Get up to speed with new laws

From the way you drive to the way you maintain your vehicle could all be affected by new motoring legislation. Worcester’s Mobile Mechanic has rounded up the key points to help you stay on the right side of the law.

Car tax

Drivers could be charged up to an additional £15 with a new law on taxation. You could be affected if your car produces high emissions, alongside those with diesel cars who fail to meet the new mandatory RDE2 emissions standard who will continue to pay higher taxes. New car buyers could also face an extra £65 on their first year’s car tax.

Driving permits and green cards

If you’re planning to drive in the EU as a visitor, you’ll have to spend £5.50 on an international permit if the UK were to leave without a Brexit deal. This can be bought at the Post Office. Holidaymakers planning on driving their own vehicle abroad will also need to carry a motor insurance green card in the EU and EEA. Contact your insurance provider a month before travel.

Parking on the pavement

Drivers who park on the pavement could be in trouble with potential legislation being rolled out to deter them. Pavement parking has been banned across the city of London since 1974, but successes could see a new law being applied to the rest of the country. Due to the opposition the rule faces, this may take some time to enforce.

Clean Air Zone

If you’re planning a trip to Birmingham, it’s worth bearing in mind that the city is introducing its Clean Air Zone in July. Designed to improve air quality, the plan will mean that motorists driving cars or vans into the Zone, which is inside the A4540 Middleway ring road, will be liable to charges of £8 a day. Birmingham City Council is to launch a bespoke online vehicle checker, which will allow motorists to enter their vehicle registration number to find out if they will be liable for the charges.

Smart motorways

It’s already illegal to drive in a lane closed by a red X sign on a smart motorway. If caught, you could receive a fixed penalty of up to £100 and three points. Legislation is being worked on to enforce stronger penalties in certain cases. Highways England is also planning to start building more emergency refuge areas across the smart motorway network, starting with some on the M25 which has just begun. With the conversion of many hard shoulders into running lanes on smart motorways, the RAC has been leading calls to grow the number of refuge areas to reduce the risk for those who may suffer a breakdown or crash further from a refuge area.

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