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New UK driving laws are coming in 2018

8th May 2018

Throughout the course of 2018 new driving laws, rules and regulations will come into force. These new rules will impact drivers all around the UK and will include changes to things like pavement parking, MOT checks and where learner drivers can drive. Last year the changes include specifying new price calculations for speeding ticket fines, a change to child car seat regulation and a big shift in mobile phone laws.

Here are the new rules and laws that will be coming into place over the remainder of 2018:

Learner Drivers Allowed on the motorway

From Monday the 4th of June, learner drivers will be able to drive on the motorway. In the past, this has only been allowed through the PassPlus scheme, which can be taken after you pass your initial driving test.

Learners will need to be accompanied by an approved driving instructor, in a car fitted with dual controls, and the sessions will be down to the discretion of the driving instructor. However, this does give learner drivers an opportunity to experience motorway driving before they pass their test.

Graduated Driving License

Theresa May has proposed a ‘graduated driving license’ which will be given to those who have just passed their test.

This new license could involve such as not being able to drive at night or carry young passengers unsupervised. Similar schemes can be seen in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.

Pavement parking

A nationwide pavement parking ban has been proposed in the UK. If you are found flouting the rules you could be looking at a £70 fine. The overhaul is being considered by the Department of Transport in an attempt to make pathways more accessible for those with wheelchairs and pushchairs. Pavement parking is currently illegal in London (and has been since 1974) but this new initiative will see it becoming illegal UK-wide.

New MOT rules

From May 2018, many changes will be being made to MOT check-ups. The main being that new MOT defect categories will be added during your check-up. You will now have your defects categorised as either minor, major or dangerous. If you have a major or dangerous fault then your car will fail, however, if you have a minor fault your car may still be allowed to pass. These minor defects will then be listed on your new MOT certificate.

Changes will also be put in place for diesel cars, making them harder to pass. In addition to these changes, from May any car over 40 years old that hasn’t been substantially changed will no longer need an MOT certificate.

Car tax changes

As of April, there will be a drastic overall to the previous car tax system. Instead of your car tax simply being based on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that comes out of your exhaust there will be a CO2-based rate in the first year and then a standard rate applied from the second year onwards, regardless of CO2 emissions.

Motorway driving fines

Drivers could now be penalised for driving in a motorway lane that is labelled closed. Lanes are labelled with a red X if they are closed, often due to maintenance works or accidents. This helps to regulate the flow of traffic and keep lanes clear where needed, although some drivers pay no mind to these signs.

Roadside cameras will detect drivers in these closed lanes and charge a fixed penalty of £100 along with three penalty points on their license. These cameras are part of a larger ‘smart motorway’ system that have active traffic management and can issue fines for speeding.

If you are interested in motoring law, then consider looking at our current legal jobs. With a large range of roles from in-house, private practice and public sector you’ll be sure to find a career that suits you.