Driving Law Changes in 2022

Driving Law Changes in 2022

Driving Law Changes in 2022

Many drivers falsely think that learning stops once they’ve passed their test. However, the Highway Code is often revised and this year is no different. Without being aware of what these changes are and what new rules must be observed, drivers leave themselves at risk of being penalised or fined for what they don’t know.

So just what do you need to do to avoid being penalised?

Review the old rules

First things first: don’t forget to brush up on the laws from recent years. Building your knowledge gradually is much easier than soaking up new information en masse.

An important new addition from recent years is the law banning certain vehicles from having tyres older than 10 years.

It’s simple enough to avoid the fine here. All drivers need to do is buy new tyres. While they’re at it, they can improve their road safety with some new and robust Bridgestone tyres.

Don’t park on pavements

While already illegal in London, parking on pavements is allowed throughout the rest of the country.
However, this is soon to change. The proposed changes, which would enable councils to fine offenders £70, could spread to England and Wales sometime later this year.

Be responsible for safety

Possibly the biggest change to the Highway Code is the amendment to the hierarchy of road users. Now, the road user who has the potential to cause the most harm will be held responsible for ensuring safety on the road.

What this means roughly is that the larger the vehicle, the more responsibility the driver has. Here is the new hierarchy of responsibility in increasing order:

  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Horse riders
  • Motorcyclists
  • Cars
  • Vans/ minibuses
  • Large passenger or heavy goods vehicles (such as lorries)

Know clean air zones

Clean air zones are areas that charge high-emission vehicles on entry. Manchester is launching a new clean air zone on 30 May 2022 that will target:

  • HGVs
  • Coaches
  • Buses
  • Minibuses
  • Vans
  • Motorhomes and campervans
  • Hackney cabs and private hire vehicles

Bradford and Oxford will join Manchester in opening up clean air zones in 2022. The list of cities currently with clean air zones stands at three: Bath, Birmingham, and Portsmouth.

Be careful with your phone

This year the government is tightening up on the use of mobile phones.

Whilst in 2021 motorists could only be penalised for communicating on their mobile devices while driving, the new rules will charge drivers £200 for using their phones at all.

The only exception will be the case in which drivers are using their phone as a satnav – provided that it is secured in a mobile phone holder.

Driving Law Changes

Stay updated

To reiterate, the most important thing to know about driving law changes is that you won’t be caught off guard if you consistently update your knowledge on the rules.

With that being said, bear the new rules in mind and feel secure in the fact that you’re far less likely to be penalised.

The new Traffic and Road Safety Law has just entered into force and involves significant changes, so the DGT has launched an information campaign under the slogan New times. New regulations are already being disseminated in digital media, written press, and social networks with the hashtag #NewTimesNewNorms. The objective is to publicize the most important novelties of this Law.

New Traffic and Road Safety Law

The main novelties can be summarized in 13 points. One of the most significant refers to using the mobile phone while driving, given that it already means losing six points on the driver’s license instead of three. They also lose more than four for not using the seat belt, helmet or child restraint system (seats) or doing it wrong. The economic sanction does not change.

In addition, it takes two years without committing violations before a driver can recover his initial balance of points. The new Law also eliminates the margin of 20 km/h of extra speed to overtake conventional roads that existed until now.

Another novelty affects cyclists, who are more common on the roads every day. The DGT insists on the obligation, on roads with more than one lane in each direction, to change lanes when overtaking cyclists and mopeds. Also, remember the prohibition of stopping or parking in bike lanes or cycle paths. Finally, if voluntary courses on safe and efficient driving are taken, two additional points are added, up to a maximum total balance of 15.

Changes affecting drivers

Below we summarize the main novelties of the new Traffic and Road Safety Law in 13 points.

1) Distractions: Holding the mobile with your hand while driving means losing six points on your license, when before there were three. The DGT justifies this measure because, since 2016, distractions among drivers have been the first cause of fatal accidents since they account for 31%, with an increase in 2020 of 3% in just one year. The financial sanction remains at 200 euros.

2) Seat belt and protection elements: Whether the seat belt is used incorrectly or not, one more point is lost, four, before there were three. It also applies to child restraint systems, helmets and other mandatory items. The same sanction of 200 euros is maintained. The DGT recalls that one in four deaths in a traffic accident is still not using a seat belt.

