Motoring Changes Which Will Affect You

In case you haven’t become aware of these new regulations from another source, here is a summary of recent changes to legislation that are either now current or will come into effect during 2018.

Links to relevant articles are included in each section below:

New MOT changes come into force on 20th May. These include:

  • Any diesel car that has had its Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) removed or tampered with will instantly fail the test
  • Aftermarket high definition headlamp bulbs will be outlawed
  • Reversing lights will be tested for the first time
  • A car will fail if the brake fluid has visually deteriorated
  • Advisories will be replaced with minor, major and dangerous faults. Minor faults will work the same as the current advisory system and won’t constitute a fail. A car with dangerous faults cannot be driven away from the test centre until the repairs have been carried out.
  • Classic cars over 40 years of age will now be exempt from testing – does anyone tow a Vanmaster with one of these?

See further details [Here]

Penalties for Misusing Motorway Hard Shoulders

New Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras (ANPR’s) are being introduced on major motorways to monitor misuse of the hard shoulder.

It is expected that from March 2018, if a driver uses the hard shoulder on a managed motorway when it isn’t open, or drives in a lane with a red ‘X’ above it, the cameras will automatically trigger a penalty, which includes a £100 fine and three driving licence points.

Keep an eye on those gantry signs to avoid an unpleasant surprise.

Reports in the Telegraph and other publications announced this proposed change last December.

Tax Rises for New Diesel Cars

First year car tax for all diesel cars that aren’t compliant with the Euro 6 emissions standard will rise by one tax bracket from 1st April 2018

Rates will increase by anything from £20 to £560 in the first year depending on the model and its current emissions. Vans, and presumably motorhomes do not appear to be affected.

For more details, see the Auto Express website.

Other Recent Changes Which May Affect You or Your Family

 Children’s Car Seats

Rules around child car seat safety have changes significantly and will affect those of you who travel with grandchildren. You can no longer buy backless booster seats for children weighing less than 22kg, or being shorter than 125cm.

All children younger than 15 months must travel in a backwards-facing car seat. They must use an approved child car seat until they reach 12 years of age or attain 135 cm in height. They must then wear a seatbelt.

The law states that children of all ages should not travel in the front of the car unless no other seat is available as it is far safer, although not illegal to do so.

See full details [Here]

Learner Drivers

From this year, learners will be allowed on motorways for the first time. Motorway driving won’t however form part of the test as there are some regions of the country where this will be impractical, including West Wales and the Scottish Highlands.

All instructors will be encouraged to give drivers some motorway training.

Read more on this [Here]

Changes to the Driving Test from December 2017

As well as the independent driving element of the current test, where the examiner gives no instructions for 10 minutes, the new test laws now include a section where delegates are expected to follow instructions from a Satnav unit to prove they can follow the directions safely.

The test will also include a section where the driver is asked to demonstrate a function of the car, such as how the windscreen wipers work, or how to demist the windscreen. Reversing into a car park bay is now also part of the test.

Read full details [Here]