Seven tough new driving laws are being introduced this year and could see motorists paying hefty fines.
Drivers could face fines of up to £1,000 this year following changes in the law to certain actions such as holding a mobile phone and parking on pavements.
There are seven new laws set to come into force this year and not many motorists are aware of the changes which, if caught, could prove costly.
Millions of motorists are aware of the Highway Code, which was learned as part of the driving test, but not many people will be familiar with the new laws that motorists must follow that come into effect each year.
And hefty fines and penalty points are a reason you need to pay attention to the changes.
Mobile phone ban
Drivers who hold their mobile phone for any reason while driving will face fines of £200 and six penalty points on their license.
The new complete ban now closes a previous loophole that allowed drivers to take photos or videos while driving without being penalised.
Ban on pavement parking
London is the first city to make parking on pavements illegal, with rule-breakers now being fined £70 but soon the rest of the UK could follow suit.
So when you think about pulling your whole vehicle or two wheels on the kerb, you might want to look around for somewhere safer to park – after all, parking on the pavement causes an obstruction to pedestrians, pushchairs, and disabled people who struggle to pass on the pavement.
Not to mention the added danger of them being forced to walk on the road instead.
A consultation on the nationwide ban was completed at the end of 2020 and its results are due in a few weeks.
MOT extension ends
Motorists who took advantage of the government’s extension to MOT tests as part of the national lockdown measures will soon find themselves in hot water if they fail to put their car through its MOT.
Due to lockdown restrictions, the government announced a six-month extension for MOTs which expired between March 31 and July 31 last year. This six-month extension ended on January 31 and drivers now travelling without a valid MOT certificate could be fined up to £1,000.
Check your documents to see when your MOT is due and have it booked in.
Brexit changes affecting driving in Europe
While most drivers were given permission to drive without International Driving Permits as part of a last-minute UK-EU agreement, British motorists will still need to provide new documents in the form of a physical copy of a green card.
These green cards must be obtained from your car insurance provider and must be carried at all times when driving abroad as this is proof you have a valid insurance policy in place.
In addition to this, drivers who are riding around in a vehicle that is less than 12 months old will have to carry their V5C logbook with them.
New clean air zones rolled out
Currently, motorists driving in several London boroughs face an extra daily charge of between £8 and £100 and London’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) which charges the capital’s most polluting vehicles, will be expanded to Bath and Birmingham.
Birmingham’s scheme will charge drivers of the most polluting cars up to £8 per day, and £50 for HGVs (trucks and lorries), coaches, and buses.
In Bath, it will be £9 a day for non-compliant vans, taxis, private hire vehicles and minibuses, and £100 for larger vehicles – but there will be no charge for cars and motorbikes.
Meanwhile, it’s not all doom and gloom for motorists. This year could see additional perks for drivers of all-electric and zero-emission cars as motorists will be able to buy green number plates.
The government has suggested those with these plates could enjoy cheaper parking and a special zero-emission zone.