Back in January the Highway Code was updated with the aim of improving road safety for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists. Overall, 10 sections were revised with 50 rules being updated or added.
These changes were widely publicised by the Department of Transport, however since then there have been some further driving law changes in 2022 that you may have missed.
Using a mobile phone while driving
The laws are now stricter for motorists that use their mobile phones for any reason during a journey. Under previous legislation a driver could use their device as long as it was not for the purpose of “a call or other interactive communication”. So technically a driver could still operate their device to find music or take a photograph etc.
Now any drivers caught using their phone outside of a cradle or not on hands-free could be fined a £200 fixed penalty and receive six points on their licence.
New powers for Councils on moving traffic offences
Previously ‘moving’ traffic offences were only enforceable by the police or by TfL and borough councils in London.
Now local authorities throughout England and Wales can apply to be given the ability to issue fines for certain driving offences, such as illegal U-turns, stopping in junction boxes or going in the wrong direction on a one-way street.
New clean air zones
After London’s expansion of its Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), several other cities have or are in the process of launching their own clean air zones. So if you drive a certain type of vehicle that exceeds the emission standards, you may have to pay a fee if you drive into a designated clean air zone.
Zones in Bath, Birmingham, Bradford and Portsmouth are now active. With cities such as Bristol, Sheffield and Newcastle planning to go live in late 2022/early 2023.
The gov.uk website has full details on the current UK cities and clean air zone types.
Speed limiters now mandatory in new cars
Speed limiters or Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) is now a legal requirement to be included in any new car purchased in the UK and EU. However, at the moment the system can be deactivated in the vehicle’s settings.
The ISA systems utilise GPS and video to read road signs and alert drivers if they are exceeding the speed limit. Once fully implemented, if the driver doesn’t take action following the excessive speed warnings the ISA will step in to begin braking or reducing power to the engine.