The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

Letters of the week, February 15

This week: using mobile phones while driving, eating while driving and the Porsche 911


Points: Letters of the week, February 15

First among equals

Full marks to Jeremy Clarkson for his honesty about not liking the Porsche 911 (“With this many 911s, they were bound to make a good one”, Clarkson, last week). However, the 911 is the only car, let alone road-going one, whose derivatives have won classic races outright at Le Mans, the Nürburgring, Sebring, Daytona and Monza, plus the Monte Carlo and Swedish rallies — unlike Aston Martins, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Jaguars or indeed any other marque.

Nicky Samengo-Turner, Newmarket

Hidden agenda

Regarding the comments about the clear visibility of speed cameras on managed motorways (“Poor state of stealth”, Points, last week), I suggest that readers enter “Hadecs3” into their search engines. These cameras are significantly smaller and more powerful than existing Gatso or Truvelo units and can be relatively easily hidden or pole-mounted at the side of the road.

Andrew Woodthorpe, Harrogate

Safety catch

’Topher Davis misses the point that most “road safety” devices are cunning and underhand, and are utilised purely to generate revenue for the authorities (“Grey matter”, Points, last week).

John Booth, Formby

Turn for the better

Were I likely to be able to afford a Ferrari 488 GTB I too would prefer the indicators on a steering column stalk (“Ferrari tinkers with perfection”, last week). However, perhaps the company’s designers intend the driver to use them to signal before turning the corner. Then having them on the wheel makes sense.

John Atkins, Springfield, Essex

Points: letters of the week, February 15

Out of touch

We are all aware of how distracting the use of a mobile phone is while driving (“Roadside cameras to click on drivers using mobiles”, News, last week), so why are car manufacturers being allowed to replace manual controls with touchscreens? Surely it requires much more of a motorist’s concentration to adjust the temperature via a touchscreen than it does to turn a knob that you can find by feeling for it.

Les Sherry, Winchester

Camera turnoff

I assume the Gatso camera that can recognise when people are on the phone will be turned off through a lack of funding soon after it has been introduced.

Bob Clay, Kettering

Bad apple

To clarify for your reader Ken Morris (“Out of hand”, Points, last week), a cigarette can be held between two fingers, allowing full grip of the steering wheel. Holding an apple would not allow you to maintain full control of the wheel.

Yvonne Saxon, Cheadle Hulme, Greater Manchester

Core values

Well said, Mr Morris. Lighting a cigarette while driving is another potential distraction; apples, in my opinion, taste better unlit.

Dawn Revell, Wimborne

Generic engineering

Your reader Nick Marr advocates a “generic” engine that can be retrofitted into any old diesel car in order to make it more efficient and less polluting (“Scrap value”, Points, last week). That’ll be an engine that shrinks or grows as required to match all the different mounting points, morphs to mate with any gearbox and embraces every electronic management system. All for little money and mostly government-funded. As soon as it goes into production, I’ll take two, thanks.

Dr Richard McCann, Biddenham, Bedfordshire

Limited appeal

Buses and coaches are limited to 62mph, and by authorised tachograph installers (“Express service”, Points, last week). They are required by law to be calibrated annually and gearboxes are sealed by the installer with tamper-evident seals. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency carries out regular spot checks on operators and at the roadside.

Edward Mullan, Londonderry

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