch Reach’

The ‘Dutch Reach’ is a new technique that makes it safer to open your door to leave your parked vehicle. This technique asks you to open your car door with the opposite arm, making you look behind your shoulder for any hazards such as cars or pedestrians. For example, if your door is on your right, open it with your left hand. This will save injuries!

Have these changes made you realise that you need to read up on the rest of the Highway Code? Here at Lanes School of Driving, we offer lessons to aid you through the learning for your practical test, and your theory test. Why not give us a call to start your journey? Contact us on 020 8166 5678 or email us at .

How to drive safely during the cold winter months
Tips

How to drive safely during the cold winter months

Unfortunately, the start of a brand-new year comes with a few more winter months with freezing cold weather. Driving in winter can be a little scary, especially if you’re a new driver. If you’re even a little bit apprehensive, reading this will mean you can have some advice under your belt. We’re here to give you some top tips on how to drive in the unforgiving winter weather.

Keep your distance

In super cold weather, the roads may be icy. If this is the case, stopping distances can increase by up to 10 times! This means that in a situation where you may need to stop quickly, you’ll need to be far away from the car in front to avoid a collision. Keeping your distance will ensure that you have this option, helping you drive safely.

Steer into a skid

On the off chance that your car is in a skid due to the icy weather conditions, it’s important to steer into the skid which will effectively stop it. This counteracts the process of a skid and should be done gently! This means if the rear of your car is going left, you should carefully steer to the left.

Slow speed and gentle manoeuvres

If you’re in danger of slippery roads, going slowly will be your best friend. As well as making you feel more in control, it will give you more opportunity to react to the weather and to other road users, ensuring you get home safely. It’s a similar story with gentle manoeuvres – caution is key in wintery weather!

Carry a breakdown and first aid kit

It’s always a good idea to have these kits in your car anyway, but in winter it’s especially important. Having a breakdown kit includes a fully charged phone or the facilities to charge it, high viz, a hazard triangle, a puncture repair kit and more. There will also be a blanket and warm clothing, and the first aid kit ensures you can stay safe until help arrives in the event of an incident or breakdown.

Pull away in second gear

In the event of ice and snow, first gear may not give you enough grip when moving off for the first time. Try pulling away in second gear – this will keep the revs down to a minimum which is what you want on snowy or icy roads. This may give you more confidence when driving in winter!

Check your tyres

In the lead up to winter, it could be an idea to check your tyres. In the UK, winter tyres aren’t essential, but they do make the driving experience easier. Winter tyres or all-season tyres become effective especially under 7°, meaning you can have sturdier grip on the road and a safer journey.

Ensure the car is ready for the drive

In winter, it’s very common to step outside ready for your journey to work and be faced with an icy vehicle. It’s essential to make sure that you completely de-ice your car before your drive! This includes clearing your headlights, brake lights, hazard lights and making sure your wiper blades are free to move. You’ll need your car working at its top potential in the winter!

Keep calm and keep driving!

It’s important that you stay calm! Driving in the winter can be intimidating, but if you’re thinking clearly and you don’t let the nerves get to you, then your driving will be more confident and safer. Take your time to think about your next move, and your journeys will be as easy as in the summertime.

Hopefully with these tips you’ll feel more confident about driving in these winter months! Here at Lanes School of Driving, we help our students build up the confidence to tackle any hurdles they may come across during their learning process. We can do the same for you, just enquire now by calling 020 8166 5678 or email us at .

young-driver
Tips

New year, new licence: Life after lessons

We all know that learning to drive can be a lengthy process. Theory test? Completed it. Gone through the stressful journey of learning to parallel park? Done and dusted. Now it’s time to smash your driving test. Your driving lessons are sure to have been enough for you to pass your test, so let’s set you loose on the roads!

Have you ever wondered what life will be like after your lessons? We’re here to tell you the little details that you may not have thought of after you’ve passed your test!

Get your certificate

When you’ve passed your driving test, you’ll be awarded with a certificate to mark the occasion. Before you frame this and put it pride and place where the family can see it, keep it on you. Until your driving licence is updated, your certificate will be proof that you’re legal to drive. If anyone stops you, you’ll need this! It can take up to three weeks for your full driving licence to be finalised.

No immediate driving!

After you’ve passed your test all you’ll want to do is drive in rings around the block and take your friends on a road trip. However, you can’t drive immediately. Your instructor will take you home, and you won’t be able to drive until you’ve updated your insurance from provisional to full. This will be an exercise in patience, but once the insurance is in place you can go anywhere. Freedom!

