Drivers warned of six motoring laws – from MOT changes to stricter phone rules
Things haven't been the same since the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK in 2020.
Motoring laws have changed with rules impacting millions of drivers across the country.
Now Brits are being warned as experts at LeaseCar.uk have revealed the rules that have been updated or instated over the last year.
Whether it's mobile phone usage or MOT changes, drivers have to familiarise themselves with the new regulations.
A spokesperson said: "Many have been off the road, only using their vehicle to pop to the shop or grab something from the office.
"While people have been out and about less over the last year, a few road rules have been added or updated.
"It is important to become familiar with them before setting off on any big trips to a different city or down the motorway."
Here are six motoring laws to look out for…
1. Stricter phone penalties
Using a mobile phone behind the wheel has long been illegal, but updates to the law this year have seen a legal loophole sealed.
People were able to avoid prosecution, but penalties for those caught have been introduced.
Now any driver caught holding their phone or SatNav while driving could receive a £200 fine and six points on their licence.
2. Smart Motorways
The roll out of smart motorways seems to have gone on forever, but it is now illegal to drive in a lane with a red X sign overhead.
If drivers are caught in a closed motorway lane, they could receive a fixed penalty of up to £100 and three points on their licence.
In some more dangerous cases, stronger penalties are issued.
3. Clean Air Zones
This year, major UK cities will see the introduction of Clean Air Zones.
It means there will be a daily charge to drive in certain areas when behind the wheel of less eco-friendly transport.
The first city to see these changes will be Birmingham.
Throughout the year, Bath, Oxford, Leeds and Bristol will also start introducing charges.
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4. MOT changes
During the height of the pandemic, vehicles requiring an MOT certificate could get a six-month extension.
This precedent has since ended, so all vehicles due an MOT will need them going forward.
There were updates to the MOT defect categories in 2020 and a variety of new vehicle checks were added.
These checks include under-inflated tyres, contaminated brake fluid and brake pad warning lights.
Newer cars will also have their reversing lights and daytime running lights checked.
Driving without a valid MOT certificate could see road users fined up to £1,000.
5. Driving in the EU
Although you might not be driving out of the UK just yet, it's still important to remember these rules.
In a post-Brexit life, there are a number of differences to the way Brits can drive in the EU.
From now on, everyone will need a green card, their logbook, and a GB sticker on their number plate.
The card will prove the vehicle is fully insured and drivers can obtain them through their insurance provider.
6. Green plates
Owners of electric and zero-emission vehicles can now purchase the brand-new green number plates.
This is designed to help promote green vehicles by making them more visible to others on the road.
Those with these plates will be given privileges, like cheaper parking and free entry into Low-Emission Zones and Clean Air Zones.
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