Widespread van overloading is undermining tech advances says SMMT

Advances in van safety technology could be undermined by dangerous overloading, warns SMMT. Almost nine in 10 (88.5%) of the 2,381 vans weighed last year by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) were found to be overloaded, a worse record than the previous year in which 84% of the 3,337 checked were illegal.Manufacturers are offering increasing levels of safety on the latest vehicles: around a quarter of vans currently on sale in the UK are available with advanced collision warning systems2, while three new models launched at this week’s Commercial Vehicle Show at Birmingham’s NEC will feature autonomous emergency braking for the first time. But for all the benefits advanced safety tech brings, an overloaded or poorly loaded van can still pose a risk to its driver and other road users, adding vital metres to braking distances and affecting handling.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Vans have never played a more important role in the British economy, with a record 4 million vans now on our roads, so it is a concern that this in-use safety record remains so poor. Manufacturers are investing significant amounts in new safety technology, but this can only do part of the job. We continue to urge operators and owners to comply with the law to keep themselves and others safe, avoid the risk of fines and keep the threat of further legislation at bay.”While anyone operating a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) is subject to strict rules under the Operator Licensing regime, this does not apply to vehicles under 3.5 tonnes – in other words, the vast majority of vans. No move has yet been made to extend Operator Licensing to vans, and to ensure this and a potential £2.6 billion3 in extra costs for operators continues to be avoided, industry is keen to see this safety record improve.SMMT works closely with the DVSA, as well as other industry bodies, to help the van sector stay clear of burdensome regulation. Operators and owners looking to ensure their van complies with weight regulations can refer to DVSA’s handy Van Smart  video guide available here: http://bit.ly/1YF4A33Gordon Macdonald, DVSA Compliance Service Manager, said, “Overloading continues to be a real issue on our roads, and drivers and businesses need to carefully consider their legal responsibility towards vehicle weight compliance, so we fully support the SMMT’s latest important van safety message.”For simple, step-by-step guidance on how best to maintain their vans, operators can visit www.smmt.co.uk/industry-topics/safety-security/van-safety/. DVSA statistics based on the financial year 2014-2015JATO Dynamics dataCalculation based on 4 million vans attracting the current HGV-only applicable £257 Operator Licensing application fee, and £401 licence issue feeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Record number of plugin cars on UK roads as ownership surges by

