Post archive

New laws relating to drug driving effective from 2nd March 2015

Today the laws chaged with regard to drug driving. 

Motorists taking illegal drugs, and then driving whilst under the influence of them

  • face a criminal record
  •  loss of their licence for at least a year
  • and a fine of up to £5000.

The legislation makes it illegal to drive with certain drugs in the body above specified levels, including 8 illegal drugs and 8 prescription drugs. People using prescription drugs within recommended amounts will not be penalised.

The drugs in question are:-

  • morphine used to treat pain – opiate/opioid based medication will metabolise (chemically change) into morphine and show in a blood result
  • diazepam
  • clonazepam
  • flunitrazepam
  • lorazepam
  • oxazepam
  • temazepam used to treat anxiety or inability to sleep
  • methadone used to treat drug addiction

Amphetamine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Parkinson’s disease is also planned to be included within the offence shortly, subject to Parliamentary approval.

New screening equipment will be used to test suspected drug drivers.  Cannabis and cocaine can now be screened by the roadside, and Police forces will have access to new screening equipment to test suspected drug drivers. Officers can screen drivers for cannabis and cocaine at the roadside, and LSD, ketamine and heroin at a police station, they will also be able to test for these and other drugs including ecstasy, even if a driver passes the roadside check. New devices that can test for a greater number of drugs at the roadside will be developed in the future.

Drugs make you paranoid... how is this new legislation going to make you feel!

Natalie Passes her driving test... 1st attempt

Natalie De Barrass from Sunderland passed her driving test today with A Roarin Success at Sunderland Driving Test Centre.

Only 3 minors and on her 1st attempt at the test.

Natalie was very well prepared for her test, as she was absolutely adamant that she wanted her knowledge and understanding of driving to be at a very high standard before attempting the test.

She also needed to convince herself she was absolutely safe to be on the road on her own.

She also wanted to make sure she was as prepared as best she could be for any manoeuvre that she may get on test.

In the end, I had to force her into the test, by giving her my sons appointment that I cancelled as he wasn't ready... I wasn't willing to let her keep going on with her lessons, when she was clearly ready for test, and wasting money on lessons she no longer needed.

All her hard work paid off... and after being told she had passed the test... she burst into tears... haha

It was a lovely sight to see, as they were tears of joy and relief... she even made me fill up.

She is an inspiration to all potential pupils out there, and could certainly teach some experienced drivers a thing or two!

And to top it off.... we had some real good laughs along the way, while she trained and prepared for her big day.

I never doubted her for a minute :)






Beth passes her driving test

After failing her test on numerous occasions I's like to say 'Well Done' to Beth Armstrong from Sunderland on passing her driving test today 1st time with Lindsay her instructor at A Roarin' Success.... only 4 minors too :)

Teething problems for new vehicle taxing system

As people applied for the new vehicle tax for October many left unable to complete as systems unable to handle volume of traffic accessing the system.

Read the full story here

Paper Tax disc no longer required from today

As of today you longer need to display your tax disc.  You still need to pay to tax your vehicle, but everything will now be checked electronically.  You can read about the changes on the Gov.UK website.

Lucie Ellis passes her practical driving test 1st time 3 minors

Way to go Lucie Ellis on passing your driving test today.... you are better than most drivers out there, so calm and careful... Go out there and show people how its done correctly :)

Daniel Burns Passed his Theory

A massive well done to Daniel who passed his theory test today... now the easy bit to conquer.... the Practical

New changes to tax disc

Did you know the law has now changed regarding displaying your tax disc.  You now have up to 14 days to display your new tax disc... provided it was ordered previous to the previous one expiring.

Read the full story here


More on the spot fines... could this affect it time to consider how you drive!

New laws have been introduced today with the introduction of on the spot fines of £100 as well as 3 points on your licence for middle lane hogging and tailgating, as well as an increase from £60 to £100 for using mobile phones and not wearing a seatbelt.  See the full story here .

Scammers remove brake lights so unsuspecting following traffic hit them from behind......

Criminals are using new techniques by flashing unsuspecting motorists onto the major road from a minor road before speeding up into them in order to make false insurance claims.  Read the full story here

Another 1st time Driving Test Pass with A Roarin Success at Sunderland Test Centre

Well done to Kelly for passing your driving test 1st time at Sunderland Driving Test Centre.  Despite a set back of almost 3 months after breaking her wrist, she started up lessons again on the 19th July, and passed less than a month late... now there's commitment for you. 

If you would like to start driving lessons, why not give me a call (Lindsay) on 0770 107 57 37. 

