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New driving laws for motoristsBack

SpeedingA recent survey has found that almost two thirds of drivers admit to speeding.

The survey, published by the Independent found that 62% of Brits admitted to the offence, making it the most common law to break.

The findings comes alongside new laws introduced this year that could lead to many motorists breaking the law accidentally. Punishments for the new laws vary from fines and points on a licence to prison sentences for the most severe crimes.

Trusted Dealers takes a look below at some of the new laws introduced in the UK in 2015, and warns drivers to be aware of them.

Drug driving

You may not be in the business of taking hard drugs, but this new law includes prescription drugs too. In fact, a Freedom of Information request carried out by the IAM earlier this month found that a huge 902 arrests have already been made by police under the new drug-driving laws. The law now states that its “illegal in England and Wales to drive with legal drugs in your body if it impairs your driving”. This includes prescription drugs such as diazepam, methadone and morphine. If you’re caught driving under the influence of drugs, you could face a hefty fine, a driving ban and even time in prison.

Safer lorries scheme

A new law being introduced on 1 September will ensure all lorries and construction vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are fitted with essential safety equipment. This includes extra mirrors to give drivers a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicles, as well as side guards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels. If the Metropolitan Police, City of London Police or Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) find motorists who are driving a non-compliant lorry through London after 1 September, you could be eligible for a £50 penalty notice or a fine of up to £1,000.

Smoking in cars with children ban

Smoking in company cars became illegal in 2007, but from October 2015 it will be against the law to smoke in a car carrying anyone under the age of 18. A campaign will be introduced later in the year to make people aware of the change in the law. Penalties for breaking the law could include a £50 fine.

HGV speed limit

Since April 2015, HGVs can now drive at 50mph on single carriageway roads across England and Wales, and 60mph on dual carriageways, an increased speed limit of 10mph from 40mph on single carriageways and 50mph on dual carriageways.

Paper Tax Disc Abolished

Despite this being widely publicised, there are still many motorists who remain oblivious to the new laws regarding tax discs. The new law valid from 1 October 2014 meant that drivers no longer needed to purchase a paper tax disc. Instead, you can check your car’s tax status online via the DVLA’s website. Police will be able to access a driver’s tax records using their national computer. The biggest change involves the buying and selling of a car – you’ll no longer be able to transfer the tax to the new owner. Instead, purchasers will have to buy tax straight away from either the Post Office, online, or via the DVLA’s 24-hour automated phone system.

Paper counterpart driving licence abolished

From 1 June 2015, paper counterpart driving licences were no longer issued in the UK. The photocard driving licence used since 1998 is still valid, as are paper driving licences issued before the photocard was introduced . But all records of points and penalties will be kept online, rather than on paper.

Posted by Leana Kell on 24/08/2015