3) Cyclists: When overtaking one or several cyclists, it is mandatory to change lanes on roads with more than one lane in each direction to leave more lateral space. If it is done wrong, the lost points are increased from four to six if “when overtaking it is done endangering or hindering cyclists without leaving the mandatory minimum separation of 1.5 meters”. The fine will be 200 euros. Stopping or parking in bike lanes or on cycle paths is also prohibited.

Driving Law Changes in 2022

4) Throwing things on the road: Increases the points to be deducted from four to six for throwing any object out of the car window, for example, since this can cause accidents or fires.

5) Recover card points: The deadlines are unified. To recover the initial balance, two years must pass without committing infractions. Previously, this period varied according to the seriousness of the offence committed. Now it has been simplified.

6) Safe and Efficient Driving Courses: Two points can be recovered from the license if a driver takes safe and efficient courses. There are no more details about it, although the DGT has already confirmed that there will be a Ministerial order with all the information.

7) Alcohol and drugs among minor drivers: Minor drivers of any vehicle, that is, mopeds, AM permits, motorcycles up to 125cc, bicycles and personal mobility vehicles, cannot circulate with an alcohol level greater than zero; both in blood and in expired air.

8) Anti-start systems if you have been drinking: The so-called alcoholic will be part of the standard equipment for road passenger transport vehicles registered after July 6, 2022. They will have an interface for their installation.

Driving Law Changes in 2022

9) Overtaking: Goodbye to the possibility that passenger cars and motorcycles may exceed the maximum speed limits on conventional roads by 20 km/h when overtaking other vehicles. For the DGT, this suppression “is in line with the principle of a safe system, of eliminating or reducing risks, and overtaking on conventional roads is one of them.”

10) Motorcyclists: They can use wireless devices when they are certified or approved for use in the helmet, always for communication or navigation purposes, and it does not affect safety.

11) Low Emission Zones: Not respecting the requirements for access to a ZBE is a severe new offence that entails a fine of 200 euros, although no points are lost.

12) Examinations for the driver’s license: It supposes a fine of 500 euros “to use intercommunication devices not authorized by regulation in the tests for obtaining and recovering permits or driving privileges or other administrative authorizations to guide or collaborate or assist with the use of those devices. In addition to the economic sanction, the applicant will not be able to appear again for the tests in six months.

13) Autonomous driving: For the first time, there is a reference to this type of vehicle in a Traffic Law, although the DGT has not given more details.

But as the reform of the Law has been broader and more articles have been modified, the DGT has created a specific web page where the most significant changes can be consulted.

OPINIONS FOR AND AGAINST

For Pere Navarro, director of the DGT, “it is a lawyer committed to the future since the environmental policy is incorporated into the Traffic Law, forcing road users to protect it and with express references to episodes of high pollution and low emission zones. It is also innovative because it establishes, for the first time, the regulation of the autonomous vehicle to provide it with a legal framework capable of guaranteeing the requirements about road safety”.

The director of the RACE Foundation, Ignacio Fernández, assures that “this increase in the deduction of points for dangerous behaviour is positive since it seeks to reduce the risks derived from these behaviours, which in many cases appear to be the cause of the accident. Or increased severity of injuries.

For example, this body approves the new safe and efficient driving courses about the points card. They assure that with a minimum of six hours established, they will improve the training of drivers and will allow them to obtain or recover two points for doing them.

Driving Law Changes in 2022

Not so in favour are shown about the end of the margin to overtake. They consider that a more significant technical debate should have taken place. According to Fernández, “it is not proven that it is a measure that contributes to a reduction in road accidents, extending both the time and the distance to carry out a dangerous manoeuvre.”

One of the novelties of the Law refers to Personal Mobility Vehicles, although there will still be more novelties in the long term because its regulatory development is pending. For the director of the RACE Foundation, “it is necessary to insist that, with equal rights, equal obligations. The Law establishes the need for regulation of personal mobility vehicles, but without actually materializing”.

The new Law only regulates that these users will have to use the road to circulate; they will not be able to do so on the sidewalks and pedestrian areas. If they do, they face a severe infraction that supp

Additional resources: 

What are the Ethical Flaws in Artificial Intelligence?

Driving Law Changes in 2022

Driving Law Changes in 2022

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