Drive on the motorway? Read this change in motorway lane closure enforcement.
If you are a driver you will likely have found yourself on a smart motorway in and around the UK.
A smart motorway is one that uses overhead electronic signs to control the flow of traffic. From opening the hard shoulder as an extra lane, to advising of speed changes and to closing lanes, the aim of a smart motorway is to “*increase capacity and reduce congestion in particularly busy areas.”
Smart motorways are also about safety.
One of the issues with smart motorways is that they rely on drivers observing the signs and if the 180,000 warning letters issued to drivers who have ignored lane closure signs over the past 2 years are anything to go by, many drivers are ignoring the instruction.
To combat this it has been announced that from June 10th 2019 drivers who ignore lane closures on motorways marked with a red ‘X’ will receive a Fixed Penalty Notice of a £100 fine and three penalty points.
The enforcement will be administrated in the same way as motorway speeding offences where the local police force will issue the penalty.
The red ‘X’ is a particularly dangerous sign to ignore because it indicates a blockage in that lane – perhaps a broken down car or an accident – and to ignore it can be dangerous for all concerned.
*source, the RAC
What are the best car accessories for your baby?
As baby fever sweeps the nation with the arrival of Baby Sussex (congratulations to Harry and Meghan) we take a look at some of the must have in car accessories to keep your little one happy on a road trip!
Car seat safety
Firstly, knowing how to safely fit your new baby’s car seat is essential! That first trip home from the hospital is nerve wracking enough without adding a wrestling match with the car seat into the mix! Practice before your baby arrives!!
This article has some excellent video guides.
Don't get distracted
The safest place for your baby is in the back seat. New babies are kept cosy in rear facing car seats but this means the driver can’t see them. A small mirror that fits to the rear headrest is a good solution. This means a glance in your rear view affords you a look at your little one – hopefully they’ll be sleeping soundly! It’s important to remember that you must avoid getting distracted by your mirrors and if you see your baby isn’t happy, pull over safely rather than try reaching behind you whilst driving.
Create some shade
If your car doesn’t have tinted rear windows you might want to consider getting some stick on sun shades to keep your little one comfortable. If a heatwave like 2018 hits again we’ll all be looking at ways to keep cool and handy clip on fans that can be transferred from buggy to car seat are a good idea! As with the mirrors, don’t get distracted by trying to adjust them as you’re driving along – perhaps these are best used when there is a passenger to help safely!
As they get older
New babies sleep (a lot!) and you might find the car is just the tonic they need to nod off! We’re sure many a parent is reading this who went for a drive to try to get their little one to sleep! However, as they get older keeping them occupied in the car can be a challenge. Consider toys that can hang from the car seat handle to hold their attention – anything that clips on is good so they don’t all end up on the floor!
A great accessory for front facing car seats is a clip-on cup holder! This will ensure your little one can reach for their cup when they’re thirsty without you having to root around in a bag and distract yourself from driving. Genius!
Babies don't have to mean mess!
Car seat covers can be a good idea to avoid marking or staining your upholstery. Remember if you are leasing your car, you may be charged if the upholstery is particularly marked so a small investment in covers can be worth it!
With all of these gadgets, keeping your car tidy might feel like a challenge – a handy seat back tidy is worth its weight in gold! Somewhere you can tuck toys, books and all important baby wipes!
Wonder what accessories Baby Sussex will be gifted with?