Six New Driving Laws Coming into Effect
In 2018, a number of motoring laws are being introduced. They will affect all road users so it is worth keeping up to speed with them.
Learner drivers can use motorways
For the first time ever, learner drivers will be allowed to use motorways but this will not become part of the test. However, during training, instructors will be encouraged to take learners onto the motorway to gain experience.
All major motorways will have Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras fitted in order to penalise those who misuse the hard shoulder. If a driver uses a hard shoulder of a managed motorway when it is closed, or decides to drive in a lane that is marked with X, then they will be given an automatic penalty of £100 and three points.
The driving test is changing
Currently, the test contains an independent driving element which requires the driver to drive with no instructions for ten minutes. The new test laws will come with a section that requires drivers to following instructions from a Sat Nav to prove that they can follow instructions safely.
Along with this, drivers will also be required to demonstrate certain functions of the car such as how to operate the windscreen wipers. The test will also include reversing into a parking bay.
Diesel car tax increases
For those diesel vehicles that are not compliant with the Euro 6 Emissions Standard will increase by one tax bracket in the first year, which could range from £20 to £560 depending on the emissions and the model. However, this is a change that has been kept relatively quiet by the government.
Car seats for children
There are big changes being made to the child car seat safety.
For those children who weight more than 22kg or are over 125cm, the new model of backless booster seats will be suitable. For those seats with high backs, new guides to reduce the height of the seatbelt will be added so that it falls in line with the child's shoulders.
All children who are younger than 15 months will now have to remain backward facing. Up to the age of 12, all children have to use a car seat but once they are older than this or 135cms tall, whichever, comes first, they can then wear a seatbelt. It is possible to choose a car seat that is suited around their height or weight.
From May, new MOT changes came into effect which includes new items that are tested. All diesels that have had their DPF removed or tampered with will fail the test while aftermarket HD headlamp bulbs are also not permitted. For the first time ever, reversing lights are testing and if the brake fluid has altered then this will also lead to a fail.
All cars that are older than forty years old will not have to be tested while the advisory system that is currently being used will be replaced with a new one. The test will now follow minor, major and dangerous faults and these will work in the same way as the old advisory system.
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