You spend hours learning the rules of the road to pass your theory and practical driving test. However, once you qualify, it’s vital to continually keep up to date with any new laws so you don’t get caught out.
It’s why we’ve put together this list of the new laws, restrictions and rules that will be affecting all road users in the weeks and months ahead:
1. Changing what you put in your fuel tank
In an attempt to reduce car emissions, a new type of petrol – E10 – is being rolled out across petrol stations from 1 September.
Normal fuel – E5 – is made up of 5% bioethanol whereas the new more ‘eco-friendly’ fuel is made up of 10%.
What does that mean in real world terms? E10 will lead to a drop in CO2 emissions of a 750,000 tonnes each year. That’s the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off our roads in one fell swoop.
A word of caution though – while 95% of all cars can run on the fuel, there are exceptions:
- classic and older vehicles
- some specific models, particularly those from the early 2000s.
These vehicles shouldn’t be filled with the fuel as it can cause damage to engines and fuel lines.
Because newly qualified drivers typically don’t have a massive budget when buying their first car, they sometimes end up choosing an older motor. To make sure your new pride and joy won’t be affected by the fuel, check here before buying to make sure the car is compatible with E10 petrol.
If you do drive a potentially vulnerable car, you can skip E10 altogether and instead fill up with ‘super’ grade (97+ octane) petrol, which alas is more expensive than regular petrol.
2. Breaking the speed limit
Suffering from a heavy right foot could well become a thing of the past in 2022 when you buy a new car. Speed limiters will come fitted as standard with the car warning you if you’re speeding as well as automatically slowing the vehicle down.
You can override the system by pushing a little harder on the accelerator pedal but you can expect warning lights and sounds to go off if you stay above the speed limit for more than a few seconds.
Initially, cars will feature an ‘on/off’ button for the functionality but expect that to be removed by car makers in the future.
Our top tip to avoid triggering the speed limiter – and a speeding fine – is simple: Stick to the speed limit.
3. Driving in cities with Low Emissions Zones
More and more cities are introducing Ultra/Low Emission Zones (U/LEZ) or Clean Air Zones (CAZ). These are typically established in city centres to reduce air pollution with high CO2-producing vehicles often having to pay a fee to enter the zone:
CAZ is live
Private cars are not charged.
CAZ is live
Private cars pay an £8 charge.
CAZ due in October
Private cars to be charged £9 per day.
ULEZ expands from October 25
Private cars to be charged £12.50.
CAZ due in May, 2022
Private cars will not be charged.
Other cities planning a CAZ in 2021-2022 include Bradford, Leicester, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Oxford (Zero Emission Zone), Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee. Check with your local council about discounts and exemptions if you are a resident.
4. Parking on the pavement
While it is already illegal to park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, the government is (still) considering rolling out the ban across all of England.
While there is no confirmed date at this time, experts believe it only a matter of time before the law arrives as the Department for Transport ran a consultation on the issue of ‘anti-social parking’ at the end of 2020.
It is now considering potential options to kerb the bad practice so expect an official announcement within the next few months.
5. Using your seat belt
Arriving later this year, a new law will see you given three points on your licence – and even a ban – if you are caught not wearing a seatbelt when driving.
Alternatively, you can choose to take an online seatbelt awareness course for £53 if it is offered to you. You can read all about the new law here.
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Main image © West Midlands Police