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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 112

Date:- 16 August 2003

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THE HEATWAVE has given many people in the United Kingdom reason to forget the distant shores of France and Europe in favour of the staple home beaches and the traditional summer holiday. But as the scorching temperatures dissipate, drivers may be persuaded to throw caution to the wind leaving behind the cares and perils of English driving in favour of brighter shores.

Leading motorist association the Institute of Advanced Motorists warned of the dangers of driving in a foreign country could be more fraught with accidents than many experience at home due to ignorance and the lack of information about driving abroad.

Emphasis on driving on the opposite side of the road, overtaking, legal requirements, insurance, and the simple courtesy of following another countries driving etiquette have all been stressed as part of the cautious approach that should be taken by British drivers as exuberant holidaymakers head for their destinations - making the trip full of pitfalls that could lead to exorbitant fines if the rules are not followed stringently.

Rules to remember:-

Driving on the right hand side of the road is strange to you, so concentrate.   Don't brake the rules.  

Know all the rules in the country you are in and obey them.  In France the police can calculate your average speed between toll booths, issue tickets on this evidence, along with on the spot fines.  Many rules and traffic regulations will be the same as in the UK, but make sure you know!

Make sure you understand the meaning of all road signs and obey them!  Most will be familiar to you and the meaning of those that are not should be fairly obvious.  Remember the general rule:- triangles = warnings, circles = prohibited and rectangles = information.  

Being a tourist may not get you off the hook if you have an accident or brake the rules!

In some countries, again France for example, vehicles from the right usually have priority.  Local people will usually expect everybody to comply.

Remember when you are walking or a driver to "Think Right - Look Left" and say it to your self every time you approach a junction or go to cross the road!  By saying it, it should help you avoid the inclination to want to drive on the left side of the road...

Do not drive too far with out a break.  REMEMBER "TIREDNESS KILLS!"  Take a brake every two hours and change drives if possible regularly.  Plan your route and make sure you have an up-to-date map!

Overtaking is difficult and potentially dangerous maneuver.  You must always be sue that your overtaking is going to be safe.  Driving a right-hand-side car on the "other" side of the road means you are not in the best position to see ahead.  Always remember, the decision to overtake is yours - do not rely on the judgment of the passenger in the front seat.

Make sure that the car you are driving is roadworthy and that the headlights have been properly adjusted, if that is necessary.

You must tell your insurance company if you intend to take your car abroad.  You should also ask your insurance company if you need an International Driving License, Green Card or Bail Bond.

If you wish to do a IAM course visit


AS SUMMER wanes and the nights get darker, the chill in the air brings a sense of mystery in Formby that arrives in the shape of a fundraising event at The British Oakleaf hall.

A murder mystery evening to take place at the hall on 20 September in support of the Formby Friends Fundraising group promises to keep the most vehement detective clued to the hilt. Guests are invited to bring their own 'supper' and light refreshments will be provided. Proceeds from the night will be donated to the Merseybeat Appeal at t he Cardiothoracic Centre.

For further information contact Colette McMenamin 01704 873286

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