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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Founder Honoured with Supreme Road Safety Award

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Gertie Shields, founder of Mothers Against Drink Driving (MADD), was recognised for decades of road safety campaigning when she was presented with the Supreme Award at this year’s Road Safety Authority (RSA) ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’ Awards held today in Farmleigh, Phoenix Park.

 

A total of 29 awards were presented at the awards ceremony by RSA Chairman, Mr Gay Byrne. Hosted by Ray D’Arcy and attended by almost 200 award winners, the awards celebrate the outstanding efforts of individuals and groups throughout the country who help promote road safety in their communities.

 

Hundreds of nominations were submitted to this year’s ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’ Awards and among the winners were individuals and groups from the business, media, education, emergency service and public sectors. Out of all the winners, one supreme winner was selected for demonstrating a sustained commitment and contribution to road safety in Ireland. The winner of this year’s Supreme Award is Gertie Shields who lost her daughter in a road traffic collision in 1983 when the vehicle she was travelling in was hit by a drunk driver. Since then, she has tirelessly campaigned for legislative and social change in relation to drink driving. Hers was a lone voice in road safety at a time when over 400 people were dying annually on our roads each year.

 

Speaking about Supreme Award winner, Gertie Shields, Mr Gay Byrne said:

“I must make special mention of Gertie Shields who has given over so much of her life to making Irish roads a safer place. Her work has contributed to the sea change in attitudes towards drink driving in Ireland, as well as changes in the legislation on blood alcohol levels and dangerous driving. For the past two decades, driven by the personal tragedy of the loss of her 19 year old daughter Paula, Gertie Shields has unrelentingly campaigned to rid this country of the scourge of drunk driving.”

 

“Gertie first came to my attention when she made an appearance on the Late Late Show in the 80’s, and since then has become one of the most recognised and admired campaigning names against drink driving as she took her message to the airwaves and print media across the country and across generations. To look back now on her ideas and recommendations in the early years of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to see many of the measures that have, at last, been introduced in recent years.”

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Due to the significant number of entries received this year, the RSA chose to present an additional 9 ‘Special Recognition’ awards to individuals and groups demonstrating special commitment to road safety, including the RSA’s Road Safety Ambassadors. The Leading Lights Awards also introduced two brand new categories this year, ‘Education (Special Schools)’ and ‘Emergency Services’.

 

Among the Leading Lights winners this year was an innovative reflective ‘L’ plate project called ‘Visu-L’ by Mount St Michael secondary school, Claremorris, who wanted to make the roads safer for learner drivers following the death of a fellow student; an initiative called ‘Operation Safe Home’ run by the teachers of Scoil Chlochair Mhuire, Carrigtwohill to ensure all pupils make it home from the school grounds safely; and a road safety action by Road Safety Officer Seamus Storan, who staged a simulated two-car collision in UCD raising awareness with students about the consequences of using a mobile phone while driving.

 

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Mr Gay Byrne, Chairman of the Road Safety Authority expressed his gratitude and admiration for the ‘Leading Lights’ winners:

 

“I am extremely proud and honoured to be here today to present these awards to individuals and organisations who tirelessly and selflessly given of their time to promote road safety. And I think I can speak for the other members of the judging panel when I say that this year, we found it extremely difficult to choose a winning entry in each category, such was the standard of entries we received.”

 

“Sitting here before me today is a group of incredibly determined people doing vital, life-saving work around the country to support the efforts made by the RSA and other road safety stakeholders. This is a moment to be proud of yourselves and what you have achieved. But more than that, it’s a day for me and the RSA to say thank you. Thank you for your support, commitment and effort to road safety, not just for yourselves but for each and every one of us who uses the roads I urge all of you to continue this life-saving work and help us to become the safest country in the world.”

 

Source: RSA.ie

 

To talk to Windsor Fleet about driver and road safety, call us on 01 419 8373 or click here 

 

 

 

Silver Lining For Leon ST

wf-014FUNNY how one person’s dark cloud is another’s silver lining; how one’s raucous whistling can be James Galway’s flute playing to the other.

