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Afternoon round-up: Call for standard phone driving mode, Euro Mustang, FIAG autumn workshop


Call for ‘opt-out’ driving mode on smartphones

A group of safety charities and other organisations has called for smartphone Phone drivingmanufacturers to include a standardised ‘opt-out’ driving mode on handsets.

Brake the RAC, Brighton and Hove City Council, the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety, RED Driving School, Road Safety GB and RoadPeace have written to Android, Microsoft and the GSMA (Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association), urging them to fit such technology as standard.

The move comes ahead of Apple’s expected release, this week, of its iOS 11 system update, which will include a ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ function, that detects when someone is driving and turns off calls, text messages and notifications.

Brake director of campaigns, Jason Wakeford, said: “The illegal use of handheld mobile phones when driving is a growing menace and a major threat to road safety. Research shows that using a phone at the wheel affects reaction times as much as drink driving, increasing the chances of a crash.

“As a society, we have become addicted to our mobile phones, but a split second distraction caused by a call, text or notification behind the wheel can be deadly. The industry must play its part and include technology as standard which helps keep drivers’ attention on the road, saving lives and preventing serious injuries.”

Ford reveals Euro-spec Mustang

Ford has revealed the first official images of a restyled, European-spec Mustang Ford Mustang Euro spec 2017ahead of this week’s Frankfurt motor show.

In addition to cosmetic upgrades, the Euro model includes an “enhanced” 450hp 5.0-litre V8 engine and a new 10-speed automatic gearbox, which Ford claims makes the Mustang “faster, more responsive and more fuel efficient”.

The suspension has also been revised to better suit it to European roads.

Prices have yet to be revealed but the manufacturer confirmed that first deliveries would begin in 2018.

FIAG to hold autumn fleet workshop

Fleet Industry Advisory Group (FIAG) is to hold a workshop on Thursday 19 October at Donington Park Race Circuit in Derbyshire, focusing on the future composition and fuel of choice of company car fleets as well as how to effectively manage drivers and journeys.

The workshop is free for FIAG members and costs £25 for guests. Bookings can be made at the FIAG website.

FIAG founding chairman Geoffrey Bray said: “The fleet management world is rapidly changing and those in charge of vehicles and drivers need to react, review all current policies and implement change where deemed necessary. To retain the status quo will not be an option in most fleets.”