Drivers warned of major driving law change following Brexit

What changes are being made to the Highway Code?

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Drivers have been warned about a major driving law change that came into effect following Brexit. As of now, drivers will now need a licence to carry goods for hire/reward into the EU or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

If motorists are transporting over 2.5 tonnes and up to 3.5 tonnes either via towing or inside a vehicle, they may need to upgrade their standard national goods vehicle operating licence to a standard international goods vehicle operating licence before travelling to these countries with goods for hire or reward.

Speaking about the issue, Tom Hixon, Head of Instructor Support from Bill Plant Driving School, said: “Brexit has led to changes to rules, such as those surrounding transporting goods to Europe.

“Staying up to date with the rules of the road is extremely important for all motorists. You can opt to stay informed with any updates and changes made to the legislation via email, which serves as a more practical alternative to checking the government website on a regular basis.

“It is worth noting that we are seeing a few changes made to road laws; with adjustments being seen in regard to devices, speed and emissions.”

Mr Hixon’s comments were echoed by experts at LeaseCar.uk who also reminded drivers about several other changes to driving laws that took place recently. 

A spokesperson for LeaseCar.uk said: “It is really important for all drivers to keep an eye out on the changes to motoring rules this year.

“No one wants to be landed with a fine or severe driving penalty by simply not staying updated on new regulations.

“The Government and local councils have both introduced further rulings to help improve air quality in city centres, as well as the general road safety for all users – two areas which have become increasingly more recognised to implement measures of change.

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“Stay up-to-date with the latest updates and regulations of the Highway Code to avoid fines and driving sanctions, and help to keep fellow drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safe.”

Clean Air Zones

Also known as Low Emission Zones, several cities across the UK have introduced this ruling to help the air quality in the local area, as well as reduce harmful emissions.

Manchester introduced the scheme at the end of May, with Bristol and Newcastle following suit this summer.

Scottish cities such as Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh will also introduce Clean Air Zones in the next few years.

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Speed Limiters

The Government announced that this summer will require all new cars to be fitted with a speed limiter.

This device is installed on cars and will restrict the engine power so the vehicle does not pass a certain speed, but drivers will still be held responsible for sticking to the speed limit.

These speed limiters will improve road safety for all users and will be a step forward for the development of self-driving cars in the UK.

Mobile Phone Usage

Closing a previous loophole, it is now illegal for UK motorists to use their mobile phones for any purpose, even whilst stopped at a red light.

Before the recent update, drivers could scroll through playlists and take photos, claiming that they were not using devices for ‘interactive communications’.

Now, there will be more safety for road users, and those who are caught could be landed with a £200 fine and six points on their licence.

And, drivers who have passed their test within two years could lose their licence entirely.

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