Helping young drivers; beware surge in car cloning; Why Qashqai is Nissan's 'cash cow'
s someone who has sampled what's on offer - wearing suits that mimic the effect of drink or drugs on a driver's body and mind - I'm delighted to see Ford committing another €2.5m this year in free driver training for young people across Europe. But I wish they'd do it full-on in Ireland too.
In all they expect, in collaboration with other agencies, to help 7,000 people in the 18-to-24 year bracket.
It is part of its Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) programme which has been up and going in Europe since 2013. The training will extend to Finland and Poland this year.
I've donned the drink and drug suits to see the effects of both and it was quite a shock to the system. Such experiences at least highlight the impairment of driving while under the influence.
Statistics show car crashes are the main cause of death for Europeans aged 18-to-24-year-olds so this is obviously a critical area.
Ford say they have already trained 13,500 novice drivers with free, hands-on classes covering a range of skills.
The DSFL manager, Jim Graham, says too many young adults are dying in car crashes caused by a combination of inexperience and poor decision making. Hopefully this will make a difference.
Interesting story from the UK on how a man was charged with speeding in a car he wasn't driving. That's because it had been cloned. Apparently there's a lot of that going in over there.
Criminals can steal a vehicle's identity including the registration number and vehicle identification number (VIN).
These details can be used on other similar vehicles, which are then sold for profit or used in theft or some other area of organised crime.
Anyway, this man escaped a fine and penalty points after his own car's telematics data were analysed.
They showed he was in London - the speeding cloned car was in Lincoln. Experts over there believe criminals are increasingly using cloned cars which means innocent drivers are picking up the pieces.
They reckon thousands of vehicles are cloned each year. And the reason I bring it to your notice is so you are aware should you be thinking of bringing in, or buying, an import. Check and double check.
IT'S no surprise really but Nissan has now built more Qashqais than any other car in its three decades of manufacturing in Europe.
The number produced at its Sunderland factory recently outstripped the 2,368,704 record established by the Micra.
Sunderland turns out 1,200 Qashqais every day. No wonder it is dubbed the 'Cash cow'. And still on Nissan: I see the Prince's Palace of Monaco has taken delivery of two electric e-NV200s to show its environmental concern and support. A right royal gesture.
Lovely to see the great Rosemary Smith linking up with Renault as its newest ambassador.
Rosemary is one of the unsung heroes of road safety. She runs her Driving Academy in Goff's, Co Kildare which gives young learner drivers a comprehensive driving instruction programme away from the dangers of the open road.