1st February 2021 – www.express.co.uk
New driving laws are set to come into effect for millions of drivers in 2021 with many of the massive changes already being finalised.
Seven new changes are set to come into effect this year with many more on the horizon for possible implementation in 2022 and beyond. Failure to follow the new rules may see drivers caught out by heavy fines and penalty points. In some cases, car insurance firms may also decide to invalidate agreements.
MOT extension ends
Test extensions came to an end on 31 January for many drivers after months of backlogs causing chaos in garages.
During the first coronavirus lockdown, the Government announced a six-month extension for MOTs between 31 March and 31 July.
Driving without a valid MOT certificate could see road users fined up to £1,000.
Although a last-minute agreement between the UK and the EU means British drivers will not need an International Driving Permit in most cases when travelling abroad, some documents are still needed.
The biggest change is the need for a car insurance green card which is proof you have a valid policy in place
These can be obtained from a car insurance provider but road users must have a physical copy at all times.
Drivers will also need to take their V5C logbook with them if their vehicle is less than 12 months old.
Mobile phone use
According to Go Compare, a loophole which allowed drivers to get away with taking photos or videos while driving has been closed.
Under the new rules, road users can be issued a £200 fine and six penalty points by simply holding a phone under any circumstances.
New ALKS lane-keeping tools
Late last year, the Department for Transport announced new Automated Lane Keeping technology could be available on new UK cars from spring 2021.
A government consultation was run at the end of 2020 to look at whether the tools could run safely at speeds of up to 70mph.
The consultation was set to look at ways to shape future policy and rules in relation to some form of driverless technology on the roads.
New Clean Air Zones
London’s expensive ULEZ system will be expanded to several Outer London boroughs from October adding an extra daily charge to millions of motorists.
Bath and Birmingham will be the first cities outside of London to introduce new Clean Air Zone charges this year.
Birmingham’s scheme will charge this with the highest polluting vehicles up to £8 per day to use the roads.
Green number plate changes
Owners of electric and zero-emission vehicles can now purchase the brand new green number plates.
The scheme could launch a range of benefits for owners of fully-electric models with the Government hinting at cheaper parking and special zero-emission zones.
Future law changes
Brand new Intelligent Speed Assistant tools are set to become mandatory on all new cars from 2022.
The new technology will alert drivers if they are going too fast and can intervene if a driver continues to drive above the limit.
A consultation on a nationwide pavement parking ban concluded at the end of 2020 with the results due in just a few weeks’ time.
A national ban could see a £70 fine issued to any road user who parks on the pavement similar to current legislation in London.« MOT changes: How drivers could be slapped with huge fines as Boris makes 2021 changeIs your car safe and sound – or a potential MOT failure? »