Check out her feedback here





Hot weather has impact on drink driving tests in North East

Police drink-driving blitz sees 500 tested across Sunderland, Newcastle and Northumbria force area.... read the full story here .

Driving chief calls for action after Sunderland teenager given licence without passing test

Check out the full story from the Sunderland Echo here

Driving examiner strike: candidates urged to attend tests

Despite the possiblity of Driving Tests being cancelled due to strike action by Driving Examiners on Wednesday 20 March it is urged that candidates still come for their test.

There is full information at

New booking process for tests on mobile devices

DSA has launched a preview of an improved online practical test booking service for candidates and their instructors making it easier to book tests using mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.

Check it out

Accelerate safely this winter

Road safety charity the IAM is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger. This week, he is advising on the use of acceleration and power in wintery conditions.

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “Power and acceleration are no good without control. This is especially true when drivers are faced with cold, wet and slippery conditions.”

Rodger has six tips to ensure you remain in control:

To read the full article follow the link below



With the dark nights drawing in, RoSPA is today urging the public to put a stop to “daylight robbery” with the launch of an online poll.

For decades, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has been at the forefront of a crusade to give the UK an extra hour of evening daylight - citing research that shows lighter nights would save 80 lives and prevent more than 200 serious injuries on our roads each year.

Apart from the avoidance of grief and suffering, fewer road accidents would also bring considerable annual savings to taxpayers.

The clock change campaign is closer to succeeding now than at any time since 1970, thanks to Rebecca Harris MP’s Private Members’ Bill - which passed its second reading in Parliament in December with a huge majority.

To help the Bill clear the next hurdle - and to coincide with the end of British Summer Time in a couple of weeks - RoSPA is calling on the public to help convince Westminster of its popularity. People can also do this by clicking the "Support Our Campaign" button at

Check out the full story using the link below


Theory Test at 16?

Taking the theory test before taking driving lessons may be something about to happen in Jersey.  The theory test cannot currently be taken until the age of 17 is reached.  However by bringing the age down to 16, this would enable pupils to pass the test prior to starting to learn to drive.

You can read the full document by clickinh on the following link:-

Changes to the UK Theory Test

The Theory Test in the UK is to change as of 1st January 2012.   As of this date the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) will stop publishing the live multiple choice questions they use in the Theory Tests.  

Those affected by the decision will be learner drivers and motorcyclists, trainee ADIs and LGV/PCV drivers.

What does this mean for test candidates?

Candidates can no longer simply memorise the correct answers, but will instead have to learn and understand the principle behind driving. Using other training aids.

Speaking on the change, Road Safety Minister, Mike Penning MP, stated “This emphasises the fact that driving is not just about vehicle-handling skills, but also about having the knowledge and understanding of safe driving theory.

“Stopping the publication of the questions and answers will mean that candidates will have to understand the theory rather than memorise which answers to choose in the multiple choice section.”*

You can read the full story at the following link

More than 100,000 driving tests nearly ended in a crash in 2010

Figures released by the Driving Standards Agency showed that in many of these cases, a collision was avoided by the examiner taking control of the car.

For more information click the link below.



Save money on your holiday driving

Why not be more Eco friendly whilst driving, and save some pennies in the process.

Information provided by 'The Department of Transport'

Follow the link below.

Fast and loose with the law:

Average Briton will break the speed limit 18,000 times over their life

To read the full article follow the link below. Reveals Slow Drivers are the biggest frustration for UK drivers.

Follow the link below to read the full article 

Message from the DSA

Crackdown on uninsured driving gets underway

New laws to tackle uninsured driving will be enforced from today.

Under the new Continuous Insurance Enforcement law it's an offence to be the keeper of an uninsured vehicle, rather than just to drive when uninsured.

From 20/6/11, registered keepers identified as having an uninsured vehicle will be sent a letter telling them that their vehicle appears to be uninsured, and warning them of the consequences if they fail to take action. Those who don't act on this warning - either by taking out insurance or declaring their vehicle off the road - will receive a £100 fine and could have their vehicle clamped, seized and destroyed. They may also face a court prosecution.

All drivers can check their vehicle is recorded correctly for free at

Under the new system:

  • DVLA will work in partnership with the Motor Insurers' Bureau to identify uninsured vehicles
  • motorists will receive a letter telling them that their vehicle appears to be uninsured and warning them that they will be fined unless they take action
  • if the keeper fails to insure the vehicle they will be given a £100 fine
  • if the vehicle remains uninsured - regardless of whether the fine is paid - further action will be taken. If the vehicle is on public land it could then be clamped, seized and destroyed; alternatively court action could be taken, with the offender facing a fine of up to £1,000
  • seized vehicles would only be released when the keeper provided evidence that the registered keeper is no longer committing the offence of having no insurance and the person proposing to drive the vehicle away is insured to do so

Vehicles with a valid Statutory off Road Notice (SORN) won't be required to be insured.

