February 08, 2019

Driving law changes you need to be aware of in 2019

Dutch reach road safety week

2019 is well and truly underway and with the excitement you may have missed some new driving laws that have been introduced in the last year. Just knowing about these driving law changes may help you avoid some significant fines, Vansdirect reveals all!

Driving law changes 2019 – Highway Code

In the last year there were five significant changes made to the Highway Code, Vansdirect takes a closer look at these below:

Overtaking cyclists

Drivers who don’t leave sufficient space when overtaking cyclists will now incur a fine of £100, the Highway Code states that you must leave a space of at least 1.5-metres between your vehicle and the cyclist (approximately the width of a door), those who fail to do so will pay the penalty of £100.

Smart motorways

As well as when overtaking cyclists, drivers on smart motorways that drive in a lane with a red X sign above it will also be fined £100. This act is already an offence which can end up with you being prosecuted by the police, definitely worth avoiding.

Learner drivers on motorways

A well-publicised change in 2018, learner drivers never used to be able to use motorways, however those currently learning and set to learn to drive will be able to, as long as a driving instructor is supervising the learner at the time.

MOT tests

Some new measure are being introduced for MOT tests in order to further ensure that all vehicles on the UK’s roads are safe. These categories include: Dangerous, Major, Minor, Advisory and Pass. Those vehicles reported dangerous will result in a failure and this category applies to vehicles that pose a direct or immediate risk to road safety or the environment.

Major category cars and vans also fail, this means the vehicle’s safety is affected, affecting the environment or putting other road users at risk.

Minor category cars and vans are less severe, meaning there is no significant effect on safety, however the fault must be repaired as soon as possible. Advisory category vehicles are similar in that it involves something that isn’t significant to the safety of the vehicle, however the issue may become more serious in the future. Pass is self-explanatory and means the vehicle meets the current legal standards for maintenance and condition.

Graduated driving licences

This isn’t concrete as of yet and is only something that the government is considering as of now, the graduated driving licence would be a means of being more strict on recently qualified drivers. These could include factors such as: curfews, limits to passengers, lower speed limits, engine size limits, P plates being mandatory and lower alcohol limits. Year-long pilot schemes will be tested in Northern Ireland in 2019 to see how effective these licences could be, if successful these may be rolled out across the UK.

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