UK’s biggest automotive analysis reveals UK’s plug-in car fleet ownership rises 76.6% in 2018, with 195,000 vehicles now on British roads.Fleet average CO2 falls to lowest ever level, despite record 34.9m cars on the road as more drivers benefit from advanced low emission vehicle technology.Female car ownership maintains historic high, with 12 million registered to women.The number of plug-in electric cars on British roads grew by three quarters last year, according to new Motorparc data released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The UK’s largest automotive analysis shows there is now a record 195,410 plug-in vehicles on our roads, reflecting the growing choice of models now on offer. Overall ownership of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) increased by almost 30% last year, with more than 620,000 hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric cars now in use.As drivers take advantage of the latest low emission vehicle technology – whether petrol, diesel or AFV – average CO2 emissions for the UK Motorparc have fallen to the lowest on record, down -17.8% compared with 2008.1 Thanks to manufacturer investment in advanced powertrains, transmission types, lightweight materials and aerodynamics, cars are more efficient than ever before and drivers are seeing the benefits.The UK’s record 34.9 million-strong car fleet has never been more diverse, with more than 1,600 model ranges and almost 68,000 different specifications on the roads last year. While superminis continued to dominate, making up a third (33.2%) of all cars in the parc, dual purpose vehicles saw the biggest growth, up 10.6%. At the same time, family hatches and saloons (upper medium) saw the largest fall, down -4.7% to four million.Meanwhile, the colours of Britain’s cars closely follows trends seen in the new car market, with black coming top, knocking silver off the top spot. More than seven million (20.1%) cars on the road are black, closely followed by silver and, in third place, blue.Elsewhere, the data reveals that female car ownership remains at a record high, surpassing 2017’s level by 1.4%, with more than 12 million cars now owned by women. Cars registered to men also rose moderately by 0.5% to almost 17.9 million.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,Thanks to massive investment from manufacturers in delivering a wide range of models across all fuel types, to suit all driving needs, environmental gains are now being delivered across the UK. Ever-more advanced in technology makes every new generation of vehicle more efficient than the last, and this is filtering rapidly from the new car market into the broader parc. Fleet renewal is proven to work so we need a world-class package of incentives and infrastructure to give motorists the confidence to buy the latest, cleanest cars, whatever the fuel type, in the greater numbers we need to meet environmental challenges.Did you know? While both men and women own more petrol cars than any other fuel type, for companies, diesel is the preferred choice given its lower CO2 and better fuel economy.The 10,642 battery electric cars owned by women make up a fifth of those on UK roads, growing by 31.7% year-on-year.Plug-in hybrids grew in popularity with both male and female drivers, growing by 98.3% and 101.1% respectively, compared with the year before.The average new or updated car model emits -8.3% less CO2 than the model it replaced, highlighting the importance of fleet renewal.In 2018, the most common cars on UK roads were the Ford Fiesta (1.6m), Ford Focus (1.3m) and Vauxhall Corsa (1.2m).There are 3.9 million Dual Purpose vehicles in use in Britain, edging closer to the 4.0 million small family cars (upper medium) on UK roads.Superminis remain the biggest segment and are most popular with women, accounting for 48.8% of female ownership. Small family cars, meanwhile, are most favoured by men (27.4%).You’re more likely to see a black car in the UK than any other, with seven million of them on the road. Women’s tastes follow the national trend, while men are more likely to choose silver.The SMMT Motorparc database enables the analysis of records for almost 40 million cars and commercial vehicles currently on the road, broken down by make, model, region, town and postcode. With more than 23 years of historical data, it is one of the richest automotive data sources anywhere in the world. More information about SMMT’s Motorparc and new vehicle registrations data services can be found at www.smmt.co.uk/data.Notes to editorsAverage CO2 emissions from UK car fleet in 2008: 175.1g/kmClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Greenhand and Chapter Degrees Awarded at Emery High FFA Ceremony

By Julie JohansenEmery High Future Farmers of America advisor Justin Thornley awarded 70 Greenhand and 14 Chapter degree pins Monday evening in the school’s annual ceremony. Seventy Greenhand degrees in one year is almost unheard of, but is a sign of the growing interest in the program at Emery High as this is the first year that freshman have been at the high school. Applicants for the FFA Greenhand Degree need to be enrolled in vocational agriculture for their second year to receive the bronze pin. Although there were not that many students present at the ceremony, they will receive their pins and certificates at a later date.Fourteen members received their silver pins and FFA Chapter Degree certificates. These degree winners must have completed two years in ag. ed., received their Greenhand Degree, attended five official functions, demonstrated five parliamentary procedures, have a satisfactory scholastic record and conducted 45 hours of a supervised agriculture project. This is the highest degree that a chapter can award. It is prerequisite for the honorary FFA State and National Degrees. Emery High seniors Dax Hall and Chase Christiansen will receive their FFA State Degrees in March at the state convention in Logan at Utah State University.Also competing at the FFA Utah State Convention in Logan in March will be the Emery High parliamentary procedure team and Byron Christiansen in creed speaking, as they were named area winners.State contests for the chapter will be in April. Early morning practices are beginning now and Mr. Thornley is asking for volunteers to help train students for these contests. He also announced an IFA Stock Show Clinic on March 20 at USU Eastern. read more

And for dessert Both Sides of the Brain

Students Kylee Francirek, left, and Tiffany Priddle use the Both Sides of the Brain photo booth.If you’ve always had a hunger to spice up your alter ego, now is your chance.The Both Sides of the Brain photo booth is making its rounds to university dining halls this fall.The attraction enables users to slip behind the curtain and emerge with a print of their own well-rounded personality, in a design of their own selection.It’s free and simple to use. Besides providing a print, the photo booth lets you email your image to yourself and also gives the option of submitting your creation for possible use in future on-campus displays.Liberate your alter ego at one of these locations:Guernsey Market – through Sunday, Nov. 7Decew Residence Dining Room – Monday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Nov. 21Lowenberger Residence Dining Room – Monday, Nov. 22 through Monday, Dec. 6 read more

