Lets face it, no-one likes a nasty surprise while they are behind the wheel. So make sure you get the lowdown on these new motoring laws and charges that every driver should be aware of.
New clean air zones
We wrote about clean air zones (CAZ) earlier this year. They are essentially local authority initiatives to improve the air quality of big towns and cities across England. The aim is to lower the volume of polluting vehicles that enter into a CAZ. So the primary way councils are achieving this is through implementing charging schemes. Each CAZ varies and therefore you will need to use this GOV.UK tool to see if you (your vehicle) will be affected.
If you live near a CAZ then you are likely to know all about it. But if you travel to an unfamiliar town or city then you could be caught out. Here is a list of those in operation already and new CAZ areas that will start charging soon.
Schemes already in operation:
- Ultra Low Emission Zone and Congestion Charging in London (not a CAZ but a similar concept)
CAZ schemes coming into operation soon:
- Bradford – 26 September 2022
- Bristol – 28 November 2022
- Greater Manchester – under review
- Newcastle and Gateshead – late 2022/early 2023
- Sheffield – early 2023
New laws on mobile phone use while driving
Since March 2022 there have been tougher laws in place regarding the use of mobile phones while driving. A previous loop-hole in the law meant that you could only be fined if you were using your phone to communicate with someone else. Now all mobile phone use, from browsing Facebook to taking a photo, is illegal while driving. If caught you will automatically receive a £200 fine and 6 points on your licence. Click here for more detail. In August various news outlets confirmed that Warwickshire police are trialling new technology within vans that can detect mobile phone use remotely. So don’t get tempted to pick that phone up – even when the vehicle is running but stationary.
Speed limiters fitted to all new vehicles sold in the UK and Europe
If you are lucky enough to be taking delivery of a new car this autumn then it will have speed limitation technology fitted to it. From 6 July 2022 this became a UK and European regulatory requirement. All new cars have a range of smart features fitted to ensure you stick to the speed limit. These are the escalating steps your new car will take if you decide to consistently exceed the speed limit on any given road:
- Flash a visual reminder of the speed limit to encourage drivers to slow down
- Sound an alarm to alert the driver that the speed limit is being exceeded and use vibrations on the accelerator to send a message to the driver
- Sound a more urgent alarm, speak at the driver and/or apply pressure against the driver’s right foot to force the driver to lift off
- Take control of the brakes and apply them until the car is complying with the speed limit