 

The demise of the compact full-blooded SUV has generated a few silver linings. Not least the surge in crossovers and, to a far lesser but nonetheless notable extent, the ‘lifestyle’ estate.

 

Just like SEAT’S silver liner, the new Leon ST station wagon/estate.

 

This is the first time it has done a silver lining, sorry estate, and there appears to be substance to the marque’s belief that an increasing number of people want cars like this.

 

That is to the detriment, it has been argued, of your more traditional saloon. A case of every silver lining having a cloud, perhaps?

 

The economic sky remains clouded, we know, but the salespeople have picked up sufficient soundings on their radar from people going into dealerships to expect that 250 or so of you will buy a Leon ST next year. That would swell overall Leon sales to 800 or so for the year.

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So what has this got going for it?

 

I think there are two factors. It looks much better than either of its two stablemates — the 5-door hatch or 3-door SC coupe. The extra 27cm length/rear overhang (the car is 4,535mm long) helps make it far more substantial looking. The other two are weak-looking/chopped-off along the rear flanks.

 

Secondly, it has the vital practicality of a big boot (587 litres) and a ridiculously easy way of flipping the back seats to give you more space (1,470 litres).

 

I also liked the way I could make the boot more shallow or deeper by moving the ‘floor’ up or down.

 

What is going against it?

 

Well, SEAT hasn’t exactly been a name to send you into raptures these past few years, has it? And it has made a pig’s ear of some things (the Toledo, for example). So there is convincing to be done.

 

Also against it is a real favourite of mine: the Kia cee’d station wagon — great little car.

 

I also didn’t like the ST in that oul’ dull grey colour SEAT seem to favour. I think it ruins the car. I like it in the maroon or blue.

 

On the positive side, there appeared to be a bit more room in the back seats; I think it is because the rear aperture is a bit larger but this is certainly a cabin to take a family.

 

Seat wants to make this into a fleet choice as well — a new departure. Fleet drivers demand decent spec levels because they’re in the car for so long.

 

I think if you look at the second trim level on this, it’s decent. My preference would be FR but that costs more.

 

The 1.6-litre (105bhp) diesel is expected to be the big seller though I would not discount the 1.2-litre petrol.

 

My main drive was in the former in FR spec (15mm lower, 20pc stiffer springs) and it impressed me: sharp off the mark and really decent pulling power through the low revs and higher gears. A decent combination, that, for anyone putting up big mileage.

 

There’s a fair bit of car there for the money. We live in keenly price-sensitive times where people will buy if the car/price is good enough. The ST could well be a case in point.

 

There are plenty of clouds out there, so one suspects there are also a proportion of silver linings. Put on James Galway again there.

 

By Eddie Cunningham
Source: Irish Independent

 

To talk to Windsor Fleet about the new SEAT Leon ST, or any other cars or vans for your fleet, call us on 01 419 8373 or click here 

 

 

 

Christmas & Near Year Road Safety Campaign Launched

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The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána recently launched their Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign at the Medical Bureau for Road Safety, UCD. The focus of this year’s campaign is serious head injuries as a result of road collisions. Statistics from the National Neurosurgery Centre at Beaumont Hospital show that of an average of 250 head trauma transfers to the hospital every year, 1 in 7 are as a result of a road collision.

 

To date in 2013, 36 admissions were as a result of road traffic collisions. The year-to-date statistics also show that vulnerable road users (motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists) represent 70% of admissions as a result of road collisions and are two and a half times more likely to sustain a traumatic brain injury than car-users.

 

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Leo Varadkar TD said:

 

“In 2012, we had the lowest number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads since records began for the fifth consecutive year. But as 2013 draws to a close, 13 more people have died on our roads so far compared with the numbers who died during the entire year in 2012, including the Christmas period. These numbers not only represent lives lost but huge tragedy for the families, friends and communities left behind. The increase in road deaths in 2013 serves as a stark reminder of why we must all continue to make our roads safer for everyone, particularly over Christmas and New Year.”

