Sunday 27 May 2018

Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham: 9 things I want for drivers over the next year

Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham The year ahead

M50 (Stock photo)
M50 (Stock photo)
Lexus LC500h
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Here are nine things - some serious, some frivolous - I hope will happen on the motoring front during the course of 2018.

1 Reduction in road deaths

The single best bit of news over the past few weeks has been the 15pc reduction in road deaths last year to 158. It was also the worst bit of news. Why? Because 158 people dying is 158 too many.

The provisional road collision statistics for 2017, published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) following an analysis of Garda fatal collision reports, reveal the total of 158. But behind those statistics lies the heartbreak and agony of so many, many families and friends.

Please God far, far fewer will have to endure that nightmare this year.

It is only fair to commend all concerned with road safety for their unstinting efforts. God knows how many lives they have saved. Let's be extra careful this year.

2 'All-new' can be misleading

I'd love if there was some rule we could bring in so cars that have had a bit of a facelift and a few items of spec added can not be advertised as 'all-new'. It is misleading and people think they are getting a new model. They are not in many cases. They are getting a revised version.

3 Time lag in dropping fuel prices

How come there is such a time lag in dropping fuel prices when oil dips on the world market? Prices seem to shoot up when oil gets any way dearer.

I'd also love it if more people voted with their pockets and bought their fuel at the cheaper outlets. There are significant savings to be made. A few euro a week saved on a tank of petrol or diesel comes to a lot of money over the year.

4 Every car would have a dustbin

Volvo have a 'dustbin' in their new XC40 crossover/SUV. It is such a simple thing to do you'd wonder why it has taken so long for a mainstream manufacturer to include one in their cars. What a boon for families to have somewhere to put their rubbish. My 2018 wish is that more carmakers find a way of fitting a little slot for waste in their new models.

5 Delivery charges

I've been ranting for years about delivery charges, so why stop now? Thankfully, an increasing number of distributors here include delivery/related charges in the overall price of the car. Some, such as Volkswagen, clearly show what it costs - usually €750 for their major models. Now why can't everyone do that? The customer is entitled to know, surely. It's the least they deserve.

6 On-the-spot fine for anyone illegally using a disabled parking slot

How about an absolutely outrageous on-the-spot fine for anyone illegally using a disabled parking slot? It's going to take something mega to end the practice which, from what I can see, is widespread.

7 No phones or texts at the wheel

I'll just mention phones and texts at the wheel. Of all my wishes I have least hope of seeing an end to this madness. It seems every second driver is at it.

8 More cars like Lexus LC500h, please

I hope they keep making more cars like the Lexus LC500h. It is an outstanding motor to look at - and not bad to drive either. With all the talk of functional autonomous driving, it reminds us that a car can be beautiful too.

9 Road tax and VRT

Let's hope the Government doesn't succumb to the temptation to put up road tax and VRT in the next Budget(s) because of the way new cars are being tested. Over the next couple of years the WLTP test is going to show cars emit more pollutants than under the old test. And higher emissions could mean higher road tax and VRT unless adjustments are allowed for. Tempting for a Finance Minister. Hands off, please. Do the right thing and adjust the bands so there is no increase in car ownership costs.

Let us know what you want to see happening this year at ecuningham@independent.ie

Indo Motoring

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