In January 2022, we wrote an article about some of the UK’s proposed changes coming into effect that would impact both private, and motor trade industry drivers of new and used vehicles. Driving laws and the highway code are always subject to change by our government, it’s advisable to keep up to date, regularly check and carry out your own research before setting of on any journey, especially if you want to avoid having an awkward conversation with your local insurance broker about the policy you currently have in place.
20 mph speed limit
The new 20 mph speed limit has now been introduced in pedestrian and residential areas throughout the UK. Areas and cities like Cardiff, Edinburgh and Birmingham are being monitored by speed cameras, when this new law launched, 1,100 motorists were caught breaking the limit in the first 24 hours.
Mobile Phone Use for Drivers
Changes to mobile phone use whilst driving now include penalties of £200 and six points for drivers even touching their phones. However, drivers can use their phone as a sat nav if secured to a holder, but you must pull over if you need to adjust your route on the phone. You are also allowed to use your phone for contactless payments at toll roads, and drive-throughs if necessary.
Councils Can Enforce Traffic Offences
Some local councils can now fine motorists up to £70 for offences like driving in cycle lanes and stopping in junction boxes, only police officers were responsible for these fines before the changes came in.
Councils in England and Wales could soon have the power to issue fines for motorists that park on pavements. It was already illegal to park on the pavement in some parts of the UK, and reports suggest a decision could be made rolling this rule out further later this year.
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Rules On Towing
If you passed your driving test on or after January 1997, you won’t need to retake a test to be able to tow a trailer up to 3,500 kg, the maximum weight trailers can hold including the weight of the trailer. Passing after this date means you will need to sit a test; this new law helps overcome the shortage of UK HGV drivers.
Manchester Pause Clean Air Zone (CAZ)
Manchester has paused its clean air zone as new plans were submitted on 1 July 2022. The zones targeted taxis, buses and both private and motor trade vehicles that surpass a legal limit of vehicle emissions. Vehicles may be charged up to £60 per day to enter the CAZ, cities like Bath and Birmingham still have clean air, or low emission zones in place.
Healthcare Professionals Can Determine If You’re Fit to Drive
To speed up the process of driving licence renewals and reduce the workload on our doctors, healthcare professionals like nurse practitioners are now able to conduct medical questionnaires to determine if you’re fit to drive, before this rule change only GPs were allowed to make the assessment.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Points Installed in All New homes
Infrastructure around charging points has been a problem for motorists considering switching over to electric vehicles. However, as of June 2022, new builds in England now must have EV charging points installed as a legal requirement, this includes new-build homes, supermarkets and other buildings undergoing major renovations, the scheme could introduce 145,000 extra charging points to UK infrastructure.
Update to Highway Code
Government changed the Highway Code for cyclists, pedestrians, and horse riders, which includes:
- Priority for at-risk road users like cyclists, pedestrians, and horses.
- Pedestrian priority when crossing the road and on pavements
- Guidance on passing these road users safely, updates to distances and speed.
- When travelling straight ahead, cyclists get priority at junctions.
Listed above are just a few of the rule amendments and submitted changes motorists need to be prepared for this year, to keep up to date of all law changes and road regulations visit the government and highway code websites.