Insurance and tax

Similar to the last point, before you’re able to drive you must ensure that your car insurance and your tax is updated. Whether this is a car that you own or that your family owns, your insurance must apply to your full driving licence that you just gained (congrats) and the tax needs to be up to date. To buy your tax either apply by post or at the post office. Paperwork is boring, but necessary!

‘Passed’ accessories

Although P plates aren’t compulsory, it’s a good idea to place them on the front and back of your car. This will communicate to fellow drivers that you’re fresh on the road, and if you do have a minor driving blunder (unlikely, we have faith in you), they’ll be more a little more lenient. There are no guidelines on how long to keep these on for – just take them off when you feel confident!

Allow time for practice

Although you’re now a legal driver, you are still a beginner. It may be an idea to set aside time for some additional practice… You could use this time to go over any minors you got in your driving test (if any). It’s also an opportunity to get used to driving alone, on motorways and in the dark. These things may scare you, so it’s good to make sure you feel confident when those situations arise.

Begin the hunt for a car!

Now that you can officially drive, now may be the time to begin your hunt for a car of your own. When you’re looking for your first car, it may be likely that your budget is a little tighter. If you go for something with a low engine capacity, your vehicle will be cheaper to insure. You heard it here first! It’s a good idea to look for a car with low mileage, to make sure you’ll get the most out of it possible.

Just passed your test? These tips will mean that you don’t get a shock when something like this comes up! If you passed your test a while ago and you would benefit from a refresher training course, one of our approved driving instructors at Lanes School of Driving would be happy to help you. Call us on 020 8166 5678 or email and we’ll make sure that driving is second nature.

christmas-car
Tips

Best car gifts this Christmas

Is it just us, or has 2021 been a bit of a blur? Christmas is already right around the corner! Along with Christmas comes the nail-biting task of having to buy presents that impress; face masks, a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, a 2022 calendar – these are classic stocking fillers that are quickly overlooked once Boxing Day has passed. They all get a bit repetitive (apart from the chocolate).

This year, why not think a little further outside the box? We all have those friends or family members who are car enthusiasts, so let’s brainstorm some Christmas gift ideas that will make you their new favourite person. Follow this guide on gifts for car lovers – watch this space Santa Claus!

Wireless car charger

We all know how it is. You’re in the biggest rush in the world and the time pressure has you flustered, then you get in the car and realise… your phone is on 10%. If only you kept a charger in your car. Buying someone a wireless phone charger for their car will definitely be a hit. It simply clips onto an air vent or plugs into your cigarette port. Just make sure their phone is compatible which your chosen charger!

Car hoover

Dirt and dust can easily build up, and it seems to happen quicker and quicker between every clean. Although a car wash isn’t the biggest expense, everything adds up! Gifting someone a compact car hoover is a brilliant way to keep their vehicle’s interior clean, allowing them to save some pennies in the process. These hoovers are one of the most effective car accessories, especially if you opt for a high-quality model.

Interior LEDs

Have you ever noticed how all the cars in the adverts have mood lighting in the interior? Now you can achieve the same, with car LEDs. They come in peel and stick strips for you to decorate the inside of your car. With a variety of colours and lighting modes, you could even create a party atmosphere! It’s a great, playful present that can transform how someone feels about their daily transport.

Phone holder

It’s rare that anybody uses the sat nav in their car. Most of the time, Google Maps is used much more frequently! The thing is, where do you put your phone so that you can see the directions? A phone holder is a simple but effective present that can be of use to anyone. Let them know to put it in a safe place, and nowhere that could distract them for their journey.

Car bin

We’re all guilty of a messy car sometimes. Whether it’s snacks on a long road trip or the odd breakfast as you’re driving to work, empty packets and tissues are bound to build up over time. That’s why a car bin is such a useful gift! By keeping their vehicle clean and tidy, someone is bound to thank you for this present (if they don’t, you can blame us – we won’t mind).

Cleaning kit

As well as a hoover, a cleaning set for your car is going to come in handy regularly. This is an especially good gift for pet lovers, as animal hair can get all over your seats and interior. Car kits come equipped with a lint roller, packs of flash wipes, and much more for when your car needs a little spruce up. This gift is useful and practical, and car enthusiasts are bound to want their car looking tip top!

If you or someone you know could do with a refresher course, or you need to obtain your licence so that you can put the car gifts you’ve received to good use, contact Lanes School of Driving. We have many courses to help you improve your skills, as well as the capacity for female led lessons. Call us on call on 020 8166 5678 or email us at  to get started.

