3 New Driving Laws in September 2022
2022 has seen a number of changes to driving laws within the UK, with the most recent updates having been implemented in July, following updates to the Highway Code in June. However, motorists are advised to be aware of four more new driving laws coming into effect this month.
The changes have been made to protect all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians, who are often considered the most vulnerable.
What are the new driving laws coming into effect this month?
Introduction of new Clean Air Zones (CAZ)
Clean Air Zones (CAZ) or Low Emission Zones (LEZ) have been introduced to reduce pollution levels and improve air quality, typically within town and city centres where there are high levels of pollution.
They’re part of a wider strategy by the government to improve air quality across the UK and tie in with future plans to ban petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.
While London, Brighton and Birmingham already operate CAZ zones – with fines issued to drivers who enter them without paying for a license, newer CAZ zones are being introduced in September 2022.
Bradford’s Clean Air Zones (CAZ)
Bradford’s Clean Air Zone will come into operation on the 26th of September 2022; however, it will not affect private vehicles. Instead, commercial vehicles such as HGVs, coaches, buses, minibuses and private hire vehicles will be liable to be charged if they are not compliant with CAZ zone emission regulations.
Bristol’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ)
Bristol’s Clean Air Zone will come into operation on the 28th of November 2022 and affects all vehicles that create the most pollution, including private cars. Whilst no vehicles will be banned from driving within the Bradford CAZ zone, those who create the most emissions will be charged for doing so in an attempt to encourage alternative ways of travelling. Car’s that do not meet emission standards will have to pay around £9 a day to drive in it, whilst larger vehicles such as HGVs will have to pay £100 a day to drive in it.
Mobile Phone Usage
As of the 1st of September 2022, it is illegal for motorists in the UK to use their mobile phones at any time during a car journey. Prior to this, drivers were able to use their phones for purposes that were not considered “interactive communications”, such as looking for music or for texting. The law has now tightened, which means any driver caught using their phone for any reason will receive a £200 fine and six points on their license. Drivers who have passed their test within two years could lose their licence completely if caught using their phone.
All new vehicles sold within the UK (as well as the rest of Europe) will be fitted with a mandatory speed limiter. Speed limiters will allow drivers to accelerate and decelerate as they normally would, provided they do not go above a pre-set speed limit. The purpose of the speed limiter is to act as a warning system, as opposed to cruise control which helps prevent fatigue and make long journeys easier.
Why have they been introduced?
The European Transport Safety Council (ETCS) has advised that the move for mandatory speed limiters will reduce collisions by 30%, and could prevent up to 140,000 serious road traffic injuries by 2038.
In the UK, the national speed limit for cars is 70mph on motorways and dual-carriageways and 60mph on single carriageways. In built-up areas, the permitted top speed is 30mph. However, many cars have a top speed of over 70mph, which is why speed limiters will be useful to ensure drivers adhere to UK speed limits.