 

At the launch, Mr David O’Brien, Consultant Neurosurgeon and Clinical Director at Beaumont Hospital’s National Neurosurgery Centre presented hospital data from the past year, giving a profile of how head injuries present to the Unit as a result of road collisions.

 

“This year, we have treated 36 patients with head trauma as a result of a road traffic collision. The typical profile of our head trauma patients is young adult males. Of those, 13 were cyclists; none of them were wearing helmets. We also saw 10 drivers, 7 pedestrians and 5 motorbike riders.”

 

“What people may not realise is there is a small army involved in the aftercare of these trauma victims. These patients can have long lasting disabilities, which can be physical or non-physical, and some may never fully recover. We’re never going to eliminate road traffic collisions completely, but what we can do is minimise them, and part of this is down to each individual’s behaviour on the roads.”

 

At the launch, Mr Gay Byrne, Chairman, Road Safety Authority reminded people not to forget those who have sustained serious head injuries in collisions:

 

“When we hear or read about road collisions, more often than not, it’s because someone has died. But what we often forget are those who are seriously injured in these collisions. With a head injury, the effects are not always immediately apparent and the consequences these people live with can be invisible. But they’re not invisible, they’re devastating – to the individual, their families and their communities.”

 

“As we enter the final days of 2013 and the beginning of a new year, I want us to all to remember these people and to remember that all it takes is a split second for a serious injury or worse to happen. Our message, as always, is simple – don’t take risks on the road. Slow down, wear your seatbelt, never ever drink or drug drive, wear high visibility clothing if you’re out walking or on your bike, and make sure you get home safely this Christmas.”

 

Over the festive period, there will be a determined focus by An Garda Síochána on key lifesaver offences, i.e. driving under the influence, speeding, non-use of seatbelts and use of mobile phones.

 

Speaking at the launch, Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey said:

 

“The Christmas enforcement campaign by An Garda Síochána is in full force during the month of December. There will be an increase in the number of Mandatory Alcohol Testing checkpoints performed, and they will be carried out on a targeted, 24/7 basis. Speeding enforcement by the GoSafe safety camera vans will also increase to 7,375 hours of monitoring in the month of December.

 

“In addition to enforcement activity, there will be a number of safety initiatives targeting vulnerable road users, namely pedestrians and cyclists. I would like to remind everyone that this is not about catching people, it’s about protecting each and every person who uses the roads so we can all have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.”

 

At the launch, Sean Dixon spoke about how his life has changed since he was in a collision in 2011:

 

“You would never know by looking at me that I have a brain injury. I can walk down the street and people would think there is nothing wrong. But after the accident, there were a lot of consequences for me… I suffered memory loss and still have to work hard to focus on my short term memory. It has affected my relationships with my family, and I had to leave my job in the army. I was two weeks away from going to serve in the Lebanon. The effect it has had on my life is huge.”

 

To date this year, a total of 175 people have been killed in road collisions compared to 152 deaths on the same date in 2012. This represents 23 more deaths this year compared to the same day last year or a 15% increase. When broken down by road-user, this represents 88 drivers, 30 passengers, 28 pedestrians, 24 motorcyclists and 5 cyclists who have died on Irish roads to date this year.

 

Earlier this month, the Road Safety Authority partnered with Drink Aware and An Garda Síochána to remind all drivers to remember the ‘Morning After’ when they are out celebrating over the Christmas period, highlighting the length of time it takes for the body to process a standard drink.

 

According to a nationally representative survey of 1,007 drivers aged 17+ conducted by Millward Brown on behalf of the RSA in November 2013, 6% of drivers claim to have driven a motor vehicle after consuming 2 or more alcoholic drinks in the last 12 months. Although this level of drink driving remains unacceptable in terms of road safety, it nonetheless represents a continuing downward trend, as self-reported drink driving rates from this survey have declined from 10% in 2009 to 7% in 2012 to now stand at 6%.

