December 2019 News Roundup


Welcome to PassMeFast’s final news roundup of the decade! Yep, we’re just days away from seeing in 2020 with a bang. As this is a more festive edition, we’ll be taking a slightly more light-hearted approach to things in this post. (Sorry, stats fans—there’ll be plenty for you in 2020!)

This month, we’ve got everything from flying cars to dragged-up driving test cheats—plus a warning for anyone tempted to belt out their favourite tunes this Christmas. We’ll even share that video of a bizarre T-bone on the road. Nonetheless, we’ll still be bringing some serious weather-related advice in our Highway Code tip of the month. Let’s get started!

Prototype flying car unveiled in Miami

It’s been over five years since the events of Back to the Future Part II were meant to have taken place. Sadly, the film’s depiction of life in the 2010s has fallen tragically short. However, we may be on the verge of a breakthrough when it comes to flying cars.

Earlier this month, Dutch firm PAL-V unveiled a prototype of the Pioneer edition of their Liberty car. With wings and propellers that can retract, it’s one of the first vehicles which can ‘plausibly’ both drive on land, at speeds of up to 100 km/h, and fly at up to 200 km/h.

Cruelly, the video shared by the company doesn’t yet show an airborne Liberty, leaving us all to wonder whether ‘flydriving’ is really as close as it may appear. Watch this space in the 2020s as we see whether this technology really takes off!

Brazilian man tries to help mum pass her test—by dressing as her

It’s always lovely to see people show their mum that they care. However, one Brazilian man decided to take the concept of ‘going the extra mile’ a bit too literally. After learning that his mother had already failed her driving test three times, Heitor Márcio Schiave decided to take matters into his own hands and take the test for her.

Realising that he needed to pass as his mother, Schiave turned up at the test centre fully made up, wearing a floral blouse and long skirt. He’d even gone to the effort of putting on a stuffed bra! Unfortunately for him, the examiner—who described the situation as ‘surreal’—saw through his disguise immediately.

To give the police time to arrive, Schiave was allowed to take the test, only to be arrested immediately afterwards. He is likely to face a fine for fraudulent representation—and, to add insult to injury, the examiner noted that his driving was so poor that he would have failed anyway. Maybe let your mum do it for herself next time, mate.

Singing too loudly behind the wheel could cost you £5,000

Condenser microphone
Image source: Matt Botsford via Unsplash

Whether you’re belting out a power ballad or listing Dua Lipa’s new rules, we all love a bit of a sing-song every now and then. However, it turns out that bringing out your inner diva isn’t always the best idea. That’s because drivers could receive a fine of up to £5,000 if police deem them to be singing too loudly.

Of course, it’s unlikely that any punishments would apply for a little innocent crooning in the car. However, those found to be driving carelessly could face hefty fines, as well as up to 9 points on their licence. Such penalties could apply if police capture footage of you singing away right before an accident.

Though it may seem a bit of a killjoy move, there are serious reasons for it. Imagine, for example, being unable to hear the volume of an approaching emergency vehicle over the sound of your own voice. So, remember: stay focused on the road, not remembering the lyrics!

Bizarre T-boning incident caught on camera—and Ellie Goulding comes to the rescue

If you’ve somehow managed to avoid the above video in the past few weeks, where have you been?! Just in case, feel free to take a moment to watch. We’ll wait.

Okay, ready? Let’s just take a quick moment to digest what happened there. It somehow seems as though the driver of a Royal Mail lorry managed to T-bone a car, then push him down the A40 for an uncomfortable length of time. After finally stopping, he claimed to not have seen the vehicle (surely you’d have felt it, though?!).

Making the situation even more bizarre, one of those who stopped to come to the poor driver’s aid was none other than pop star Ellie Goulding. You really couldn’t make it up, could you?

Highway Code tip of the month

Image: Egor Shitikov via Pixabay

While we can’t always guarantee a white Christmas, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for wintry weather. That’s why our Highway Code tip of the month concerns driving in ice and snow.

To start off with, it’s important to note that the Highway Code advises driving in wintry conditions only when essential. After all, when the roads are more dangerous than usual, staying away from them keeps you out of harm’s way!

Nonetheless, if you do need to head out, then be sure to take care on the road, building in extra time to account for the harsher weather. You should also take an emergency kit with you, including vital items such as de-icer, an ice scraper, jump leads and warm clothing.

Before starting your journey, ensure that your windscreen and mirrors are completely clear of snow and ice. Make sure your own number plates are visible, and that your lights are clean, as well as demisting your windows. Show consideration to other road users by removing any snow that may fall off your car during your journey. Finally, check the weather along your route to be sure you stay safe on your drive.

On the road already? Follow these tips:

  • Drive with care, keeping well back from other road users
  • Take care when overtaking salt spreaders
  • Watch out for snow ploughs, and avoid over taking them unless your lane is clear
  • Be aware that conditions may change over short distances
  • If the road is icy, drive at a slow speed in a high gear, being particularly slow and steady on sharp bends
  • Check your grip by braking gently in a safe place—unresponsive steering may mean you’re losing your grip
  • Keep up to date with conditions by listening to travel bulletins

That’s all from us this month—and this year! Come back next month when we’ll reveal the first news roundup of the new decade. Until then, check out our top pass photos and customer reviews from December 2019. You can also take a look back over 2019 in our Year in Review.

By Andy Boardman

Andy has been part of the PassMeFast Blog team from the very beginning. He'll provide you with plenty of useful motoring advice, helping you to get the most out of every trip. When he's not writing here, you're most likely to find Andy on the way to his next destination.

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