April saw a drop in vehicle registrations following VED increase
Last month saw a drop in new vehicle registrations, following an increase in vehicle excise duty (VED). Compared to April 2016, the number of new vehicles being registered has decreased, and industry experts are putting it down to consumers bringing their purchases forward to avoid the higher duty rates. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) published figures detailing the difference compared to 2016; last year saw 105,771 cars registered in April alone, with this year’s figures coming up at 92,164. However, March 2017 saw record numbers of vehicle registrations at 562,337 – an all-time high.
Nissan introduces 200-year-old technology to prevent mobile phone use behind the wheel
This month, Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has announced that it is prototyping a technology which will eradicate any distraction from mobile devices, while motorists are driving. The device, which is influenced by the Victorian scientist Michael Faraday, consists of a compartment – situated in the driver’s armrest – which will be made up of a conductive material that can block electromagnetic signals. Motorists who place their devices in the compartment whilst driving, won’t have cellular or Bluetooth connectivity. The Nissan Signal Shield will allow drivers to switch off from all distractions whilst in the car.
Air quality plan is introduced in UK
The UK government has published its air quality plans earlier than expected, after calls this it should be released before the general election on 8 June this year. The report, which details how the government expects to reduce emissions across the UK, proposes that local authorities should avoid charging those who drive in the country’s most polluted towns and cities. The government has put forward in its plans that is a local authority can come up with another way of reducing emissions in its area as opposed to charging drivers – that would be the preferred option.
A fresh approach to the diesel debate is needed says industry experts
Following a steady decline in the number of diesel vehicles registered in the UK after studies found nitrogen oxide levels to be particularly damaging to the environment – industry experts have called for a calmer diesel debate to be put forward. When the tax laws for diesel cars were changed in 2002, meaning lower prices for motorists of ‘cleaner’ cars (diesel emits less CO2 into the atmosphere) the amount of diesel car sales increased. And it has followed suit ever since. However, recent research has suggested that diesel cars are just as damaging (if not more) as petrol cars – which, have since seen a peak in sales. Experts claim that there needs to be differentiation between the age and type of diesel car – a lot of which are the cleanest they’ve ever been, to present a fair and balanced debate around diesel vehicles.
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