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New Laws on Using Mobile Phone When Driving

There have been a number of high profile stories in the papers in recent years where drivers using mobile phones have caused serious road traffic accidents that have resulted in the deaths of other road users. According to the AA, a driver is twice as likely to crash texting and driving, than drinking and driving. It is fourteen years ago since it became illegal to use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving but recent changes to the law were put in place with tougher penalties for those drivers who flout the law.

Mobile phones have become a part of everyday life and with all the APPS that are available they are very useful when on touring holidays in your motor home or caravan for:

  • built in maps
  • staying in contact with friends and family
  • booking campsites

We have put together an outline of the new rules and what is and isn’t allowed for motorhome drivers and those towing a caravan.

 The law states that if a driver uses a hand-held phone, they can now get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine and a new driver, who passed their driving test within the last 2 years, will lose their licence. Picking up so many penalty points could also result in higher insurance costs.

  • It’s illegal to use your phone while driving a car or motorhome unless you have hands-free access, such as: a Bluetooth headset, voice command, or a dashboard holder.
  • The law still applies to you if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
  • If you use your phone hands-free, you must stay in full control of your vehicle at all times.
  • The police can stop you if they think you’re not in control because you’re distracted and you can be prosecuted.
  • If you use your phone hands-free keep calls brief and then follow it up when you can safely stop.   
  • It’s illegal to read a text message, check your social media or stream and watch videos when you’re behind the wheel of your motorhome or car.
  • If you’re using your phone as a sat-nav then it must be mounted in a hands-free holder. It’s illegal to hold your phone and use it as a map for directions.
  • You can only use a hand-held phone if you are safely parked with the engine off.
  • You can use a hand held phone to make an emergency call to 999 or 112 but only if it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.
Weekend Getaways in Your Motorhome

The Bank Holiday is a great time for a family holiday. The weather is beginning to improve and the children are usually off school for a fortnight. However, as it is a very popular holiday period, it is a good idea to plan ahead. Get booking your campsites or caravan parks and planning your trip.

In last month’s blog we listed some great places to visit in the UK for a weekend break. Here are some more suggestions for a family holiday:-

  1. Blackpool and Fylde Coast.

For a great fun filled weekend with the family you will enjoy the golden mile with its shops, amusements and restaurants. The Pleasure beach and the Sea Life centre will provide excellent entertainment for the kids!

  1.  Devon and Cornwall.

The family friendly beaches are the main attraction in Devon and Cornwall, whether they are long sweeping bays or tiny little coves. The south west also offers beautiful coastal walks, rugged wild moors, colourful seaside villages, clean beaches and excellent seafood. What more could you want for a family break.

  1. The New Forest  Dorset

New Forest pony hacking is undoubtedly the most interesting way to see the forest but cyclists and walkers will also enjoy the beauty of this ancient forest. For those families that like water sports activities, the Dorset coast is only a few miles away and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.

  1. Northumberland.

If your kids are into Harry Potter, then a trip to Alnwick castle where Harry Potter was filmed is a ‘must’. There are also long sweeping beaches for playing games and beautiful windswept countryside for walks. Any trip to Northumberland should also include visiting the amazing Cragside country house and gardens and sampling the famous Craster kippers.

  1. LLyn peninsula and North Wales

This area has a lot to offer for a family holiday. Walkers, water sports fans and wildlife enthusiasts are well catered for in this area. There are also many beautiful beaches, like Whistling Sands and pretty seaside towns, like Criccieth to visit and medieval castles to explore.

 

If you are thinking about hiring a motorhome for a holiday this spring it is really straight forward with Amber Motorhome and it is a fabulous way to have a fun filled family break without it breaking the bank.

For more information on hiring a motorhome contact Amber Motorhome

Best Long Weekends

As the days get lighter and longer, people may be thinking more about planning short trips away in their campervan. We are fortunate to live in a very beautiful country with a diverse range of landscapes, so whether you like mountains, lakes, the beach, pretty villages, or seaside towns, the UK has it all for the perfect long weekend away.

 1. The Lake District

This is England’s largest National park, and comprises of rugged mountain, lush green dales, many crystal clear lakes and pretty villages. A fantastic area if you are looking for an outdoor adventure.   

 2. The Cotswolds

Picturesque villages like Burford and Bourton-on-the-water with their boutiques, pubs and tea rooms are perfect to amble around for a lazy afternoon, or there are many rambles to explore between villages, for example between Upper and Lower Slaughter along the banks of the River Eye.

 3. The Gower Peninsula

This area of outstanding natural beauty has it all; extensive coastal paths to walk, breath-taking beaches renowned for surfing and it is only a short drive to the vibrant city Swansea, makes this an ideal area for a family break.

 4. Norfolk and the Broads

Enjoy a day cruising on the waterways, stopping off for a lazy lunch at one of the many waterside pubs or explore the coastal towns of Cromer, Sheringham and Great Yarmouth. Visit Sandringham, the vast beach at Holkham and if you are a nature lover, you must go to the nature reserve at Scolt Head.

 5. Kent

This area, also known as the garden of England, is steeped in history. There are plenty of places to visit – Canterbury with its imposing Cathedral, the 2nd World War tunnels and look-outs at the white cliffs in Dover, antique markets at Faversham and the great coastal towns of Hastings and Margate. Plus fantastic countryside and many coastal and marsh walks.

 6. Scottish Highlands

Britain's largest National Park has majestic mountains, mysterious lochs and stunning stretches of coastline.

This is a great place for outdoor sports enthusiasts but the highlands also have many beautiful and romantic castles to visit.

If you would like to visit some of these areas, why not consider hiring a motorhome to give you the freedom to enjoy the British countryside at your own pace.

For more information on hiring a motorhome contactAmber Motorhomes today.

Half Term Family Fun in your Motorhome

Half term is approaching fast and with the weather slowly beginning to improve it could be the perfect time for a holiday away, to have fun and enjoy family time together.

 A motorhome would be an excellent choice for any family wanting to share quality time together, whilst visiting new and interesting places.

 Family holidays can be stressful but if the children are happy then so are the parents. So what is it that makes a motorhome holiday so appealing to children?

        1. Children love a sense of adventure, and with a motorhome holiday the adventure starts as soon as you leave home. There are no long flights or airport delays. Once you are on the road there is no need for toilet breaks or refreshments as all amenities are on board.

        2. Children love motorhomes because it is like a magical playhouse on wheels:-

  • they have special bunk beds in the roof that you can only reach by ladder
  • they can escape to their own space to read or play games
  • they can take their own favourite toys away with them

        3. Children love new experiences and a motorhome offers the freedom to explore and discover new places.

        4. They can take their own bikes on the motorhome’s bike rack, and go cycling.

        5. A motorhome holiday encourages the children to experience the “great outdoors”. Going for walks and bike rides on trails, mixing with other children and making new friends.  

        6. Many caravan parks/ campsites have amenities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, mini-golf, games rooms, kiddie’s discos etc. for the children to enjoy and give you a break.

        7. At night time children have the opportunity to enjoy a BBQ and stargazing.

        8.Meal times are less stressful on a motorhome. They can eat the food they like when they like and then get on with the important stuff like playing outside with their new friends, instead of sitting in a restaurant.

        9. Many children miss their pets when on holiday but with a motorhome holiday the family pet can come too.

        10. As everything in a motorhome is scaled down in size the children even enjoy helping out with chores.

 For more information on hiring a motorhome contact Amber Motorhomes.