New Laws That Could Affect Motorists in 2017
There are many new laws that have either already come into effect or are proposed to change in 2017 and here at Citygate, we thought we would summarize the main ones affecting motorists, for the readers of our blog!
Crackdown on mobile-phone usage whilst driving
You may have heard recently that since March 1st 2017, there will be tougher penalties given out to anyone caught using their mobile devices (including tablets) whilst driving. In a bid to crack down on the number of accidents caused by motorists who are texting and phoning whilst in the driver’s seat, you can now get 6 points on your driving license, as well as a £200 fine. The new legislation means that with the tougher penalties, any drivers that have only held a license for 2 years or under, could even have their license revoked if they are caught.
Earlier in the year it was also announced that speeding fines will be increasing for more serious cases, come April 24th 2017. Following a review, the current maximum fine which is capped at £1000 will rise to £2500 if you are caught speeding way over the limit on the motorway. However, the current minimum fine of £100 looks to stay the same, as does the amount of points that you would get on your driver’s license, which will remain at 3 points.
Car tax changes
Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) will be changing on the 1st April 2017 – read our blog on how this could affect you and why you could save money if you are looking to purchase your new car before then!
Changes to child car seat regulations
Earlier in the year, new rules came into effect that meant child car seat manufacturers would not be able to introduce new models of booster cushions for children shorter than 125cm or weighing less than 22kg. The new regulations are being introduced as it is recommended that high-backed booster seats offer more protection against accidents than backless booster seats do.
However, the new rules will not mean that you will be required to get rid of your existing booster cushions as it does not apply to older models of booster cushions that were produced before February 9th.
For more information or if you are unsure which is the appropriate car seat for your child, visit www.childcarseats.org.uk
The UK Driving Test is set to Change in 2017
In a commitment to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads every year, the government has proposed new changes to the Practical Driving Test in the UK. Although a date for these changes has not yet been set, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, these changes will include:
- Increasing the test’s ‘independent driving’ section from 10 to 20 minutes so examiners can judge your driving ability more accurately in real world driving conditions.
- Asking you to follow a sat nav’s directions during the ‘independent driving’ section to make the test more ‘modern’
- Replacing the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn in the road’ with maneuvers such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay to create more ‘real-life scenarios’ for examiners to assess your ability
- Asking one of the two vehicle safety questions while you are driving such as asking you to use the rear-heated window so your multi-tasking skills can be judged.
The government is also considering to introduce a mandatory minimum learning period of 120 hour’s practice behind the wheel before learner drivers would be allowed to sit their practical driving test, including plans to allow learners on to motorways to get familiar with driving on them earlier.
Older Vehicles to Face Increase in Congestion Charge
As part of his plans to reduce the levels of pollution in the capital, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced proposals for a new ‘T-charge’ to come into action from the 23rd October 2017. The law which is currently under review, would apply to drivers of older vehicles that were built before 2005 and emit a higher level of pollution. The £10 emissions T-Charge will be charged on top of the current £11.50 Congestion Charge that drivers are currently having to pay to drive their cars within Central London.