The New Driving Laws Every Motorist Should Know In 2018
Make sure you’re on the right side of the law!
Motoring laws change all the time but there are some pretty big changes ahead in 2018. Here’s all you need to know to avoid getting into trouble!
New MOT legislation
From Sunday 20th May 2018, it will be harder to pass your MOT. This is down to a shake up which will see the introduction of new failure and defect categories.
Defects will now be categorised as either Minor, Major or Dangerous. Vehicles that receive a Major or Dangerous fault will fail their MOT automatically.
Additional criteria will be introduced which effects diesel vehicles. Filters that look like they’ve been removed or tampered with, or give out visible smoke of any colour will be granted an automatic fail.
Reversing lights will be tested for the first time, and your car will also fail if the brake fluid is visually deteriorated. There are also new brake disk checks being introduced including; obviously worn discs, oil contamination and how securely they are attached to the wheel hubs.
Penalties for misusing motorways
If you regularly drive on smart motorways, you’ll know that a red X on the overhead gantries, refers to a lane closure. This red X is usually displayed above the hard shoulder in the event of an incident.
Highways England is planning to install roadside cameras to snap a photograph of drivers who flout the rules and ignore the red X. Penalties for those who drive in the closed lane could include a penalty notice of £100 and three points.
Tax rises for diesel cars
Changes to car tax for diesel cars are coming into force in April 2018. They focus on reducing air pollution and are targeted solely at diesel cars. From April if cars do not meet a pre-determined emissions standard then drivers could face inflated fees.
Fortunately for existing cars on the road, the new charges will not be applied. However, those buying a new car need to be wary of the cars that will be hit the hardest. This could add up to £500 on to the cost of car tax.
Learner driver to be allowed on motorways
Last summer the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that from 2018 learner drivers in England, Wales and Scotland will be allowed to have lessons on the motorways for the first time. The changes will come into effect some time this year.
Currently, provisional licence holders are not allowed on the motorway. This means that motorists have no motorway experience until they are allowed to drive solo. This new rule will result in more confident, safer new drivers on the UK’s motorways.
Young drivers to be banned from driving at night
The introduction of a graduated driving licence (GDL) scheme has been raised as a possibility. The announcement sparked controversy as it would mean new restrictions in place for learners and new drivers, such as a minimum number of lessons, and bans on night time driving after passing.
Children’s car seats
Rules around child car seat safety have changes significantly.
New models of backless booster seats will only be suitable for children taller than 125cm or weighing more than 22kg. High back seats will feature guides to lower the level of the seat-belt in line with the child’s shoulders.
Additionally, all children below 15 months old must now travel in a backwards-facing car seat if using height-based seats (known as ‘i-Siz’e seats). For more information about weight based seats, click here.
All children must use a car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall, whichever comes first. Children over 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear a seat-belt.