 

Given the approaching festive season, the RSA urges motorists to remember that time is the only cure after a night out of drinking. Motorists should familiarise themselves with the guidelines on how to assess whether they are safe to drive by doing the maths on how many drinks they have had, and the time taken for alcohol to be detoxified by the body (see drinkaware.ie). This comes in light of the findings from the November survey that just 4 in 10 drivers state that they are confident that they know how to check that they are safe to drive the morning after a night out.

 

Source: RSA.ie

 

To talk to Windsor Fleet about driver and road safety, call us on 01 419 8373 or click here 

 

 

 

In Review: Audi A3 Saloon

wf-014At Windsor Fleet the topic of conversation on a daily basis more often than not revolves around cars, surprise surprise, writes Peter McAviney.

 

This week we have had the pleasure of driving/testing/kicking the tyres of the all new Audi A3 in Saloon version. (Audi A3 Saloon 2.0TDI 150bhp manual)

 

From the outside you could be forgiven for thinking you are looking at an Audi A4, no bad thing in itself as the same Audi design characteristics are highly evident in the look of the entire car. This gives the car a very smart, businesslike appearance, an important feature for a lot of Irish drivers and company car policies. When pulling up outside a customer’s door it is important to project a good image- from the car, to the suit, to the presentation.

 

Anyone from customers to staff who has driven one can see the appeal. It almost goes without saying the car is very well built and engineered with great spec on offer.

 

In terms of the interior, the driver’s seat is a nice place to be. Supportive seating will keep you comfortable and the design is very much up to date with top quality materials and the minimalist layout keeping it all simple yet classy. The rear seats would not be the most accommodating for larger passengers and is something to take into account.

 

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In terms of driving; this is where the car really excels. It sits well on the road with plenty of feedback coming from the front wheels through the small 3 spoke leather steering wheel. It feels sporty, nimble and agile. In addition to the above the new A3 has a button on the dash to change how the car drives (Audi Drive Select).This changes vehicle characteristics by adapting power steering assistance and accelerator response with 5 available modes: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual. Dynamic seemed to be the most responsive when we drove it changing the set up to give the car a much more sporty feel and really getting the most out of the ultra smooth and refined 2.0tdi engine.

 

In terms of running costs, desirability, engineering, quality and prestige will keep this car in high demand with good residual values to keep the monthly rentals appealing to the business user.

 

The 2.0tdi engine is powerful, more so in the smaller lighter package of the A3 saloon yet highly economical giving 68mpg for the combined cycle and clean too emitting only 108g/co2 putting it in tax band A3 @€190euro for annual road tax.

 

Who is it for?

The person who aspires to or is entitled to an A4 type car but doesn’t need as much room and would prefer something that bit lighter/sportier.

 

The new A3 Saloon range starts from €30,860 for the 1.6tdi 105bhp version and the
Audi A3 2.0tdi 150bhp starts @ €32,670 RRP
Audi Drive Select is an optional extra @ €278 and is standard on S-Line Models.

 

The A4 range starts from;
Audi A4 2.0tdi 120bhp starts @ €36,580 RRP

 

By Peter McAviney

 

You can talk to Peter about the new A3 saloon for your fleet, or any other fleet related matters,  by calling 01 419 8385 / 087 910 9574 emailing  pmcaviney@windsor.ie or clicking here

 

 

 

SIMI: Strong Car Buyer Activity for the New Year

wf-014The latest new car stats from SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) show that the sale of new cars was down 20% in November, compared to last year. So far, for the year, sales of new cars are down by 6.5%.

 

The commercial vehicle market is up with vans up 34% in November (up 2% for year) and trucks up 123% in November (up 24% for year).

 

Alan Nolan, SIMI’s Director General says:
“While November sales are always very low (703 cars, 380 vans and 78 trucks) the year to date total gives us a better picture of where we are. This shows the new car market down 6.5% on last year and as predicted, the full year sales will finish somewhere around 74,500. On the other hand, activity in the commercial vehicle sector, which is often an indication of the overall health of the economy, has been a bit more positive with an increase in the sale of both vans and trucks which is a good sign that there is some growth in this area.”