UCF QB Milton carted off in first half against South Florida

TAMPA, Fla. — UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton was carted off field after injuring his right leg in the second quarter against South Florida on Friday.There was no immediate announcement on the nature or severity of the injury that occurred when the junior from Kapolei, Hawaii, was tackled at the end of a 5-yard run in front of the South Florida bench with 11:17 remaining in the opening half.Players on both teams kneeled on one knee while the cart rolled onto the field and Milton received medical attention. The entire UCF squad left the sideline and walked across the field to stand around their teammate.The eighth-ranked Knights, who are trying to complete a second consecutive undefeated regular season, kicked a field goal on the next play to take a 10-0 lead.Milton, eighth in Heisman Trophy balloting a year ago, was 5-of-10 passing for 86 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown throw to Gabriel Davis. He also tossed a first-quarter interception and had 16 yards rushing on five attempts.UCF has the nation’s longest winning streak at 23 games and will host next week’s American Athletic Conference championship game.___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25The Associated Press read more

Opinion Shaun White has something to prove after missing out on Olympic

U.S. snowboarder Shaun White wipes out while attempting to land a trick during the finals of Snowboard Halfpipe during the Sochi Winter Olympics Feb. 11. White failed to medal in the event.Courtesy of MCTIt is fair to call Shaun White the face of snowboarding.The most decorated Winter X Games Athlete in both total medals and gold medals, White had also claimed gold in Snowboarding Halfpipe in Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010.But in a stunner, White not only missed out on the gold, but he failed to make it to the podium altogether Tuesday in Sochi, Russia. Switzerland’s Iouri “I-Pod” Podladtchikov took home the top honors, while Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka of Japan snatched silver and bronze, respectively.White’s failure to medal comes days after he surprisingly pulled out of the first-ever Olympic slopestyle event before qualifying, when he decided to “focus solely on trying to bring home the third straight gold medal in halfpipe for Team USA.”White had taken a year to concentrate on slopestyle, hoping to go for double gold. It is speculated that he was worried about picking up an injury during the event, which would have kept him from the halfpipe competition. White and Canadian Mark McMorris both suffered injuries on the Sochi course while practicing two weeks ago.A few of White’s Canadian competitors were none too pleased with his decision to pull out of the event. Max Parrot, who finished fifth in the event Saturday, called White out via Twitter Feb. 5.“Shaun knows he won’t be able to win the slopes, that’s why he pulled out. He’s scared!” the tweet from Parrot’s personal account, @MaxParrot said. The tweet was later deleted.American Sage Kotsenburg took home the gold in slopestyle, Norwegian Ståle Sandbech snagged silver and McMorris won the bronze.Many of the top riders competing this month voiced their concerns with not only the slopestyle course but also with the halfpipe. American Hannah Teter, who won gold on the halfpipe in 2006, suggested that the event be pushed back.“They should push it back is what they should do, and fix it so we can showcase snowboarding the way it needs to be showcased. Not as a junk show, which is what it was looking like right now,” Teter said.White also voiced his disappointment after practice Monday.“It’s hard to get in there and have all the tricks and have everything that you need and not be able to get to the wall,” White said.White failing to even medal is the most surprising result of the Sochi games thus far. He also pulled out of all competition at the X Games in January to concentrate on the Olympic tournament.Tuesday, White earned the highest score of the night in the semifinals with a 95.75, but his highest score on his two final runs was a 90.25, which was only good enough for a fourth place finish. Podladtchikov registered a 94.75, while Hirano received a 93.50 and Hiraoka a 92.25.White is considered the best at his sport, but missing out on a medal on the world’s biggest stage will only make it harder for him to stay at the top.If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. Now he has something to prove. read more

