A series of new driving laws and changes to pre-existing laws are due to come into force and drivers who do not keep up to date with the rules of the road risk heavy penalties.
Car tax is rising with inflation – and some motorists face further damage to their personal finances if they don’t read the new legislation that comes into force.
New rules on mobile phone use, nationwide parking bans in certain areas and new clean air zones are just some of the new changes – read this list as reported by The Mirror , to find out what will come into effect as we welcome 2022.
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1. A cell phone loophole to ban
First and foremost, tougher laws come into effect as part of a new crackdown on the use of mobile devices while driving.
While it was already illegal to text or make a phone call while driving, but in 2022 taking photos and videos, scrolling through music playlists and playing games will be also strictly prohibited.
Those who break the law when it comes to mobile phone use will face a fixed £200 fine and six points on their licence.
However, drivers will still be allowed to continue using “hands-free” for navigation purposes while driving, as long as the device is secured in a suitable holder.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Too many deaths and injuries are happening while cellphones are detained.
“By making it easier to prosecute people who use their phones illegally while driving, we are ensuring that the law enters the 21st century while further protecting all road users.”
It is understood that the current mobile phone loophole will be closed in mid-January following a government traffic law review.
2. Increase in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)
Otherwise known as road tax, the excise duty on vehicles rises alongside the retail price index inflation measure in April, however, the government has yet to confirm the new rates .
The new amount of tax road users will pay will most likely depend on a vehicle’s CO2 emissions – exactly the same criteria as currently in place.
Those who emit zero grams per kilometer should continue to pay no road tax on their vehicle, while most petrol and diesel vehicles that emit between 1 and 50g per kilometer will pay £10 in the first year.
Vehicles emitting between 51g and 5g per kilometer currently pay £25 for the first year, while cars that emit between 76g and 150g per kilometer of Co2 have seen their VED rates rise by £5 this year – to 220 £.
In total, the more CO2 a car emits per km, the more road users are likely to pay next year when prices rise.
Cars that emit more than 255g of CO2 per kilometer are usually the most affected, currently costing owners £2,245 a year in taxes.
3. Fuel tax
It was announced in the 2021 budget that taxes paid per liter of petrol and diesel would be frozen again, meaning next year’s fuel tax will remain at 57.95 pence per litre.
The fuel tax price has now remained the same for the past decade, much to the delight of motorists, while the price of gasoline has ballooned to record highs around it.
4. Nurses to perform DVLA checks
The UK government is also considering changing the rules on who can carry out medical questionnaires – as it is currently restricted to only doctors at the moment.
By law, all drivers must meet medical standards for fitness to drive, and in order to make these decisions, the DVLA often asks GPs and medical consultants to complete questionnaires to help them in their judgement.
However, on December 6, a proposal was put forward to allow other healthcare professionals, as well as nurses, to complete said questionnaires – to help relieve the stress load on doctors caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
DVLA chief executive Julie Lennard said: “Year after year we see an increase in applications for medical permits for drivers and we are constantly looking for ways to improve the process for customers and the medical profession. “
5. New Highway Code Hierarchy Comes Into Force
A trio of new rules in rule H1, H2 and H3 will come into play from January 29, 2022.
These rules classify road users according to their risk in the event of a collision – with pedestrians – children and vulnerable people in particular – defined as the most likely to be injured, followed closely by cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders. .
Rule H1 states that drivers of large vehicles bear the greatest responsibility for ensuring road safety, followed by vans and minibuses, cars, taxis and motorbikes.
Cyclists, horse riders and horse-drawn carriages also have a duty to reduce the danger to pedestrians.
Rule H2 requires drivers not only to yield to pedestrians at pedestrian crossings, controlled or parallel crossings, but also at junctions where they are waiting to cross.
Rule H3 also requires drivers to give way to cyclists when entering or exiting a junction, as well as changing direction or lanes.
6. New Council £70 fines
As local authorities have more power against motorists who break driving laws, drivers are set to receive increased standard penalties of £70.
Traffic offenses in motion will allow local councils to penalize drivers for stopping at yellow junctions and performing wrong/illegal maneuvers.
At present most councils are only allowed to issue fines for improper parking and driving in bus lanes, with police forces being responsible for traffic offenses on the move – with the exception of London and Cardiff.
Nearly 300 councils across the country will be able to apply for the right to impose these sanctions in the new year.
7. Potential nationwide ban on all on-road parking
Although Scotland has already passed a new bill that will make parking on pavements illegal from 2023, the same rules could apply across England in 2022.
Pavement parking in London is already banned, but changes expected in 2022 will give local authorities the power to issue the aforementioned £70 fine on the spot for those who choose to park on the footpaths.
After a consultation in November last year on this subject, a proposal for a comprehensive plan has been proposed to prevent motorists from blocking driveways for strollers, wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and those who depend on a guide dog.
The Ministry of Transport consultation proposed three options for reforming curbside parking rules:
1) Improve the Traffic Control Ordinance (TRO) process, under which local authorities can already prohibit curbside parking.
2) A legislative change to allow local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to enforce against “unnecessary obstruction of the roadway”.
3) A legislative change to introduce a parking ban on London-style pavements across England.
8. Discounted red diesel and biofuels will become illegal for most vehicles
Although red diesel is already illegal for vehicle use on public roads, it will also become restricted for off-road vehicles from April 1, 2022.
This means that users of bulldozers and cranes will have to find new fuels to power them.
This comes with the hope of promoting more sustainable fuels in the fight to meet the UK’s 2050 climate targets.
9. New builds in England will have mandatory on-board EV chargers
Every new home built next year across England will have a mandatory charging point installed, suitable for use by electric vehicles (EVs)
The rules are part of an effort to boost the use of electric transport, ahead of the ban on the manufacture of diesel and petrol cars in 2030.
10. Speed limiters in new cars
All cars built from July 6, 2022 will be equipped with integrated speed limiters to improve road safety.
The Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) black boxes to be installed will use GPS to determine the speed limit and in turn will put a speed lock on the car to prevent it from being broken.
New European Commission regulations in the General Safety Regulation are to be imposed after approval by the European Parliament in 2019, with ISA standards becoming mandatory for all new models that have received “type approval” from July 6 .
Any new cars released from this date, rather than new cars already in production, will be fitted with an ISA as standard if they receive said approval.
11. New Clean Air Zones
Greater Manchester and Bradford will introduce their own clean air zones respectively
Manchester’s Clean Air Zone will come into play on May 30, 2022, with Bradford yet to announce its own date.
Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone will also come into effect in June, which will cost drivers of older vehicles £8 a day.
London currently already has a Clean Air Zone (also known as the Ultra Low Emissions Zone) which currently charges drivers of the most polluting vehicles £12.50 a day in addition to congestion charges.
The UK’s first zero-emissions zone is also to be trialled in Oxford – charging all but electric vehicles that enter eight streets in the city centre.
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