 

“As we look forward to the New Year and the 141 registration period in new car sales, there are strong indications of improved levels of activity. Dealers across the country are reporting an increase in showroom traffic compared to this time last year with orders for 141 registrations up on last year, so many in the Industry are more positive about the outlook for the first quarter of 2014”.

 

The stats for 2013 are as follows: 

 

  • So far this year, Volkswagen is the top selling make, followed by Toyota and Ford
  • The Volkswagen Golf is the best selling car so far this year, followed by the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Focus
  • 27% cars sold this year were petrol, 73% diesel
  • Silver is the most popular car colour
  • 284 new vans were sold in September, an increase of 22% on last September (674)
  • For the year, van sales are up 3%, from 10,739 new vans last year to 11,007 so far this year
  • Ford is the best selling van make so far this year and the Ford Transit is the best selling model
  • There were 78 trucks sold in November, an increase of 122% on last November (35)
  • So far this year, 1,666 new trucks have been sold, an increase of 24% on last year (1,342)
  • Volvo is the best selling truck brand so far this year

 

To talk to Windsor Fleet about your fleet options for the new year, call us on 01 419 8373 or click here 

 

 

 

Parking Operator Launches New App

wf-014parkbytext have today launched a new mobile phone app that is set to make it easier to pay for parking across the country’s streets and carparks. 

 

parkbytext is a mobile parking operator which provides cashless and cost effective parking by text, IVR, phone, app and web.

 

Using the App, registered users can top up their account, create monthly and weekly parking permits, search nearby and favourite car parks and view their parking history.

 

After launching the App in beta mode last April, some 4,570 Apple users and 2,410 Android users have downloaded the App, equating to 23 percent of all parkbytext customers.

 

parkbytext operates over 200 car parks in Ireland and the UK, including Irish Rail’s nationwide car parks and college campus sites, including both the Limerick and Dundalk Institutes of Technology.

 

Payments are already accepted online, via text messaging and through interactive voice response technology, and the company say an App was the obvious next step for their customers.

 

By Trish Whelan
Source: Irish Car + Travel

 

Find out more ways to take the hassle out of driving by calling Windsor Fleet on 01 419 8373 or clicking here

 

 

In Review: Ford Kuga

wf-014Ford’s new Kuga is the brand’s smartest SUV yet. It can think for itself and call up the Emergency Services in case of an accident.

 

It had to be good to compete with its mainstream competitors as well as rivals from more premium brands. It also shatters the myth than a SUV can’t be green, high-tech, and capable all at once!

 

Ford expect this latest Kuga to bring more customers to the brand with many families now opting for SUV/crossovers as their family car.

 

It is certainly better looking than before, more rounded in styling, and with more road presence. The style is not aggressive, though, which will help attract more women buyers. The car is longer, lower but narrower than the model it replaces.

 

The test car’s exterior colour was Ginger Ale. It didn’t look like Ginger Ale as I know it, but I am reliably informed by someone whose family was in the pub business, that it does indeed resemble Ginger Ale as it was sold in times past.

 

Two grades are offered: Zetec and Titanium.

 

Diesel engines are a 2.0 TDCI with 140hp in front-wheel drive and AWD versions offering from around 5.3 L/100km (53mpg) and 139g/km C02; and a 163hp version that achieves from 5.9 L/100km (48mpg) and 154g/km C02. Fuel consumption has been improved by 10 percent when compared to the older model. The trip computer on the FWD 140hp Zetec test car showed 6.7 L/100km during my time with it (42mpg). This version is in VRT Band B2.

 

The review car is the 2.0 TDCi 140hp with FWD. This smooth diesel engine is well matched to the 6-speed manual transmission – the slick gearbox is a real joy to use. Ride and handling as well as steering have all been improved.

