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Afternoon round-up: Drivers still flout phone laws, VW T-Roc cabriolet, Fleetcheck appoints CV specialist


A fifth of drivers still flout phone driving laws

One in five UK drivers are still using their mobile phone at the wheel, almost a year after more stringent penalties were introduced, according to a survey by vehicle CCTV specialist Smartwitness.

The company claimed this was down from one in four prior to 1 March 2017, when the government doubled the charge to six points and a £200 fine, but was still high. Phone driving

“While it is welcome news that fewer drivers are using their phones behind the wheel, these figures are still a huge concern for everyone wanting to improve road safety,” said Smartwitness chief executive Paul Singh.

“The way to tackle this abuse is to make using your phone at the wheel as socially unacceptable as drink driving and we all have responsibility to hammer home this point.”

Safety charity IAM Raodsmart also said highlighted that the UK has among the highest such fines in Europe, but almost 12,000 drivers a year were still being prosecuted for the offence.

VW releases sketch of T-Roc cabriolet

Volkswagen has released a teaser sketch of a convertible version of the T-Roc SUV, which is slated for release in 2020. Volkswagen T-Roc cabriolet sketch 2018

It will be the manufacturer’s first attempt at an open-top SUV, while management have confirmed that production will take place at the group’s Osnabrück factory, in which it has invested an additional €80 million.

Volkswagen said it intends to extend its SUV range to 20 models by 2020, by which time it expects the body style to account for around 40% of all sales.

Fleetcheck appoints new director

Software and management specialist Fleetcheck has named Richard Walton as its new director of the board.

Walton (pictured) has worked with the company on a consultancy basis since 2015, specialising in commercial vehicles, and will run the firm’s new northern regional office in Doncaster. Richard Walton, director, Fleetcheck 2018

He has previously worked as group transport manager for Polypipe PLC and transport operations manager for MSAS Global Logistics.

Managing director Peter Golding said of the appointment: “Richard has made a valuable contribution to FleetCheck over the last few years and fully deserves his board position, bringing to the table a wealth of commercial vehicle and fleet compliance experience.

“Our vision for the company going forward is to provide a wider range of consultancy services and, as our leading CV expert, Richard will help drive this project forward.”