For more details, visit


Message from the DSA

Better enforcement and education to cut road deaths

Plans to improve road safety education while taking tough action against the small minority of dangerous drivers were set out by Transport Secretary Philip Hammond today.

Careless driving will be made a fixed penalty offence to allow the police more effectively to tackle reckless driving that puts other road users in danger, while disqualified drivers face having to take a new test before regaining their licence.

There will also be more educational courses that can be offered in place of a fixed penalty and points in appropriate cases as well as a new post-test qualification for novice drivers, under plans set out in the new Strategic Framework for Road Safety.

And as new analysis shows, 3,500 deaths and serious injuries could have been prevented in a year if the successes of better local authorities and police forces had been matched across the country. Local people will be given the information they need to have a real say in road safety priorities on their local roads.

Philip Hammond said:

"This report marks a sea change in how we tackle road safety in this country. We are determined to differentiate between wilfully reckless drivers and the law abiding majority who sometimes make honest mistakes, or who have allowed their skills to deteriorate.

"We will focus relentlessly on cracking down on the really reckless few who are responsible for a disproportionately large number of accidents and deaths on our roads. By allowing the police to focus resources on dealing with these drivers, we can make our roads even safer.

"Our vision is to ensure Britain remains a world leader on road safety. We will only do this is if we bring people with us. This means cracking down on the most dangerous drivers without waging war on the law abiding majority.

The new Strategic Framework for Road Safety sets out the government's plans to:  

  • Make careless driving a fixed penalty offence to allow the police more effectively to tackle the wilfully reckless driving that puts other road users in danger. Guidance will ensure that that the circumstances in which a fixed penalty notice is appropriate are clearly defined.
  • Require offenders to pass a test before they regain their licence after a serious disqualification.
  • Make greater use of powers to seize vehicles to keep the most dangerous drivers off the roads.
  • Increase the level of fixed penalty notices for traffic offences from £60 to between £80 and £100 and penalty points. Levels have fallen behind those for other fixed penalty offences, which risks trivialising the offences.
  • Improve enforcement against drink and drug driving, as announced in the response to the North Report in March.
    Increase the use of police-approved educational courses that can be offered in place of fixed penalty notices to encourage safer driving behaviour.
  • Launch a new post-test qualification for new drivers, including an assessment process to give insurers confidence that it will create safer drivers who can expect to pay lower insurance costs. This will replace the current Pass Plus scheme.
  • Continue to improve the driving and motorcycling training processes, including introducing film clips into theory test.
  • Create a new website to allow local people to easily compare the road safety performance of their local area against similar areas, as well as a new portal to help road safety professionals share information. The framework published today also includes maps which show the recent road safety records and improvements of local authorities.
  • Launch an annual road safety day.  

The framework also sets out the roles and responsibilities of local authorities, road safety professionals and other stakeholders in improving road safety and the increased freedom that is being given to local authorities in assessing and acting on their own priorities.

The government's long term vision is to ensure that Britain remains a world leader on road safety and the department will monitor its performance against indicators in a new road safety outcomes framework.


Message from the DSA

Unofficial driving test booking websites: advice for customers

Directgov is the only official driving test booking website.

Other websites offer driving test booking services, but might charge extra administrative fees on top of the Driving Standards Agency's (DSA) fee. Those websites are not run by or connected to DSA or Directgov.

DSA recommends that all learner drivers book their driving test through the official booking service on Directgov by visiting

If you have used an unofficial website
DSA gets complaints from customers who have used unofficial booking websites. In most cases these websites are doing nothing illegal. This means that DSA's powers to respond may be limited.

If you have used an unofficial booking website, you might have seven working days to cancel your order and get all your money back. However, this will depend on the terms and conditions of the website you used.

You can find more information about your consumer rights on Directgov. You can also use template letters to complain to businesses. Each letter includes details of the law that you want the trader to follow.

What DSA is doing about unofficial booking websites
DSA takes consumer protection very seriously. So, DSA is:

  • protecting its trademarks to make sure they are not:
    • used to advertise unofficial booking sites in search engine results
    • used as part of website addresses for unofficial booking websites
  • asking the Advertising Standards Authority to make sure unofficial booking websites are following the rules in the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing
  • asking local Trading Standards to investigate those unofficial booking websites that appear to be misleading consumers


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