 

Kuga excels on new features and new technologies. These include Ford’s Intelligent AWD system which includes Curve Control exclusive to the Blue Oval brand. This acts as a safeguard if you drive into a bend too fast acting against severe understeer by braking aggressively. It can also reduce engine torque.

 

In an accident and with the airbags deployed, the SYNC connectivity with Emergency Assist uses the on-board GPS locator and your mobile phone (it must be connected to Bluetooth) to set up the emergency services call and provide the co-ordinates, all in the local language, wherever you are. Ford say this is the most technology they have ever offered in any of their cars in Europe.

 

Climb inside and you notice the good quality of the materials. Lots of space with huge head and leg room as well as elbow room. Seats are snug and hold you in nicely. Three will fit easily and in comfort in the rear. These rear seats can fold flat in one swoop for extra cargo room. Being on the short side, I like a high driving position for better visibility and, always a boon, the front armrest can slide forward with you when you move your seat in closer for a good driving position.

 

The speedometer is on the right of the instrument panel and the landmark 120km/h is at the top.

 

The one thing I don’t like in Ford cars is the now out-of-date centre console designed like the face of an old mobile phone … we’ve long since moved on to using smartphones.

 

All round visibility is good. Big side mirrors have a blind spot cover, always appreciated. But I bemoaned the fact that there was no reversing camera. However, there were rear parking sensors which helped when parking tail-in into a parking slot. The handsfree powered tailgate takes the stress out of trying to find your key to open the car with your arms full of shopping. A simple wave of your foot below the rear bumper does the trick and hey presto! the tailgate opens up high for you. It will still work with a towbar fitted. There’s now 46 litres more luggage space than before and, a necessity for a family car, a temporary spare below the boot floor.

 

The Zetec entry grade gives 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, heated windshield, cruise control, daytime running lights, hill start assist, twin exhausts, a driver’s knee airbag, alarm, trip computer and remote audio controls. The Titanium spec adds automatic headlights and wipers, front scuff plates, dual zone air con, driver’s lumbar support, part leather seats, Ford SYNC connectivity, a premium centre console with a sliding armrest.

 

New Kuga scored a maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP after achieving an overall protection score of 88 percent, the highest-ever for a mid-sized SUV.

 

The car is built in Ford’s plant in Valencia, in Spain where production has been increased to cope with demand. It is the first SUV the company will export to 72 markets in five continents.

 

Prices are from €33,450-€45,640; the top price is for the 4WD Powershift in Band D. Price excludes delivery and related charges. Kuga comes with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty as standard.

 

 

By Trish Whelan
Source: Irish Car + Travel

 

To talk to Windsor Fleet about the new Ford Kuga, or any other makes and models you may be considering for your next company car(s), click here or call us on 01 419 8373

 

 

New Year BMW Offers

wf-014There’s still time to order your brand new fleet vehicles and have them ready to go for the start of 2014.

 

BMW have once again announced a number of excellent upgrades to their range for a limited period, including the ever popular leather upholstery upgrade on selected models.

 

Their business media pack upgrade, including satellite navigation, emergency call and tele services, is also a no cost addition to certain models.

 

The full offer details and exclusions can be found below:

 

1 Series 3 & 5door Hatch
Leather Upholstery is offered at no cost.
Exclusions – 114i/d do NOT qualify.

 

X1
Leather Upholstery & Business Media Pack are offered at no cost.
Exclusions – None, all models qualify.

 

3 Series Saloon & Touring
Leather Upholstery, Business Media Pack and Sport Steering Wheel are offered at no cost.
Exclusions – 316i/d saloon do NOT qualify.

 

3 Series Gran Turismo
Leather Upholstery, Business Media Pack, Sport Steering Wheel, and a Panoramic Sunroof are all offered at no cost.
Exclusions – None, all models qualify.

 

5 Series Saloon & Touring
Business Media Pack and Xenon headlights remain standard equipment at no additional cost along with the 518d model continue.

 

To find out about the terms and conditions for these offers and how you could add one of these vehicles to your fleet, please contact Windsor Fleet on 01 419 8373 or click here

 

 

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