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Dangerous Drivers, £37m Heroin Stash and the New Volvo XC90 - This Week

Xray of the car showing all the heroin

UK starts pilot scheme to crack down on dangerous foreign drivers

In the last year, vehicles registered abroad avoided 23,295 speeding offences, equating to £2.3million in fines, because they could not be traced. A report by the Institute of Advanced Motorists stated that, since foreign vehicles are not currently registered with the DVLA, there is no way for authorities to pursue any offences committed. According to the report, Thames Valley was the area hardest hit, with almost 3,600 offences going unpunished.

However, for the first time, border officials in a selection of six counties will now pass on registration details to the DVLA and police, as part of a pilot project to test the scheme before a national policy is made. The project, to be announced by the Transport Secretary, is also designed to stop foreign drivers from not having to pay tax.

Neil Greig, IAM's director of research, said, "The high numbers of overseas speeders on our roads show how important it is that the UK joins up with the rest of Europe to harmonise motoring offences and give the police extra powers to pursue dangerous drivers.”

£37million of heroin revealed by car X-ray

A car being imported from Pakistan to England was discovered to have £37million of heroin stashed inside. When X-rayed after coming off the container ship, it was clear that the X-type Jaguar was missing vital components, such as ignition and any electrics, and in their place were 316 packets of heroin.

Noman Qureshi, 32, and Israr Khan, 35, were found guilty of trying to supply Class A drugs, and were sentenced to 21 years and 18 years respectively.

Volvo XC90

Volvo unveil their new XC90

Starting at £45,785 for the D5 AWD Momentum model, the new luxury SUV goes on sale in 2015.

The new XC90 will be the first entirely new vehicle to be brought out under Volvo’s new Chinese ownership, though the second-generation SUV is still rife with the classic Volvo Swedish technological wizardry. As a result, this Volvo XC90 looks to be the safest and most economical SUV on the market.

The SUV also boasts two world-first safety technologies: a seatbelt tightening “run-off road protection package” that activates energy-absorbing technology in the seats when difficult terrain is detected by the car, and the lauded auto-braking feature, which interrupts if a driver pulls out in front of on-coming traffic. The new safety systems are designed with the vision of no deaths or serious injuries in Volvo's vehicles by 2020.

The XC90 will also be offered with a new 390bhp plug-in hybrid powertrain, combining the 2 litre petrol engine with an electric motor, which, as well as being the most powerful variant, is also the most efficient, with CO2 emissions of only 60g/km.


UK to invest £11 million in hydrogen fuel

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles has announced an investment of £11 million in hydrogen stations and vehicles. Co-funded by government and the industry, the money will see 15 hydrogen refuelling stations open across the UK by finishing eight currently in development and building seven from scratch. Two of the eleven million pounds will purchase a “fleet” of 40 hydrogen-fuelled vehicles for the public sector to use in certain metropolitan areas.

Toyota, one of the industry backers, will be releasing their first hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle to the UK market next year.

Matthew Hancock, minister for business, said the funding would help make the UK a "global leader" in ultra-low emission cars, “Hydrogen cars present us with a huge economic opportunity and can bolster our internationally renowned automotive industry. We want to make the UK one of the best places in the world to design, manufacture and sell ultra-low emission vehicles.&rdquo

While good news for ultra-low emission supporters and environmentalists, the ratio of hydrogen stations to conventional petrol stations in the UK (about 8,500) will still be tiny.