There are a number of changes and new laws that have come into force in the latter half of 2015 and are due to appear throughout 2016 that we want to remind our readers about.
If you’ve heard about some law changes, such as smoking in cars, but never quite got the full 411 here is your opportunity to brush up on some recent and upcoming additions or amends to UK driving laws:
- From October 1, 2015 it has been illegal to smoke in a car with an under 18 present. Both the driver and the smoker can be fined.
- Since October 2014, tax discs are no longer needed to be displayed in car windscreens. You still need to pay for vehicle tax and should get a renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire.
- In 2014, the legal drink-drive limit in Scotland was lowered to make it less than anywhere else in the UK. If you are travelling to Scotland, please be aware of the limit being reduced from 80mg of alcohol in every 100ml of blood to 50mg.
- Since June 2015, there has been no paper counterpart issued with photocard licenses. Penalty points and driving licence statuses have not changed, but they will be recorded on the DVLA’s central database instead. Paper licences issued before 1998 remain valid – these should not be destroyed.
- In 2016 the Insurance Act will change the way that claims are received by insurers. It is going to be up to the insurer to ask potential customers the right questions before deciding on whether or not to unsure them, not up to the customer to provide all of the necessary information when they decide to take out a policy. Look out for more updates on this in the news.
- EU driving laws will come into force in 2017 that will mean British motorists driving in the EU in their own vehicle (not a rental car) can be fined or penalised otherwise. Whether you’re caught by a police officer or a speed camera, you can be penalised for speeding, jumping red lights, drink and drug driving or driving using a mobile phone. Current EU legislation means Brits can only be penalised if they are in a rental car.
- Driving tests are set to change for learners in 2016, with a focus on being able to follow a sat nav instead of an examiner’s verbal instructions, to make it more in line with everyday driving. Additionally, instead of doing a turn in the road (once known as a ‘three point turn’) or reversing around a corner, you will be asked to:
- Drive forwards into a parking bay, before reversing out
- Pull up on the right hand side of the road, reversing a short distance and then re-join traffic
- Parallel park, which is an existing manoeuvre
If you have any queries about your driving or driving laws, please consult the latest edition of the Highway Code.
- Stanley Travel provides transport and travel services for the North East region. If you would like to find out about our services please browse our website or call 01207 237 424.