26th September 2023
As of May 2023, the UK Government has announced a number of new driving laws motorists should be aware of. If you’re not up to date, breaking these new laws could land you with a nasty fine, or in some cases, points added to your licence. Find out how you could be affected below.
A number of councils have been given the power to fine motorists for minor traffic offences, the first council to be given permission was Durham in October 2022, with the same being rolled out to 11 other councils across 2023.
There are 12 councils in total, spread across England including;
There are a number of offences that councils now have the power to take action against, these are known as ‘moving traffic offences’.
Stricter laws around using your mobile phone behind the wheel have also been introduced. Closing any existing loopholes on mobile phone use. It is now illegal to hold and use a phone, sat nav, tablet or any other handheld device that can send and receive data while driving or riding a motorcycle or just being behind the wheel – even if it’s offline or in flight mode.
The law applies at any point a driver is behind the wheel including if they are stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic or in a car with a start/stop engine. The rules also apply if you are supervising a learner driver.
It's important to remember that the police still have the power to stop you if they believe that you have been distracted by your phone while driving, even if it’s fully hands free.
Drivers who break the law get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine, with stricter penalties for more serious offences. For new drivers who have recently passed their test (in the last 2 years), they could also lose their driving licence. A further 3 penalty points are added if they do not have a full view of the road and traffic ahead or if they don’t have control of their vehicle. Offenders can also be taken to court and issued with a driving ban with a maximum fine of £1,000 or £2,500 lorry and bus drivers.
From May 2023, motorists who either run out of fuel or battery charge when driving causing an obstruction to traffic could face a £100 fine. This means that EV owners could be caught out if their battery runs flat and they end up blocking a road.