Learn about the new laws, rules and regulations being introduced over the next 12 months to make sure you stay on the right side of the law – and driving test success.
It’s a new year and there are several big changes coming down the road that will effect all aspects of motoring – from learning to drive to increasing road safety. Find out how the new laws will effect you and your motoring:
Crackdown on Mobile Phone Use While Driving in 2017
Using your phone while the behind the wheel reduces reaction times by nearly 50% – it’s why the government has already banned their use when driving but it now wants to go further. Much further.
Currently, if you are caught using a mobile while driving, you can expect three points on your licence and a £100 fine; the new law will see these penalties doubled with six points handed out and a fine of £200.
The new law is especially important for new drivers who currently only need to amass six points within their first two years of driving before their licences are revoked – under the new law, being caught using a mobile just once could mean having to sit the driving test again.
When? March 1st
Big Changes to the Driving Test in 2017
The practical driving test is set to change this year with a raft of revisions that’ll have a big impact on your test.
According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, the changes will include:
• increasing the test’s ‘independent driving’ section from 10 to 20 minutes so examiners can judge your driving ability more accurately in real world driving conditions.
• asking you to follow a sat nav’s directions during the ‘independent driving’ section to make the test more ‘modern’
• replacing the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn in the road’ with manoeuvres such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay to create more ‘real-life scenarios’ for examiners to assess your ability
• asking one of the two vehicle safety questions while you are driving such as asking you to use the rear-heated window so your multi-tasking skills can be judged.
Finally, there are also plans to allow learners on to motorways – click here for more details.
When? 2017 – date to be confirmed.
120 Hours of Driving Practise Before Test Can Be Taken
The government is considering the introduction a minimum of 120 hours behind the wheel before learners can take their driving test.
According to The Times newspaper, “ministers are considering a mandatory minimum learning period to prevent young motorists from taking to the road alone with little practice. At present they can sit the driving test as soon as they turn 17, and some pass with 20 hours’ experience or less”. Under the proposed system, hours can be accrued with both instructors and, say, a family member before being recorded in an official logbook.
When? Watch this space for further announcements.
Life in Prison For Causing Death by Dangerous Driving
To stamp down on deaths caused by dangerous driving, the government is considering proposals to send offenders to prison for life.
With average jail times of under four years for drivers causing death by dangerous/careless driving, campaigners have fought long and hard for punishments to be increased – and the government has listened.
Proposals have been put forward to increase the maximum of 14 years in prison up to a life sentence if you cause death while speeding, using a mobile or street racing for example.
When? Consultation ends in February.
Claiming he travelled from Leeds to Manchester in 11 minutes, the motorist posted pictures on Snapchat of his speedometer reaching 140mph on a motorway and running a red light at 82mph in a 30mph zone.”
– BBC News on Addil Haroon, an uninsured driver with a provisional licence who killed Joseph Brown-Lartey after crashing into his car so hard that it split into two pieces; Haroon was only sentenced to six years in prison, triggering a huge public backlash.
Police Bike © West Midlands Police
Learner Driver © Wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com