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Tips

Understanding stopping distances: Longer than we think

Driving too fast, which we’re all guilty of sometimes, can be extremely dangerous – it’s not big, and it’s not clever… With conditions on the road always affecting the way we drive, they’re something we need to consider when leaving ourselves enough space to brake. Stopping distance is an equation made up of the thinking and braking distances (but don’t worry, we’re not about to make you complete a physics test!). Essentially:

Thinking distance + Braking distance = Stopping distance

So, what are these distances and how can the factors make a difference?

Thinking distance

Thinking distance is the amount of time it takes for you to register a hazard and start to brake your vehicle. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to brake immediately – we can’t all have reflexes like The Flash. The trouble is that the faster you’re driving, the further you’ll travel during the time it takes you to slam your foot on the brake. It then affects your braking distance. Some of the factors you should take into account are…

  • Tiredness – Lack of sleep plagues all of us sometimes, and can cause our attention span to suffer. Our reaction times may not be up to scratch, so take regular breaks if you’re tired.
  • Distractions – Lack of focus, as we all know, can result in catastrophe. It’s illegal to hold a mobile during your drive, but even hands-free driving can be dangerous.
  • Inebriation – You should never drive under the influence. Drugs and alcohol can severely impact your reaction time, and slower reactions will increase your chance of an accident.

Braking distance

Your braking distance is defined as the time that it takes for your car to stop once you’ve started to brake. The faster your speed, the longer it will take for you to come to a complete halt. Due to this changeable distance, the Highway Code outlines distances for a range of speeds. Whereas the thinking distance is often down to the condition of the driver, braking distance factors are often out of our control – deep breaths, control freaks…

  • Weather conditions – The weather can have a massive impact on driving. If the roads are wet or icy, it takes much longer to stop. It’s recommended to leave double the amount of space between you and the car in front when it’s wet, and up to 10x that amount if it’s icy.
  • Road conditions – Potholes are the least optimal road conditions, and we all know how uncomfortable they are to drive over. Muddy surfaces will also increase your braking distance, so drive with care along these roads.
  • Car conditions – This is something we do have control over. The condition of your brakes will dictate how quickly you stop, so make sure they’re as responsive as possible. The condition of your tyres is imperative – if the tread is too worn then it can take longer to brake.

As we can see, stopping your car is a little higher maintenance than you may have thought… Since your stopping distance is a combination of your thinking and braking times, we can see how it quickly adds up. Here are the recommended stopping distances for different speeds:

  • 20mph – Thinking 6m + Braking 6m = Stopping 12m (around 3 car lengths)
  • 30mph – Thinking 9m + Braking 14m = Stopping 23m
  • 40mph – Thinking 12m + Braking 24m = Stopping 36m
  • 50mph – Thinking 15m + Braking 38m = Stopping 53m
  • 60mph – Thinking 18m + Braking 55m = Stopping 73m
  • 70mph – Thinking 21m + Braking 75m = Stopping 96m

So, when you’re on that drive with friends or you’re running a few errands, make sure you keep your stopping distance in mind and leave room between yourself and the car in front. At the moment we’re all used to our personal space anyway…

For more on-the-road tips or to arrange your driving lessons, give Lanes School of Driving a call on 020 8166 5678 or email us at . We’ve helped thousands of students pass their test – you’ll never catch Lanes graduates driving too fast!

map-of-london
Tips

The changing ULEZ: What you need to know

In April of 2019, our London Mayor introduced the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) operating in Central London. Due to its success, the zone is being expanded to further the environmental benefits that we’ve seen from the ULEZ so far. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the zone expansion on 25th October 2021:

What is the ULEZ?

The ULEZ came about so that the level of air pollution in our city decreases. It discourages drivers with older, more harmful vehicles from driving through the area. If your vehicle doesn’t comply with the Euro 6 standards, you will regrettably have to pay a daily charge of £12.50 when you enter. You’ll be glad to hear, though, that four out of five cars on the roads are already in line with the ULEZ standards.

Every entry point into the ULEZ zone will be sign posted meaning that you’ll never be caught off guard, finding yourself in the zone unnecessarily. Keep your eye out for signs on the road, and you’re bound to be able to avoid it if you need to.

The ULEZ is in action 24/7, 364 days out of the year with 25th December being the only exception – Merry Christmas… Although this may seem inconvenient, the ULEZ has undeniably helped pollution in the area since its launch in 2019, with a 44% drop in nitrogen dioxide in roadside atmosphere within the boundaries.

Which areas will be affected?

