03 Aug New Driving Laws in 2022: The Major Rule Changes You Need to Know
New driving rules for 2022 that may not have come up on your driving test are now in place. Don’t get caught out! Here are some changes to driving laws you might have missed:
- New 20 mph speed cameras across the UK
Residential and busy pedestrian areas across the UK are being limited to 20 mph and enforced by speed cameras. The first areas in England to see these changes are Birmingham and Oxford.
2. Road users at higher risk to have priority
To work towards net zero emissions by 2050, the government is aiming to make the roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Consequently, road users at lower risk like motorists are to be responsible for reducing danger to higher risk road users like pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. For example, guidance has increased distances and passing speeds when passing cyclists and horse riders.
3. Stricter rules on using mobile phones in vehicles
While calling and texting whilst driving without using hands-free has always carried a penalty, rules on mobile phone usage in vehicles have tightened. Using your mobile phone for playing games, taking photographs or videos or selecting songs is now illegal and could result in a £200 fine and six points on your licence. Similarly, checking your smartwatch whilst driving can lead to a £100 fine and three points on your licence. Phones can still, however, be used to play music or as a satnav as long as it is secured in a holder and you do not adjust the applications whilst driving.
4. New clarification on signalling
Flashing your lights has long been an unwritten code of etiquette to invite other road users to pull out or cross the road or to thank drivers for the same. The new highway code, however, explicitly states that flashing your headlights is only to be used to make other road users aware that you are there and not to convey any other message. Equally, using your horn in an aggressive manner is also forbidden.
5. Local councils can apply for the right to enforce minor driving offences
Local councils in England and Wales will be able to apply for the right to issue penalty charges for minor traffic offences such as stopping in yellow cross-hatching or driving in cycle lanes. This may result in stronger enforcement of these offences.
6. Low emission zones to be introduced
Low emission zones that charge vehicles if they enter the zone emitting over a defined amount of emissions have been introduced in Oxford, Manchester and Birmingham and are due to be implemented in Bradford this year.
7. Licence plate marking changes
If your number plate displays the EU logo it must be replaced with “UK”. “UK” markings must also replace any “GB” signs on the back of your vehicle when driving abroad.