Changes to driving laws 2019 could see you fined. A number of expected changes are to be made to motoring laws in 2019. New drivers and certainly experienced drivers who have not read the Highway Code for a while, will need to look at the new rules.
Changes to the amount of room drivers must leave for cyclists, how we use smart motorways, guidelines for learners and the way cars are assessed for their MOT mean there are several new ways road users can fall foul of the law.
Highway Code changes to driving laws 2019
There is now a defined amount of space drivers must leave for cyclists when overtaking, or face a £100 fine. The Highway Code says there must be at least 1.5 metres (4ft 11in) between the car and the cyclist, which is roughly the width of a car door.
Those who fail to leave enough of a gap will face a £100 fine.
One new rule that seems rather strange is that drivers turning left have to give way to pedestrians. Why is this so strange? It’s because when driving a vehicle you always had to give way to pedestrians on the road. Maybe its a rule created to highlight the dangers when turning left.
Another rule that seems on the face of it to be rather awkward and not needed, is to open the drivers door, after parking up, with the left hand. This causes the driver to look around and hopefully spot any cyclists approaching.
Smart motorways changes to driving laws 2019
Changes to smart motorway legislation could see drivers handed points on their licence for driving through a red X sign as well as a £100 fine. Driving under a red X is already an offence which can result in a police prosecution.
Penalties for breaking smart motorway rules have changed.
Red flashing lights. If red lights on the overhead signals flash above your lane and a red ‘X’ is showing, you MUST NOT go beyond the signal in that lane. If red lights flash on a signal in the central reservation or at the side of the road, you MUST NOT go beyond the signal in any lane.
Learner drivers on the motorway
From Monday 4 June 2018, learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales.
In the summer, rules were changed to allow learner drivers to drive on the country’s motorway network. This is a change because previously learners were banned from motorways. Learner drivers must be accompanied by a qualified approved DVSA driving instructor in a car with dual controls.
Changes to MOT
Changes to driving laws 2019 include new categories to be introduced for the MOT. These include:
1. Dangerous: A car deemed a direct or immediate risk to road safety or the environment. This leads to an MOT test failure.
2. Major: Could affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or affect the environment. Also a failure.
3. Minor: No significant effect on safety but must be repaired as soon as possible.
4. Advisory: An issue which could become more serious in the future Pass: Meets the current minimum legal standards for maintenance and condition.
Garages do not have the power to prevent drivers from using a vehicle with a “dangerous” defect. But any driver attempting to do so runs the risk of being fined or receiving points on their licence. This would apply whether they were not aware of the defect or had found out through the MOT.
Cars over 40 years old are exempt from the MOT test.
Drivers should make sure that:
brakes work smoothly and that the vehicle doesn’t pull to one side
tyres are correctly inflated, have no cuts or bulges, and that they all have at least 1.6mm of tread
headlights and other lights work – give them a tap to check they’re not loose or damaged and check the colours are correct and match
windscreen wipers and washers work
the driver’s view of the road is clear of any obstruction, such as stickers, toys or air fresheners)