7 New Driving Laws and What They Mean For Drivers
A number of new driving laws have come into place this year, which many drivers are still unaware of. Even those who have heard of the new laws aren’t entirely sure what it means for them. The automotive world is getting a shakeup and now it will be even easier to be on the wrong side of the law. If you don’t know what the rules are! To keep you out of hot water, we’ve put together a list of the new driving laws. Along with what this means for you as a driver.
1. No More Tax Disc
Let’s kick off with a new law that many people are aware of. The end of the paper tax disc in your car was all over the news; so it’s been hard to miss. However, some people are unaware of the changes when buying or selling a car. Tax can no longer be transferred to a new owner when buying a car. Instead, you will have to buy your own tax as soon as possible. The DVLA have a 24-hour phone system, so there really is no excuse. You can also buy your new tax online or in the Post Office. One of the benefits of this change is that you can now pay for your car tax via direct debit, over 12 months. No more panicking when your tax month comes up!
2. Drugs and Driving - Lillians Law
Everyone knows that it’s illegal to drive under the influence of drink and drugs. However, did you know it’s now illegal to drive on certain prescription medicines? These new driving laws stipulate that you cannot drive a vehicle if there are drugs in your system that may impair your driving. This includes prescription medicines such as morphine and diazepam. As so many people are so unaware of these new laws, over 900 arrests have been made since the changes. Those caught could face a driving ban, massive fines, or jail time.
Read more about the new drugs and driving law here and the case which supported the new law introduction - Lillians Law
3. Smoking in Cars
The government have been talking about this one for quite some time, so it comes as no surprise. As of October 31st, 2015 it will become illegal to smoke in the car if there are any passengers under the age of 18. According to research, three million children have to breathe in secondhand smoke when a passenger of a vehicle. This new law will ensure that is no longer possible. Although there is no news on the penalties for breaking these rules yet, there will be a huge campaign to give people more information nearer the time.
4. No More Paper Licence
Yet more paper out of drivers’ lives! In June, a new scheme came into place, scrapping the paper licence for good. Now, all of the information about any driving points or offences will be kept by the DVLA online. You’ll also need to keep hold of the photo ID card, which was introduced in 1998. Although the DVLA have said that paper licences can be ripped up, some experts are advising against it. Those who try to hire a car abroad may find that they still need to present it to the rental company.
5. Make a Plea
After being initially tested in Greater Manchester, the new ‘Make a Plea’ system is set to rollout across the rest of the UK this year. Instead of going to court for a minor driving offence, you will soon be able to make your case online through a secure website. This will save both you and magistrates a lot of time, by keeping these minor offences out of the courtroom. If successful it is thought that the ‘Make a Plea’ service may also be rolled out for other minor crimes.
6. HGV Speed Limit
It’s often been said that some of the speed limit rules are a little dated. This year, the government put a new law in place that upped the HGV speed limits on single and dual carriageways. Both limits were raised by 10mph, making it a 50mph limit on single carriageways and 60mph on dual carriageways.
Any HGV drivers looking for a new private number plate - FA57 TER ?
7. Safer Lorries
From the 1st of September this year, London is set to get safer for cyclists. A new rule will mean that any lorries driving in the city will have to be fitted with crucial safety equipment. This applies to all HGV over 3.5 tonnes, including construction vehicles. The safety equipment includes side guards and extra mirrors, to protect cyclists on the London streets. A failure to comply with these rules could land you a £50 penalty notice or a fine of up to £1,000 if taken to court.
Were you aware of all these big changes in the motoring world, this year? If not, we hope you’re up to speed now. Make sure you stay on the right side of the law and don’t end up with a huge fine. Or worse!