A number of new driving rules are coming into force in 2022, all of which drivers will need to familiarise themselves with…
Mobile Phone Loophole Closed
As far as driving rules go, everyone should know that using a mobile phone whilst driving is a very bad idea. It’s extremely dangerous and, if you’re caught, you face penalty points and hefty fines. Up until now, however, a loophole could be exploited that could see drivers record footage, take photos or even scroll through music playlists. This loophole has now been closed, so there’s a zero-tolerance policy in effect. Hands-free devices, however, are still legal.
Unlimited Fines for Fatigued Drivers
If you cause an accident because you’re too sleepy, you’ll obviously find yourself in a courtroom. However, rules are now being tightened further. If you stop on a hard shoulder for a quick kip or break, you’ll be fined up to £5,000 and will receive a considerable nine penalty points on your driving licence.
Speed Limiters for New Cars
Speed limits will become mandatory for new cars from July 6th. So-called Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) uses GPS technology to determine local speed limits; ensuring a vehicle doesn’t exceed them. Whilst this may sound particularly radical, it should be noted that drivers can still override them by pressing down firmly on their vehicle’s accelerator. How useful this makes them we’ll leave to you to decide.
Pedestrians get Priority
The Highway Code is now predicated on a ‘hierarchy’ of road-users, prioritising the most vulnerable. Naturally, pedestrians are much more vulnerable than drivers. Drivers should now give to way “to pedestrians waiting to cross a zebra crossing, and pedestrians and cyclists waiting to cross a parallel crossing”. Formerly, it only had to be given when they were actually on a crossing.
More Room for Cyclists
Here’s a rule the cyclists of the land will no doubt welcome. Drivers must now give them at least 1.5 metres worth of space when overtaking. In addition, drivers are being encouraged to use the ‘Dutch reach’ technique when opening their car’s doors – looking over their shoulder to ensure no cyclists are approaching.
Cyclists get Priority at Junctions
Another consequence of the hierarchy of road-users is that cyclists will now receive priority at junctions; where they’re often at risk of being struck by vehicles. Cyclists aren’t without their own responsibility, however, as they’ll need to be more aware of pedestrians.
Fines from Councils
Local authorities throughout the country are being given greater powers to issue £70 for ‘moving traffic’ offences. These include the likes of performing dangerous manoeuvres or stopping in a yellow box junction. Until now, most fines issued by councils have been limited to people using bus lanes or parking in inappropriate areas.
When do the Changes go Live?
Assuming they’re approved by Parliament (they almost certainly will be) the new Highway Code rules will go live on January 29th. Which means drivers need to accustom themselves to the changes now, lest they risk running afoul of the new rules.
British Motorist Caught Driving Whilst Distracted Nine Times – https://autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/british-motorist-caught-driving-whilst-distracted-nine-times/
Oxford Zero Emission Zone Will Go Live In February – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/oxford-zero-emission-zone-will-go-live-in-february/