At the moment the ULEZ area is quite contained, mirroring the area of the Congestion Charge (driving around London could sadly hit you with a double-whammy bill), but this will soon change. The area will be expanding up to the North and South Circular Roads, meaning the zone will be much larger – you may not be able to escape it this time. Some areas that should keep an eye out for the encroaching ULEZ are:

  • Hackney
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Haringey
  • Barnet
  • Ealing
  • Newham

What are the ULEZ standards and does my vehicle comply?

The standards will be staying the same, but if you’re driving in the new area of the ULEZ don’t forget to check that your vehicle meets these. The standards are…

  • Motorbikes, mopeds, quadricycles and motorised tricycles – Euro 3
  • Petrol cars, minibuses, vans and other specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) – Euro 4
  • Diesel cars, vans, other specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) and minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) – Euro 6

If you’re wondering whether your vehicle is in line with these standards, or you don’t even know what Euro 6 means, don’t worry! You can use TFL’s vehicle checker to find out if you will have to pay the daily £12.50 when driving through the zone.

What happens if I don’t pay?

If you fail to pay the daily charge for driving through the Ultra Low Emission Zone, you will receive the dreaded Penalty Charge Notice, and you could be asked to pay up to £160! So, in the long run, making sure your vehicle is ULEZ compliant is a much more cost-effective option than the alternative. This is something important to look out for if you’ve just passed your test, and you’re looking for a vehicle to buy.

If you need some more information on the ULEZ regulations, don’t hesitate to contact us. If this doesn’t yet apply to you and you’re still looking for someone to give you the perfect driving lessons, let us know! Contact Lanes School of Driving on 020 8166 5678 or email .

uk-speed-signs
Tips

The road has no signs – what’s the speed limit?

When driving, you’ll begin to find quite quickly that not every road displays a speed limit sign – at least not in the moment that you’re specifically looking for one! It is important to be aware of the possible speed limits for each different road type to avoid facing a fine, gaining points on your licence or causing harm to yourself or other road users and pedestrians. So, what are the limits?

Built up areas

In built up areas, often signified by roadside parking or regular lampposts, the speed limit for all vehicles is 30mph, unless a local speed limit specifies otherwise.

Single carriageways

For cars, motorcycles and motorhomes (under 3.05 tonnes), the speed limit is 60mph. If these vehicles are towing a trailer, the limit reduces to 50mph.

For motorhomes (over 3.05 tonnes), busses, coaches, minibuses and goods vehicles (under 7.5 tonnes), the limit is 50mph.

For goods vehicles (over 7.5 tonnes), the speed limit is 40mph.

Dual carriageways

For cars, motorcycles and motorhomes (under 3.05 tonnes), the speed limit is 70mph. If these vehicles are towing a trailer, this reduces to 60mph.

For motorhomes (over 3.05 tonnes), busses, coaches, minibuses and goods vehicles (under 7.5 tonnes), the limit is 60mph

For goods vehicles (over 7.5 tonnes), the speed limit is 50mph.

Motorways

For cars, motorcycles and motorhomes (under 3.05 tonnes), the speed limit is 70mph. If these vehicles are towing a trailer, this reduces to 60mph.

For motorhomes (over 3.05 tonnes), busses, coaches, minibuses and goods vehicles (under 7.5 tonnes), the limit is also 70mph.

For goods vehicles (over 7.5 tonnes), the speed limit is 60mph.

Local speed limits

Local speed limits are often enforced by councils in areas of heavy build up or regular pedestrian flow, such as outside schools and colleges or along a high street. These signs are rectangular and will feature a speed limit displayed in a red circle above the word ‘zone’. The end of the speed limit zone will be specified by a ‘zone ends’ sign, specifying the new limit, whether that is a displayed speed, or the national speed symbol.

National speed limits

The national limit, as specified above for all vehicle types, will be indicated by a white circular sign with a black diagonal line through. They will often be followed by a fixed speed camera or temporary traffic van positioned with a speed radar gun, filtering out those who are travelling dangerously and issuing them with a penalty.

Variable speed limits

Variable speed limits will be seen on smart motorways, where the cameras are able to monitor traffic and alter the speed limits to reduce congestion or slow traffic down. These variable limits will be displayed clearly on the framework above the road. In some instances, the speed limit may stay the same as expected, but the hard-shoulder may be opened to create another lane and reduce build-up. These speed limits are legal instructions and should be followed.

