New Driving Laws for 2020

driving rules 2020

What does 2020 have in store for driving laws?

2019 saw new laws come into force in relation to MOTs and fines for people caught driving in a smart motorway lane marked X.

LOW EMISSION RULES

Last year, in London, new low emission rules came into force, replacing the previous scheme. Other cities across the UK will be following suit by introducing their own low emission schemes. Birmingham are introducing a new scheme in July and Bristol, Leeds and Edinburgh, amongst others have indicated an interest in the initiative.

If a car does not meet the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) standards then the driver will have to pay a charge to drive in the area.

DRIVING PERMITS AND GREEN CARDS

With the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the guidance for British drivers is that their UK licences will not be valid in EU Countries in a no-deal situation.

Also, if we leave the EU with no deal then drivers will have to purchase an international permit in order to drive on the Continent.

Insurance regulations mean drivers will be required to carry a motor insurance green card when driving their own cars in the EU.

CAR TAX

Changes have already been made to car tax, but in 2020 owners of high emission vehicles will see their excise increase by up to £15 as part of ongoing policy to reduce emissions. Diesel cars will be hit hardest and those failing to meet new standards will continue to pay higher taxes.

PAVEMENT PARKING

Despite the fact that a pavement parking ban has been in place in London since 1974, there is a suggestion that new legislation could be introduced across England leading to new further restrictions and penalties. Pavement parking can prevent access for wheelchair users and other pedestrians, but there is strong opposition which means there is likely to be some delay in any legislation being passed.

NEW DRIVERS

We wrote about new driver rules back in September with an article about possible Graduated Licence Schemes. The ideas are still being tested to include:

  • Alcohol – lower limits or zero limits
  • Curfews
  • Engine sizes reduced for new drivers
  • P Plates made mandatory
  • Limits on passengers

There is opposition to the idea but the scheme was piloted in Northern Ireland in 2019 so it could be rolled out sometime in the near future in the UK.

MOTORWAY LESSONS

The law used to state that only drivers who had passed their test could drive on a motorway. However, although not compulsory, learner drivers can now have lessons on motorways, provided the instructor has duel controls.

OVERTAKING CYCLISTS

Some road safety campaigners say the Highway Code does not do enough to safeguard cyclists on the road. People may soon be encouraged to use the ‘Dutch Reach’ when opening car doors. It means that a driver would use their far hand to reach the handle when opening the door, thereby allowing them to look out and see if a cyclist is nearby, before opening the door.

Road safety campaigners want some clarity added to the Highway Code to ensure the safety of cyclists.

These are a few of the driving laws 2020 is set to see. If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team on 01926 886007 or by clicking this link.