Changes to Motoring Law We Should Expect in 2020
In 2020, we can expect to see some changes to the law regarding road traffic and motoring. We’ve outlined some of them below, allowing you to stay informed and alter any driving habits to avoid incurring fines or penalties whilst you’re on the road.
The new smart motorway network is expected to cover 488 miles by April, bringing with it some changes that motorists need to be aware of in order to use these motorways safely.
With speed cameras in operation on each lane of the smart motorway, there are already fines issued to motorists who exceed the speed limit. However, this year may see the enforcement of stronger penalties, and motorists could expect to receive a fine for driving in a closed lane also.
Intelligent speed assist
New this year, car models in the UK are to be fitted with intelligent speed assist (ISA) systems. Developed for the safety of drivers and passengers on the road, the technology features smart cameras which observe and interpret road signs in order to adjust the vehicle’s operation, including limiting the speed that the vehicle is able to reach.
ISA systems are set to become mandatory features in new cars from 2022, with some car manufacturers proposing to introduce them to their production line sooner. Others, such as Volvo, have announced that, from this year, all new cars will have a top speed capability restricted to 112mph.
Restricted access zones
In the interests of reducing the country’s carbon emission figures, a new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was introduced to Central London in April of last year. This saw restrictions being placed on certain high-emission vehicles, and the plan is for the zone to be extended to encompass all of inner London next year. The ULEZ replaces the T-charge scheme and involves drivers of high-emission vehicles having to pay a charge in order to drive within the zone.
Similar Ultra Low Emission Zones are said to be under consideration for introduction this year to a number of cities around the UK, including Leeds, Newcastle, Cardiff and Edinburgh, with a confirmed ULEZ being launched in Birmingham this July.
EU driving permits
With Britain set to leave the EU, government guidelines have warned drivers that they may need an international driving permit in order to drive legally whilst abroad in EU countries following Brexit.
Pavement parking bans
A ban on pavement parking has been in place in London for over 40 years. However, over the course of this year and next, motorists are to expect the ban to be rolled out further across the UK, potentially with stricter penalties in place.
DRN Solicitors – Experts in Road Traffic Law
The Road Traffic Department at DRN Solicitors accept instructions from across the United Kingdom. Keith Rennison explains: “Perhaps unsurprisingly, clients want to instruct a firm they know and trust, rather than an unknown quantity. Our fee earners have advanced special reasons and exceptional hardship arguments nationwide. In an area that is not often covered by Legal Aid, people want to pay for an expert service. Our solicitors have decades of experience between them and can provide honest and efficient advice.”
If you are at risk of disqualification for repeated offences, speak to a qualified lawyer today. S35(1) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 sets out the minimum periods of disqualification for repeated offences. If the penalty points to be taken into account number 12 or more a minimum disqualification will follow unless the court is satisfied, having regard to all the circumstances, that there are grounds for mitigating the normal consequences of the conviction. The court can order an offender be disqualified for a shorter period or not at all.
“If there are mitigating circumstances, the court does not necessarily have to disqualify for the minimum period. This can mean that there is no disqualification, or one that is shorter than the minimum.”
Need assistance? Call us today on 01282 433241 for further advice.