Big rematch with Northwestern ahead for Ohio State womens basketball

OSU sophomore guard Asia Doss (20) dribbles during a game against Rutgers on Jan. 10 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorIt was just a couple of weeks ago when the Ohio State women’s basketball team boarded the bus back to Columbus in frustration after a loss in Evanston, Illinois, to Northwestern.Now, the Buckeyes have the opportunity to tie up the regular-season series, as they are getting set to host the Wildcats on Thursday evening at the Schottenstein Center.The predicted fast-paced matchup between No. 7 Ohio State (15-4, 7-1) and Northwestern (13-7, 2-6) is set to tip off at 7 p.m. Last time these two programs met, OSU came out flat, creating a gap in the score early on, which made it difficult for a comeback. Although the Buckeyes were able to reduce Northwestern’s advantage to four points by the final buzzer, they knew that it wasn’t their best 40 minutes of basketball. Since then, the Scarlet and Gray have made advancements on the practice court and in their past three contests — each of which have been victories. “I think we have improved since the last time we played Northwestern,” coach Kevin McGuff said. “It will really be about our focus and energy from the start. We didn’t have good focus when we played them the first time, and they really made us pay.”On the contrary, Northwestern’s play has descended, losing every game since defeating OSU. Knowing that they have the ability to beat the Buckeyes, the Wildcats are coming to Columbus with confidence and fury in attempt to put their losing streak to an end. The Wildcats play a similar game to the Buckeyes, looking to push the ball up the court and outwork the opposing team.“They like to get to the rim fast and then kick out to their shooters, so we are going to try to stop them in the transition game,” OSU junior forward Shayla Cooper said. If OSU can control Northwestern’s speed, than it will force the Wildcats to abandon the up-tempo play and resort to half-court offense.The Buckeyes encountered the Wildcats in a similar character entering the Jan. 14 game, playing them after they lost twice in a row to fellow Big Ten members Michigan State and Purdue. That being said, Northwestern will look to bring its all to Columbus hoping to pull off another upset. In Coffey, the Wildcats trustIt isn’t a surprise that Northwestern turns to junior forward Nia Coffey when it’s in search of a surge on either side of the court. Coffey possesses a forceful paint presence that ranks her No. 5 in the Big Ten in scoring, racking up 19.8 points per game. To add to her impressive scoring abilities, Coffey grabs 10.3 rebounds per contest to lead the conference, as well as acting as a regular supply of tenacious defense for the Wildcats.Against the Buckeyes two weeks ago, Coffey dropped 23 points and was a threat on nearly every possession. OSU had a difficult time finding an answer for her, but this time around her name will be circled in the Buckeye game plan.Sixth woman of the yearWhen looking over the Buckeyes’ statistics, observers might think that Cooper would be a regular in the starting lineup.But that is not the case. Cooper started the year in the first five, but McGuff saw that she could be used strategically as the first player to come off the bench. With all the attention on sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell and senior guard Ameryst Alston, teams tend to be unaware of Cooper’s capabilities. Scoring in all sorts of ways, Cooper averages 13.4 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 8.6 per contest. The 6-foot-2 forward maintains a confident but modest attitude, knowing that her contributions off the bench can be a difference-maker in the final outcome.Against Northwestern, Cooper’s energy brought the Buckeyes back in the game, scoring 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field.Cooper said she has been content with her play, as well as the team’s most recent performances, heading into the rematch with the Wildcats. “We have positivity and a lot of communication,” Cooper said. “We pass the ball a lot to each other, and try to get each other open … we are just trying to get our transition game back to where it was.”On the road againAfter taking on Northwestern, the Buckeyes are set to continue their campaign at Illinois (8-11, 1-7) on Monday.The Fighting Illini have had a rough January, losing six of their last seven games, but will battle from baseline to baseline with the Buckeyes regardless of the numbers on paper.Action between the two Big Ten foes at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois, is scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m. read more

Exclusive US soccer stars Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe to donate brains

