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HPM April 2015

WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com BUSINESSVANS Zero-tolerence for drug drivers A new law against drug driving, which came into force on March 2, will make it a criminal offence to drive with drugs in one's body in England and Wales, removing the need to prove impairment and making it much easier to prosecute. HPM’s Alex Willis explains as part of his round up of this month’s van news... Anew law has seen zero-tolerance limits introduced for a range of illegal drugs and will be enforced with the aid of roadside screening devices. Those found guilty will face a maximum six month jail sentence, £5,000 fine and an automatic 12-month driving ban. As well as tackling drivers on illegal drugs, the law clarifies the position for drivers using medication, with set limits for a number of prescribed drugs that can affect driving. Drivers taking medication in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional will not be at risk. The extent of the UK’s drug driving problem was revealed by national road safety charity, Brake, which found the equivalent of one million drivers (three per cent) admitted to having driven on drugs in the past year. One in nine (11%) said they thought they had been a passenger with a driver on drugs. It's estimated that drug driving may account for as many as 200 deaths a year in the UK. Brake is reminding drivers that some prescription and over-the-counter medications can make them unsafe on the road and is urging those taking them to always read the label or check with their doctor or pharmacist if unsure, and never to drive if their driving may be impaired. The Brake survey last June found one in six drivers (17%) either ignore warnings not to drive, or do not check at all. Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, said: “We will continue to campaign for further action to stamp out risky, illegal driving that ends and ruins lives daily. The crucial next step to back up this and other vital life-saving traffic laws is for the government to give greater priority to traffic policing, to ensure the recent trend of falling traffic police numbers is reversed.” Illegal drugs have a variety of very serious negative effects on driving ability and these effects can be highly unpredictable given their unregulated and variable nature. Drugs affect different people in different ways and the effects can last for days, sometimes without that person being aware of it. The likely effects of some common illegal drugs on driving include: • cannabis slows reaction times, affects co-ordination and concentration and causes drowsiness • 'stimulant' drugs such as ecstasy, speed and cocaine, distort perceptions and cause jumpiness; they can also make someone over-confident or paranoid and confused • heroin and other opiates make people feel relaxed and sleepy, slowing reaction times and impairing co-ordination. Historically, levels of drug driving have not been fully recorded but research suggests that the scale of the problem may be similar to drink driving. A study by the Transport Research Laboratory found that 18% of drivers and 16% of motorcyclists killed in road crashes had traces of illegal drugs in their system, the most common being cannabis. Brake’s advice is never to risk taking illegal drugs and driving. Their effects are unpredictable and research shows they can have a disastrous impact on your ability to drive safely. CITAN SPORT Offering a number of options and styling features to create a high specification variant without the need to ‘spec-up’ a standard model, Mercedes-Benz Citan Sport is a more cost effective route to a premium and distinctive small van. It comes on long panel van models with 109CDI and 111CDI engines providing a choice of six metallic paints, colour-coded bumpers, wing mirrors and tail-light trim and 16in multispoke light alloy wheels. In addition, Citan Sport comes with air conditioning, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, Sport mats and badging, daytime driving lights and chrome trim elements such as front grille, sidebars and tailgate trim. A three-year unlimited mileage warranty, MobiloVan UK, which keeps drivers and passengers mobile in the event of a breakdown or warranty repair taking more than two hours, and Service24h, the roadside assistance service, are all included as standard. PLATINUM DAILY Iveco is introducing a special Platinum version of its new Daily 35-130 van - a high-specification model designed to appeal to owner-drivers and small businesses. This special edition model has a 3.5 tonne gross vehicle weight and is powered by a 2.3 litre 130hp diesel engine. It is available with a choice of a 10.8 or 16cu m load space compartment and will retail at £19,995 and £20,995 respectively. Each Platinum-spec Daily comes with the highest level option pack, the ‘Top Pack’, fitted as standard. This includes rear parking sensors, spring-suspended driver’s seat, air conditioning with climate control, cornering front fog lights, cruise-control, heated electric mirrors, remote control central locking, additional storage compartments, 140 amp alternator and a heavy-duty battery. It also features Iveco’s all-new multimedia and satellite navigation system as standard, enabling the driver to input vehicle weight and height information in order to ensure the optimal route for the load being carried. Iveco’s navigation system incorporates TomTom mapping for 43 European countries, as well as a Bluetooth connection, plus iPod and iPhone audio controls. Each Daily Platinum model also comes with a three-year free servicing package based on 25,000 miles per annum. This is ideal for small companies looking to renew or grow their vehicle fleets while negating the need to budget for maintenance costs in the first three years, says Iveco. The Mercedes-Benz Citan Sport is now available 26 APRIL 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY


HPM April 2015
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