Minimum speed limits

Although they are rare, minimum speed limits can be found throughout the UK. They will be displayed within a blue, circular sign and it is then compulsory – if safe to do so – that you travel at this speed at a minimum. These signs can be found in areas where slow travelling or congestion could be a safety risk, such as tunnels.

It can also be classed as ‘unsafe’ to drive at a slow speed on a motorway and, although this is unlikely to not be defined by a minimum speed limit sign, you may attract the attention of police and risk being pulled over for dangerous driving.

Remember: There will be a penalty for driving at dangerous speeds or disregarding limits. From £100 fines to 3 points on your licence and a court hearing. Repeated penalties could also result in a permanent driving ban. Stay safe and smart on the road.

At Lanes School of Driving, our team of experienced driving instructors are available to guide drivers of all abilities and ages, from 17 to 70, to safe and knowledgeable driving. To find out more about how we could help you, give us a call on 020 8166 5678 or drop us an email at  today.

Tips

Keeping children safe in the car

Road safety – it’s a topic we speak about a lot, and one that is bound to be mentioned through the course of your driving lessons, but a factor of safety that people just don’t hear enough about is how to keep children protected in the car. Whether they be your own, a sibling or relative or children you look after, the action of transporting a child within your vehicle involves additional caution and careful planning. With a number of actions to carry out whilst both stationary and on the move, we have summarised the key points to ensure that any children within your vehicle remain safe at all times.

Where should children be seated?

It is recommended that young children should sit in the back seat of the vehicle, facing the rear, for as long as possible. However, small children are able to be seated in the passenger seat if the correct safety precautions are followed. These include:

  • Seating the child facing the rear and deactivating the front airbags
  • If the child is to be seated facing the front of the vehicle, you must push the chair back as far as it will go to maximise space between the child and the dashboard. The airbags should remain on.

There isn’t really a right or wrong when it comes to choosing which side of the vehicle the child should sit when in the back seat. It is most often down to personal preference. For younger, rear-facing children, some drivers like to install a mirror to the headrest, allowing them to see their face when looking in the rear-view mirror. For older children, drivers use regular verbal communication and so don’t feel the need to see the child at all times. If you do feel anxious, position them in a seat that remains visible in your rear-view mirror, preventing you from turning around whilst on the move and risking an accident. Additionally, you should get into the habit of parking in a location where you can safely remove the child from the car on the kerbside, away from moving traffic.

The laws on booster seats

All children under the age of 12 or the height of 1.35 meters are required by law to remain in a booster seat. Those under this age and height must be seated within an appropriate child restraint that is suitable for their own size. This can mean a baby seat, child seat, booster seat or cushion. If children are seated on the cars own seating, the seatbelt could cut into their neck or face rather than fit across their chest, causing injury whilst on the road or becoming ineffective if a road traffic accident did occur. If you weren’t to follow these laws, you could face a penalty of £100 as well as receiving points on your licence.

Before seating the child in the correct restraint, you must check that it is secured correctly. You should also remove any padded outer-clothing such as coats before buckling up, allowing the seatbelt to remain tight to the body and therefore, more protective.

Secure those seatbelts

Did you know that in the UK, it is actually illegal for drivers and passengers of all ages to travel in a vehicle without a seatbelt? It will be the responsibility of the driver to ensure that all passengers are secured correctly, or they could face a penalty up to £500. This includes the seatbelts of children. Securing two children into one seatbelt is classified as a law-breaking offence, as is travelling with a child on your lap.

If child passengers are old (and mischievous) enough to unplug theirs whilst on the road, they should be educated on safety and the law before the journey begins. With all children, you should check in regularly throughout the course of the drive to ensure that they remain securely buckled up at all times.

Check the doors and windows

Child locks are a saviour for drivers whilst on the road. Children of all ages are experimental and learn by touching things, but you wouldn’t want this to be their door handle. By activating the child lock, the doors in the back seat of the vehicle will only be able to open by use of the external handle, leaving the internal one ‘useless’ until the lock is removed again.

Windows can be operated in the same way. Although they may appear to be less dangerous if opened, electric windows are causing a surprising rise in injuries to children travelling in the back seat, with drivers doing up the windows without the knowledge of an arm remaining out of it which then becomes trapped. Whilst on the move especially, drivers should keep the back windows up and locked, preventing waving arms from excitable children from causing harm to passing cyclists and other road users, or harm to themselves.

The aspect of keeping children safe in the car can be daunting, but our team at Lanes School of Driving are available for any advice you are seeking before heading out on the road with one in tow. Give us a call on 020 8166 5678 or drop us an email at and we will be happy to help you.

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