28 HPM 0416

HPM-04-APR-2016

WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com BUSINESSVANS Drunk drivers taking early morning risk One in eight drivers who fail a breath test are nabbed the morning after and more have been caught over the limit after a crash between 6am and lunchtime on a Monday than on any other weekday. HPM’s Alex Willis reveals more as part of his round-up of this month’s van news... Doing the maths: Three quarters (73%) of drivers who fail breath tests following crashes are men and more than twice as many men as women admit to drink driving Anew survey from Brake, the road safety charity, and Direct Line has revealed one in five drivers have risked driving the morning after a night of heavy drinking when they may still be over the limit. Almost one in ten do so at least once a month and one in 20 take the risk on a weekly basis. If they have to drive to work or use a vehicle for their job, they will be both a danger to themselves and other roads users as well as breaking the law. The amount of time it takes for the body to break down alcohol depends on many different factors such as age, weight and metabolism but, as a rough guide, it takes around an hour to process a single unit. One drink, however, rarely contains just one unit of alcohol; it will take the body around three hours to break down the alcohol in a large glass of wine or a pint of strong lager. If someone drives at 8am after they have been drinking until midnight, there is a serious risk they could still have alcohol in their system and not be fit to drive. Twelve per cent of people in the study said they would drive at 8am or even earlier. Almost a third of drivers, sensibly, won’t drive at all the day after drinking, but 21% would drive at 11am when they could still be over the limit if they had drunk around 11 units and stopped drinking at around midnight. Brake has developed a morning after drink-drive calculator to help people work out when they will be safe to drive again. As a rough guide it takes an hour to process each unit of alcohol but you should always allow longer and err on the side of caution. Each drink you have may contain many units. If you usually drive to work consider using public transport, walking or taking a taxi to make sure you are not a danger to yourself or any other road users. In the UK, if a driver is over the drink-drive limit and/or driving while impaired by alcohol, they can receive a maximum penalty of six months in prison and an unlimited fine. Anyone convicted also receives an automatic one-year ban. If a driver kills someone while under the influence of alcohol they can be charged with death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. CONTRACT HIRE PROMOTIONS FIAT Professional has launched a range of new business contract hire promotions across its range of light commercial vehicles (LCVs). Each vehicle is now offered with an affordable initial payment and low monthly leasing costs, which can also include vehicle maintenance if required, making this latest FIAT Professional promotion ideal for businesses looking to keep a tight rein on their vehicle running costs over the term of contract. In addition to the low monthly payments, all contract hire customers also receive free ply-lining in their vehicle load bays, a GAP waiver insurance policy, pan-European breakdown assistance and inclusive road fund licence for the duration of the contract. Those opting to include maintenance won’t have to budget for any routine servicing, as specified in the vehicle handbook, while replacement batteries, exhaust systems and even tyres, subject to normal wear and tear, are also covered. FIAT's Doblò Cargo 1.3 MultiJet II 90hp, for example, comes with a monthly rental of only £159 (£184 including maintenance) after an initial rental of £954 (£1,104 including maintenance). For as little as an additional £17/month, customers can upgrade their Doblò to the Tecnico version which includes air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, a TomTom satellite navigation unit, front fog lights, rear parking sensors and heated electric mirrors, all as standard. VAN THEFTS COSTING TRADESMEN MILLIONS A study of 1,000 tradespeople by IronmongeryDirect found that 23% of tradesmen have had their work vans broken into in the last five years. The West Midlands came out on top with 1,854 van thefts in the past three years at a total value of just under £6.4 million. The area with the second highest van thefts was West Yorkshire with 993, with the value of these at £3 million. STIFFER PENALTIES FOR MOBILE USERS BEHIND THE WHEEL Chief constable Suzette Davenport, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead officer on road policing, has called for harsher punishments for van drivers who use a mobile phone at the wheel, with other drivers being punished less harshly. “If these people are driving as part of their business, and they are taking more risks as a result, in return they should face higher enforcement,” she said. However, RAC Business spokesperson, Simon Peevers, disagrees: “It may be that the threat of a driving ban is a better deterrent than points and a fine and worthy of consideration but rather than set a higher level of punishment for certain drivers the law should be equal and clear for all drivers and, crucially, more effectively enforced.” 28 APRIL 2016 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY


HPM-04-APR-2016
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