As two of the faces of United States and international soccer, retired forward Abby Wambach and current midfielder Megan Rapinoe have used their platforms to act as leaders for various social issues, such as LGBT and women’s rights. But now, following in the steps of another former U.S. women’s national team star, Brandi Chastain, Wambach and Rapinoe have plans to make a difference in an entirely different way.In an interview with The Lantern before the two spoke at Ohio State for an event sponsored by OUAB, Wambach disclosed that she has made arrangements to have her brain donated for concussion research. Rapinoe later revealed the same during the event.“I think it’s amazing. I’m going to do the same myself,” Wambach said of Chastain’s pledge to donate. “Actually, I’m going to be doing a piece with her in order to get the word out, and I think that will be so important not just for the next generation, but to learn more.”Wambach later added that the piece with Chastain is set to be a podcast.Chastain, known for her game-winning penalty kick and ensuing celebration in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, announced her intentions in early March, becoming one of the most prominent female athletes to do so.The 35-year-old Wambach, the all-time leading goal scorer in international soccer, could prove especially valuable in the research due to her propensity to use her head on the pitch. Of her 184 goals in international play, 77 were deposited using her head.“I think there will be valuable research and information that will be studied, and we will understand more about the heading and the heading process as it pertains to the game,” Wambach said.During the OUAB event, Rapinoe acknowledged that she’s unsure how much information could be gathered from her brain, as she does not use her head to the extent of Wambach. Even so, she said she felt it necessary to contribute to the burgeoning research on concussions. Boston University, where Chastain plans to donate her brain, is the lead researcher on the field of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a postmortem degenerative brain disease that is suspected to be linked to concussions and repeated blows to the head. However, only seven of the 307 brains studied by Boston University belonged to a female, according to The New York Times, which adds salience to the commitments of the three U.S. soccer players. CTE, initially linked to boxing, is now commonly associated with football, as the first large-scale findings on the disease came after Dr. Bennet Omalu published a paper in 2005 on former NFL center Mike Webster. Since the initial report, the list of NFL players diagnosed with CTE continues to grow. An October study from the Department of Veteran Affairs and Boston University found the disease in 87 of the 91 brains of former NFL players that were examined. Despite the repeated linkage to football, research on the disease and the impacts of head trauma is developing beyond gridiron, namely to soccer. Boston University discovered CTE in the brain of a deceased 29-year-old soccer player in 2014, the first named player to have traces of it. A 2013 study from Yeshiva University found abnormalities in the brains of soccer players who frequently head the ball that are similar to patients who have sustained concussions. The study noted a single header is not enough to result in traumatic brain injuries, but the lead author, Dr. Michael Lipton, wrote that “repetitive heading could set off a cascade of responses that leads to degeneration of brain cells over time.”As a preventive measure in young players, the U.S. Soccer Federation put forth new safety guidelines in November, banning headers for players under 10 years old, while limiting it in practice for those aged 11 to 13. Wambach said she fully supports safety measures to protect youth players, but she is advocating that there are better ways to go about it than simply banning headers altogether.“We want to make sure that when those 10-year-olds get to that 11-year-old age, the 11- to (13-year-olds) get to the next level, we want to make sure those kids are prepared,” she said. “You don’t want to send somebody out and not know how to do it, how to properly head a ball. I think that actually makes it more dangerous.“If you can do it technically sound, you’re less likely to incur a concussion. In fact, most concussions come from elbow-to-elbow or head-to-head contact, and that’s something that’s a little not talked about.”She said that because of this belief, she is working with the federation to instill new programs to teach proper technique when heading the ball.“I’m setting up a protocol with U.S. Soccer at this point to create a business in and around some of these clubs with soft balls to properly teach how to technically head a soccer ball, how to attack a soccer ball, to not be afraid of heading a soccer ball, because I don’t foresee soccer ever losing heading as part of its game,” Wambach said.Soccer might not be a sport noted for its spine-tingling collisions or overtly physical nature. But Wambach said that is precisely why she thinks research into the effects of the sport could prove invaluable to future generations.“We’re different from the NFL,” she said. “Heading a ball is different than getting struck in the head by a linebacker that’s 300 pounds trying to literally rip your head off, so I’m excited to see what those results are.”Nick Clarkson contributed to this story. read more