Both the government and local councils have introduced further rules to help improve air quality in city centres and increase general road safety for all road users: two areas that regulation has increasingly been focused on.
We have news of not one but FOUR new driving laws coming into effect this September – including even stricter rules against the use of mobile phones. Drivers are also warned to be aware of clean air zones on their journeys – and to ensure that their vehicle has the required permissions to avoid a fine or a potentially severe driving penalty.
Read on for more detail on the new regulations you’ll need to familiarise yourself with…
- Mobile Phone Usage
It is now illegal for motorists in the UK to use their mobiles at any time during a journey.
Previously, drivers could use their phone for purposes that were not for “interactive communications” (e.g. searching for music, taking photos etc).
However, this law has now been made more restrictive. Anyone caught using their phone for any reason will receive both a £200 fine – and SIX points on their licence.
Also, in further measure, drivers who are still within 2 years of having gained their driving license could lose their licence completely if they are caught using their mobile.
- Low Emission Zones
Low Emission Zones (LEZ) are schemes typically implemented within cities and urban areas in order to manage pollution.
If a vehicle reaches the given standard for emissions, it will be charged for entering the zone.
Several cities in the UK have already introduced the scheme (London, Brighton and Birmingham) with many more set to follow in the next few years – including Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
Drivers who fail to pay the daily set charges for a vehicle entering the LEZ will receive significant penalties.
- Transporting goods into Europe
Drivers will need a licence to carry goods (or people), if they are doing this for hire or reward, into the EU or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. This even includes things like shared-cost group minibus trips.
The standard international goods vehicle licence will be required for light good vehicles, vans, and cars/vans towing trailers.
- Speed Limiters
As announced this summer, all new cars are now required to be have a speed limiter. This rule is still little-known (though we reported on it back in July).
The speed limiter device is fitted on cars and works by restricting the engine power, thus limiting the speed of the car. However, it is still obviously the responsibility of the driver to stay within the road’s speed limits.
So, make sure you stay up-to-date with the latest regulations and changes/additions in the Highway Code this Autumn – and avoid fines and driving penalties, whilst heling keep fellow drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safe.