Honest John in The Telegraph is imploring us to sign one. This is one of many on the Government's e-petition site, http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/.
This particular one asks the question, "Are some car insurers killing off Speed Awareness Courses?" and claims that, "Some car insurers are now increasing premiums for drivers who complete Speed Awareness Courses, despite them not being convicted of any offence. Perversely they are penalising drivers for choosing an option that is proven to improve driving standards. This is illogical and unfair, it deters others from taking the course and could affect its future availability. Insurers should promote Speed Awareness Courses, instead some penalise drivers who complete them."
I have signed it.
And so has my wife.
Basically, I think these courses are a very good idea and am annoyed at the motor insurance industry picking on them as an excuse to up premiums.
I am no stranger to the e-petition site and was one of 43057 signatories on the sadly unsuccessful petition to keep Formula 1 Free to Air in the UK.
After signing the Speed Awareness petition, I decided to see what other car-related petitions were on the Government site.
One of the first to catch my eye was another irritating insurance industry one: "Non-fault accident impact on Car Insurance"
This one reads,
"Please consider following changes for car insurance:
1. You need to declare last 3 years fault/non-fault accident claims while buying car insurance. Insurance companies say that as per some stats, a person is more likely to be involved in an accident if they have had any accidents in the past and in many accidents, there is a fault ratio involved.
We believe that such stats cannot be applied to every accident. Ex: If someone has been hit on the back of their car while they were stationary/moving in traffic or parked in parking bay, how they could become more prone to accidents in future?
Currently, they are still penalized by increased premium for next 3 years due to non-fault accident claim.
To avoid such situations, either non-fault claim declaration should not be mandatory while buying car insurance or a process should be defined to calculate fault ratio.
2. Insurance companies should be required to provide a breakdown of premium calculation in insurance quote."
Last year I was hit on the back of my car while I was stationary. Now, how could I become more prone to accidents in future? I didn't even make a claim - it was all done through the other person's insurance but I still have to declare it.
Next, I found "Car Lamps should be easy to replace" which tells us,
"All too frequently cars are seen with lights that are not working. Whilst some people will habitually ignore a defective lamp, the increasing tendency for manufacturers to make lamp replacement impossible for the average motorist to undertake, means that a garage appointment is required to fix the lamp.
The Government should therefore legislate to force manufacturers to make bulb replacement easy and well within the capabilities of most motorists without having either to damage your hands or remove large parts of the car to access the lamps.
This would increase road safety and therefore make driving safer!"
Even with my small, girly hands I struggle to change modern car bulbs - they tend to be positioned with the battery or fusebox or some pipework making them virtually impossible to get at. So, yet another petition I agree with. I think it's a bit fanciful though, to assume that the Government would legislate on it.
And, while we're on the subject, will Halfords please stop advertising the service of bulb-replacement when you purchase a bulb off them - if you actually look into it, they'll only do it if it is easy to fit anyway.
So, how about "Cars to give cyclists space"?
Apparently, "Cycling is the transport of the future being healthy, cheap and non polluting however many would be cyclists are deterred from taking up cycling on British roads due to the dangerous disregard by some motorists for cyclists.
Cyclists need a cars width between them and overtaking motorists to feel and be safe on the roads. Motorists passing cyclists with just inches to spare between them and the cyclist are putting cyclists at risk and causing distress and fear of harm which is a crime in itself. Cyclists have every right to use the public roads and should not feel threatened in doing so.We are calling for the Government to make Police take much more robust action on motorists putting cyclists at risk prosecuting dangerous motorists in the same way as those threatening physical violence."
As a cyclist and a car-driver I appreciate the argument from both sides although haven't particularly noticed it as a problem when on two-wheels. Any police officer witnessing a driver intimidating a cyclist would, I am sure, take some action, especially if a perceived danger was involved.
So how about a petition to make the Police take more robust action against cyclists contravening the road laws - like riding two-abreast on a main road when there is a perfectly good cycle-lane marked out on the adjacent pavement - OK, so it's not illegal, but it is bloody annoying - and a safety issue.
Now for one getting into the realms of fantasy - or is it?
How to stop car chases involving police.
"To stop car chases involving police all new cars should have wireless networking built into engine management systems. Each car could have a code stored in DVLA that the police could use to disable that engine.
If a car fails to stop, all the police need to do is send the code to the engine. That will effectively stop the car. This would save many lives and could be used against stolen vehicles.
Encryption would be used to stop any random signal affecting any engines.
The govenment need to make this law for all new cars/bikes."
Maybe it is possible nowadays. It would put Tracker out of business but in any case, would be a manufacturer added option if anything.
However, the petition that most amused me - and mostly entered the realms of fantasy was the one entitled "water powered hybrid cars"
This one, funnily enough, only has one signatory - presumably the person who created it. It informs us thusly,
"The government are wasting away our life's and others by causing us to waste away our money,lives and our future generations causing our own deaths when we can do something about it
all the government is doing is stopping us from buying water powered cars so they can take more money off us.
we can save money and save the planet in 100 years our human race could end up dead or back up in the dark ages so please sign and save us all and our future generations "
When I'd stopped laughing, I did a Google Images search for water-powered cars and found this:
And is that Hannibal Lecter sitting in it?
I wondered if any other countries allow the general populace to come up with sensible and daft petition subjects like this.
Canada, Australia, South Africa and Russia all seem like a big no.
But in America, they have - https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/
Unfortunately, the only car-related petition in there was the extremely boring "overturn franchise laws that limit auto manufacturers from selling their vehicles directly to consumers."
Then I remembered that Americans like to call cars "automobiles" so I did a search on that but there was nothing there.
OK, I think that's enough petitioning for one post - I'll sign off now.