UK driving laws coming in 2018 - How YOU will be affected by new rules and punishmentsWed, 09/05/2018
It is quite common to discuss the legalities of certain manoeuvres and road laws with friends and colleagues, but you need to keep on top of new laws.
Luke John Smith, Express, reports:
OVER the course of 2018 a number of new rules and laws are coming into force across the UK. Here is a list of the new and/or modified road rules coming into force this year and how motorists could be punished, fined and affected by the changes.
A nationwide pavement parking ban has been proposed in the UK, which could see drivers flouting the rule land a £70 fine.
The Department of Transport is considering the overhaul of the law to make roads more accessible for pedestrians with pushchairs or in wheelchairs.
Currently pavement parking is only illegal in London and has been since 1974.
Under the new laws, it could become illegal to park on the pavement, unless the car has been granted explicit permission, across the country.
New MOT rules
From May 2018 the MoT test is set to get a shake-up which will see the introduction of new failure and defect categories.
The test will now categorise defects as either Minor, Major or Dangerous.
Under the new rules drivers that receive a Major or Dangerous fault will automatically fail their MOT test.
Drivers can still pass if they receive a Minor fault, but it will be noted down on the car’s MOT certificate.
The test is also getting stricter for diesel cars.
Limits for diesel cars will be lowered to make it harder to pass.
Among the changes will be one that if the “exhaust on a vehicle fitted with a diesel particulate filter emits visible smoke of any colour” the car will be issued a Major fault.
Other changes include checks to whether brake discs are obviously worn, oil contamination of the discs and how well they are securely attached to the wheel hubs.
In addition to this, from May any car that is 40 years old or older will no longer need an MOT certificate.
Graduated driving licence
Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a graduated driving licence to be introduced.
A probationary period has also been proposed which would mean that certain restrictions are imposed on new drivers for up to two years after they pass their practical test.
Under the proposals drivers would be restricted from driving at night time and carrying passengers under 25 years of age unless supervised.
Similar restrictions have been implemented Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.
Other moves include putting a limit on the engine size and power output to also help prevent accidents.
Currently if drivers clock up six points in their first two years they can face an instant ban from driving, compared to the usual 12.
Car tax diesel
Changes to car tax are coming into force in April 2018.
These changes were revealed in the Autumn Budget by Chancellor Philip Hammond last year.
They focus on reducing air pollution and are targeted solely at diesel cars.
From April if cars do not meet a pre-determined emissions standard then drivers could face inflated fees.
Unfortunately drivers will not be able to escape the inflated fees.
This is because the Real Driving Emissions 2 standard does not become mandatory until 2020.
While car manufacturers have two years to meet this standard, their current crop of new vehicles will not.
Any cars that do not meet the Real World Driving 2 emissions standard will have to pay one band higher car tax.
Fortunately for existing cars on the road, the inflated charges will not be applied to them but for those buying a new car need to be wary of the cars that will be hit the hardest.
This could add up to £500 on to the cost of car tax.
Drivers could soon be penalised in the UK for driving in a motorway lane that is delineated by a red X.
The red X refers to a lane closure, for example if there has been an accident further down the road.
Roadside cameras would automatically detect drivers flouting the rules and issue a fixed penalty notice of £100 and three penalty points.
Learner drivers on the motorway
From Monday 4 June 2018, learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales.
Currently, motorway driving training is only voluntary through the PassPlus scheme.
The move to allow new drivers to be trained on the UK’s motorway network was proposed to help make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely.
Learners will need to be accompanied by an approved driving instructor and driving a car fitted with dual controls and the sessions will be voluntary and down to the discretion of the instructor to decide if the learner is competent enough.
Discovering a learner driver on the motorway could come as quite a surprise, which is one reason why it is always a good idea to keep up-to-date with new motoring legislation.