Wet leaves!

Hello everybody. This is the time of year when train travellers get frustrated by delays on the networks caused by wet leaves. Every year the leaves fall from the trees and every year it’s as if it’s a surprise to the railway bosses. Road users face problems too.

Driving in Sevenoaks you will now be coming across these same leaves. They are extremely slippery and seem to gather in the most awkward places. Apart from gathering at the side of the road they also like to do sneaky stuff like laying right across the road at a junction. This is particularly true when driving on the lanes in villages such as Ightham, Kemsing, Otford, Shoreham etc. Be extra cautious approaching a T-junction where there are leaves about.

Stopping quickly on wet leaves simply does not happen; it’s like stopping on ice. Apart from realising the effects it has on your ability to stop safely, it is vital that you consider how difficult it is for others. It’s hard enough for those with 4 wheels but for those with 2 wheels it can very dangerous indeed. So, please be sure to be aware of the changing road surfaces and give the 2-wheelers a bit of extra room.

Autumn leaves on the trees are absolutely stunning but when they fall they are treacherous so take care out there.


Driving Test Pass

Many congratulations to Michael Baker who passed his Driving Test at Tunbridge Wells. Michael and I had a lot of fun getting him ready for his driving test and some very interesting chats along the way.

Michael and his Examiner had an in-depth chat about apples and I am now an expert on this subject!

If you want to get your driving licence before Christmas, it is still very possible so contact me and book your lessons now. I mostly attend Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells Test Centres and work within quite a wide area of these towns.

Look after your valuables

Most weeks, the local newspaper, The Chronicle (Sevenoaks, Malling etc) reports theft from vehicles. Read this article below and take steps now to look after your stuff. There is something I would add which is the advice given; if you use a sucker to stick your satnav to the window, take the time to rub away any circular marks left behind and take the satnav with you.

The British Crime Survey has revealed, by category, the top ten items stolen from vehicles. The most commonly targeted in England and Wales is ‘Exterior Fittings’, according to this Home Office Victim Study. This includes items such as windscreen wiper blades, badges, and trim. As such, the estimated figure for 2010/11 suggests this category was favoured during 41% of break-ins. This represents a 5% increase compared to the confirmed figures of 2007/08 – the first comparable period. That brings us to position two… ‘Valuables’. This includes items such as jewellery, cash, and clothing as targeted by 15% of villains in 2010/11. That is consistent with 2007/08. However, the figure for ‘Electrical Equipment’ – which finishes third and includes computers/sat-navs – increased by 1%, from 12% to 13%.

The ‘Car Radio’ category sits in position four. The percentage of crime relating to this halved, to 8%, between 2007/08 and 2010/11. Why? Because new stereos tend to be fully integrated and therefore of limited value on the black market. However, crime relating to ‘Other Vehicle Parts’ increased from 6% to 8%. That places it fifth overall. The ‘Tools’ category sits in position six, at 6%, which is consistent with 2007/08. However, the ‘CD/ Tape/Video/DVD’ category has been targeted less in recent years, falling from 9% to 5%. That places it seventh, which indicates that the online world is overtaking traditional media. The ‘Glasses/Sunglasses/Spectacles’ category finishes in position eight, with an increase from 2% to 3%. ‘Mobile Phones’ were targeted during 3% of motor break-ins in 2010/11 1% less than 2007/08. Position ten is ‘Wheels’ at 2%, rather than its previous 1%.

Fortunately, motorists can minimise the risk of becoming victims. Step one is to park in properly lit areas monitored by CCTV. Step two is to hide everything from view – even small items of limited value. This is tedious but worthwhile. Step three… cross your fingers.


1. Exterior fittings Included wiper blades / badges / trim
2. Valuables Jewellery / cash / handbags / briefcase / purse / wallet / Cheque book /credit cards / clothing
3. Electrical Equipment Sat nav /tv / mp3 / pc / computer equipment
4. Car Radio
5. Other vehicle parts Dashboard / Seats / Steering wheel / parcel shelf
6. Tools
7. Entertainment CD / tapes / video tapes / DVDs
8. Glasses/sunglasses
9. Mobile phones
10. Wheels
By Stephen Turvil, motoring.co.uk
Thu, 04 Oct 2012

Autumn has arrived

Well, it’s the 1st October and Autumn seems to have arrived. Last week’s deluges of rain were tricky to deal with but here is some advice as we approach changing weather patterns.

Always check that your light lenses are clean allowing your lights to be seen clearly.
Regularly check that your lights are all working.
Allow time to demist your windows thoroughly before you start your journey.
Be aware that others may not have demisted sufficiently and may have limited vision.
Keep your washer bottle topped up. Spray from wet roads is dirty and you will use more water at this time of year.
Stopping distances double in wet weather so keep extra space between yourself and the vehicle in front.
Be prepared to slow down if your visibility is impaired.
Test your brakes (when it is safe to do so) after driving through a flooded road.
Remember that motorbike riders don’t have washers and wipers!
Look out for debris on the road particularly after windy weather.
Avoid braking harshly on wet leaves; it’s like braking on ice.
Pedestrians will be harder to see in poor weather owing to poor light and often because they are wearing dark, winter clothes.
The low sun at this time of year can be particularly awkward. It always seems to shine straight in your face leaving visors fairly ineffective. When the sun shines strongly on wet roads, the line markings can all but disappear; hard for you and even harder for motorcyclists.

Actually this list is almost endless. The bottom line is that driving at this time of year can be particularly dangerous so we must take even greater care of ourselves and others on the road.