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New motoring laws of 2018: What you need to know

Last year a number of new motoring laws were introduced, which included an increase in fines for people using mobile phones when driving and a change in how speeding fines are calculated.

These laws change all the time, but 2018 will be introducing us to some pretty big changes. The new road laws coming into play over the next few months could become more complicated for drivers, so it’s important you’re aware of what’s to come.

Here are the new rules announced for 2018:

Changes to MOT legislation

As of May 20th there will be changes to how some aspects of MOT’s work and are regulated. Here is what this will involve:

  • Tougher emissions tests will be brought in this year for all diesel cars, effectively making it harder for them to pass an MOT.
  • Cars will be rated in three different categories: Dangerous, Major, Minor. Any cars that are rated Major or Dangerous will automatically fail and cars with Minor defects will pass with recorded faults.
  • Any vehicle that has a diesel particulate filter (DPF) that seems to have been removed or tampered with will not pass unless there is proof it has been done so for cleaning.
  • Reversing lights will now be tested for the first time.
  • A car will fail if the brake fluid has deteriorated.

Changes for learner drivers

Learner drivers will now be allowed on motorways before they pass their test providing they are accompanied by an instructor and in a car that is fitted with dual controls - this means both the driver and instructor have brake and accelerator pedals.

Red X

Drivers could soon be penalised for driving in a lane delineated by a red X, which refers to lane closures. Roadside cameras will automatically detect someone driving on this lane and induce a fixed penalty notice of £100 and three points.

Graduated driving licence

This is a system that allows new drivers to expand upon their driving skills and experience gradually, in structured stages. This is said to be a life saving policy as young drivers are known to be at high risk of serious and fatal crashes and GDL will help to address this. These changes apply to 17-24 year olds and could see them being banned from driving after dark.

This is just one of the many recent ventures aiding young drivers, as well as support from advanced driving courses and telematics insurance policies. Telematics insurance involves a black box being fitted in your car to measure how well you drive.

This device will assess your acceleration, how hard you brake and what time of day you drive, then you are given a score. The price of your insurance is based on how safe a driver you are and can significantly reduce how much you pay - if you stick to the rules of the road.

Changes to the driving test

In 2017, the driving test changed with a number of features changing and more changes are to come:
  • Sat navs are now being introduced into driving tests - four in five people taking their test will be asked to use one.
  • The current ten minutes of independent driving is to be increased to 20 minutes, using a sat nav or traffic signs.
  • Previously you may have been asked to carry out one of four manoeuvres on your test but now neither a reverse round the corner or a turn in the road will be tested. Instead you will be asked one of the following:
    1. Parallel park at the side of the road.
    2. Park in a bay - either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out.
    3. Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and rejoin the traffic.
  • The show me tell me questions are also about to change slightly, as they could now also be asked during the test e.g. how do you use the windscreen wipers.

For further reading on 2018’s new motoring law, take a look at Traffic Lawyers.

© Patrick Vernon 2018