Changes to the driving laws this year
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There have already been some changes to the driving laws over the past few months, but we will be seeing a few more changes throughout the rest of the year.
Your driver’s licence will get a digital counter-part, supporting the photo card, rather than replacing it. As more and more sensitive information becomes digital, having a digital driving license is a logical step. Some people may be familiar with this as they were part of testing the prototype on through Apple Wallet or their smartphone, but soon it will be the norm.
Also in April, new diesel cars (only cars, not vans or commercial vehicles) will face a higher rate of VED tax. This applies to the first year of tax for diesel cars that fail the Real Driving Emissions 2 (RDE2) test. As tax is based on your car emissions, the higher the emission, the higher the cost of tax. Intended as part of a government scheme to improve air quality in the UK, and as diesel cars often have higher emissions than petrol, they are more likely to be affected.
MOT changes mean that, among other things, MOT tests will change their categories, the certificates you will be issued will look different and vehicles over 40 years old will not need to have an MOT at all.
From 4th June, learner drivers have been allowed to have lessons on the motorway, as long as an approved instructor with dual controls accompanies them. It is hoped this will make learner drivers more confident after they have passed, but for the average motorway user, it could be quite daunting.
Also in 2018:
Supposed to come into force in March, 2018, but yet to be finalised, there will be a change in motorway laws penalising motorists who continue to drive down closed lanes. This is especially prevalent about smart motorways, which open the hard shoulder as a fourth lane at peak times and close it at others. Driving in a closed lane is already illegal but the new law will utilise safety cameras to catch drivers driving in a closed lane or breaking the speed limit.
While currently only a proposal by the Government, it could come into force that new drivers will face extra restrictions when they pass, including a ban on driving at night and restriction of young passengers. This could be imposed for up to two years. The aim is to reduce the high amount of accidents on the road.
By filtering this information down through your fleet you can make sure everyone in your business is aware of the changes. Doing so will help your company prepare, and save you time and money in the long run, as well as keep your workers safe. For example, in the case of learner drivers on the motorway, your fleet will be more proactive in responding to any L-plated vehicles around them, minimising any crashes that could be costly in time, money and your driver’s safety.