Updates To Road Traffic Laws You Need To Know About

Published On December 23, 2017 | By Rocco Agwu | Law

In 1935, the first driving test was taken. Back then, tests were very simple, but today,

driving tests are refined on a yearly basis to prepare new drivers for modern roads

and vehicle technologies.

But what about those of us who have been behind the wheel for several years? As

tests are honed, so are driving laws, making it essential for all drivers – new and old

– to keep up to date with the latest changes to road traffic regulations.

Stricter penalties for using mobiles while driving

From 1st March 2017

We all know that using your mobile phone whilst driving is illegal – it has been since

December 2003. However, whereas offences formerly entailed a fixed fine of £100

and 3 penalty points, 2017 sees much stricter consequences.

As of March, fines for drivers caught using a mobile device increased to £200, along

with 6 penalty points. Andrew from VHS Fletchers said “Drivers who are within two years of receiving their licence will have these revoked and have to take their driving test again.”

So, if you’re tempted to reply to that text or pick up that call, don’t – it can wait!

Increases to speeding fines

From 24th April 2017

Speeding also sees firmer punishments from 2017. Until April this year, the minimum

speeding penalty was a £100 fine and 3 licence points. Now, a new Band C speeding

fine has been introduced for the most serious offenders.

This amount is calculated at 150% of the driver’s weekly income, plus 6 penalty

points or disqualification from driving for up to 56 days. A band B fine will result in a

fine of 100% of the driver’s weekly income and 4 penalty points, and a Band A

penalty will entail a 50% fine plus three penalty points. Best to keep an eye on that

speedometer!

Bands implemented for driving without insurance

From 24th April 2017

Driving without insurance is never a good idea, and now even more so, as the former

single-bracket sentencing has been extended. Now, there are three categories of

severity, taking into account elements of culpability and harm, such as a lack of

driving licence, or causing an accident whilst uninsured.

Road tax rules revamped

For cars registered on or after 1st April 2017

If you’re looking to register to tax a vehicle, you will need to be aware of a new

system that has been introduced for cars registered on or after the 1 st April 2017.

Drivers must now pay a one-off tax charge for the first year based on their car’s

emissions, with the following years’ charges kept to a flat rate of £140 per year for

petrol and diesel cars, and £130 for those running on alternative fuel.

Exemptions are made only for zero-emissions vehicles, and cars costing over

£40,000 are subject to an additional £310 annual supplement for the first five years

they are on the road.

Laws tightened on reporting road accidents

From 24 h April 2017

Before this year, courts initially considered imposing licence points for failure to stop

or report a road incident. However, from April, a category 2 (middle bracket) offence

and above may result in a driving disqualification of at least 6 months.

As with other serious offences, categories are determined through culpability, with

elements such as evading breath tests leading to stricter punishments.

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