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Everything you will need to know about driving laws in 2020

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This year you will see changes when it comes to Motoring laws including tougher penalties

Here are a few helpful list so that you can keep yourself updated and hopefully avoid any unnecessary fines.  With the turn of a decade new rules that have been put in place and must be followed to ensure you don’t get hit with an unexpected penalty.

Car Tax

In line with inflation, this year will see their vehicle excise duty bill go up by at least £5. However the owners of a high emission cars will be charged up to an additional £15. Diesel car owners whose vehicles fail to meet the new mandatory RDE2 emissions standard will also pay a higher rate in taxes.

New car buyers could also face an extra £65 on their first year’s car tax.

Intelligent Speed Assist

Intelligent speed assist is a new feature that will become mandatory for new cars from 2022 under the EU’s revised general safety regulation.

The main aims is to increase the level of road safety and minimise collisions. This process involves cameras that can understand and read road signs. This will put limits on the engines power so that drivers will not be able to exceed the posted speed limit.

Another mandatory safety system will include warnings for drivers drowsiness and if they are distracted, Cameras & sensors for reversing, Lane assistance technology and Black Box data recorder.

International Driving Permits & Insurance

If you are planning to drive a car in the EU, you will have to spend £5.50 for an international permit, however this will come into place if the UK where to leave the EU with a “No-Deal”. They will be able to purchase this permit form a post office branch.

You will also need to carry a motor insurance green card whilst driving your own car within the EU and EEA. You will have to get in contact with your insurance provider at least a month before you travel.

Low Emission Rules & Zones

In April, London introduced the new Ultra Low Emission Zone that applies to many areas in central London. This could soon be extended to all of inner London by 2021, however this could be introduced this year to other major Cities across the country.

This July it is expected that Birmingham and Leeds will introduce their own schemes, but they may be halted because of delays.

There have been other Metropolitan areas including: Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Derby, Newcastle, and Cardiff have shown interest.

If your does not meet the new emission standards in these zones then drivers will have to pay a daily charge to operate in a specified area. So beware of any changes this year in any area that you may need to travel.

MOT Rules

There are new categories for defects with cars which drivers will have to understand, which are:

  • Dangerous - Direct risk to road safety or the environment. Results in a fail.
  • Major - Could affect safety or the environment. Results in a fail.
  • Minor - No effect on safety, but should be repaired as soon as possible.
  • Advisory - Could have an effect in future.
  • Pass - Meets the current legal standards.

A variety of new requirements are also being included in the MOT for the first time, these include checks for:

Under-inflated tyres, Contaminated brake fluid, Brake pad warning lights and missing brake pads or discs, Reversing lights (for vehicles newer than September 2009) and Daytime running lights (for vehicles newer than March 2018)

Overtaking Cyclists

Currently campaigners for road safety have called for the clarification as they say it does not do enough to explain how drivers should treat cyclists on the road. Drivers will be instructed to give way to cyclists (and pedestrians) when turning left, in order to provide some clarity on the current Highway Code rules.

Parking Surcharges

Around 10,000 people have approached the Citizens Advice Bureau for guidance on parking tickets last year. The latest is that new legislation has been passed but the working group is yet to conclude new code of practice. Meanwhile the RAC has been leading the charge to implement a new code of practice that will help protect drivers from unscrupulous parking companies by banning certain practices and create a single, independent appeals process throughout England.

Pavement parking has been banned in London since 1974, however there could be new legislation introduced that would see restrictions extended across England. There is some opposition to this so it may take time to work its way into a law.

Recently Qualified Drivers

The government are considering bringing in a graduated driving licence. This is a radical new idea to add to the rules for a new driver, as currently if you have less than two years driving you will face stronger penalties for offences like using a mobile phone, but a whole range of restrictions could also be imposed.

According to The RAC these new laws/legislations are likely to focus on:

  • Alcohol – Having a lower limits than the general driving population.
  • Curfews – Limiting times when they are allowed to be on the road.
  • Engine sizes - Limits on how powerful their car has.
  • Passengers - Limits for how many passengers a new driver can have.
  • Speed - Separate, lower speed limits to other drivers.
  • Mandatory P plates - These are currently optional, but could be made mandatory for up to two years.

A pilot scheme for graduated licences was tested in Northern Ireland from 2019 to 2020. This could lead to it being rolled out in England if successful. However this may cause more uproar with many of the new drivers

Smart Motorways

Highways England are planning to build emergency refuge areas across the “smart” motorway network, some of the work has already began on the M25. Even though there may be some concerns over safety on smart motorways in the UK as the conversion of many hard shoulders in an aim to reduce for those who may crash or break down.

With this in mind it is illegal to drive in a closed lane marked with an (X) on a smart motorway. If you are caught you could face a fine of up to £100 and three points on your licence. There are ongoing legislation to increase the penalties enforced.

If you are stopped/ arrested by the police, we can help. With our amazing team who have a range of experience dealing with these types of matters can help with motoring issues.

Feel free to get in contact with us, or call us on 02077379339.