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Posted in: New immigration laws hinder some married expats returning to UK See in context

Nandakandamanda: Yes, unfortunately, it's legal. They aren't taking spouse visas away from people who received them under the old rules, just not issuing them to people who've applied since the new criteria came into force last year.

It's all about numbers. The government is actively trying to create a hostile environment for migrants in any way it can, purely to get the numbers down far enough to stop right-wing votes switching to UKIP, and this measure is just a small part. Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather gave a very revealing interview in the Guardian last week, in which she said that the Tories had initially tried to make the minimum income for a spouse visa GBP 40,000 rather than 18,600, and that the internal government committee on immigration was originally called the Hostile Environment Working Group (it was renamed the Inter Ministerial Group on Migrants' Access to Benefits and Public Services after Lib Dems objected).

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Posted in: 40% of child seats in cars remain unused: police survey See in context

Apologies to TSRnow and Disillusioned - I got confused between the policy on use of seatbelts in rear seats and that on child seats. You're right, it is one point off the driver's license for not using a child seat, even on ordinary roads. (No fine, unlike most other traffic violations.)

I do think, though, there's a de facto policy in place similar to that for seatbelt use. It's very rare for drivers to be penalized for not using child seats - in fact, I have a policeman friend who never uses them for his own three kids. I guess there may be local campaigns now and then, when local forces need to bump up their statistics.

Anyway, sorry for the misinformation.

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Posted in: 40% of child seats in cars remain unused: police survey See in context

TSRnow, Disillusioned:

The police don't impose penalties for not using seatbelts in back seats on normal roads.

If you can't read Japanese, see:


"Expressway vs. Non-Expressway

The imposition of penalties is limited to violators on expressways---and, again, only the drivers can be penalized. As a result, passengers on tour buses are routinely asked by their driver to fasten their seat belts when the bus is about to enter an expressway. Due to a lack of public support for the regulations, violators on local roads and surface roads receive only warnings."

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Posted in: 40% of child seats in cars remain unused: police survey See in context

One problem is that although it is illegal not to have children in child seats, there are no penalties for non-compliance if it's on normal roads. It's only on expressways that drivers will be penalized if passengers aren't wearing seatbelts in the back or children aren't in child seats. I have only once seen a crackdown on the expressway - at the toll booths at the end of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge during Golden Week there were police checking seatbelts, and dozens of cars were getting pulled over. I wish that would happen more often, and on regular roads too.

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