New driving laws incoming for 2022

DVLA retention updates

A few different laws and regulations are being introduced for drivers in 2022. 

Highway code updated

The highway code was updated in January 2022, favouring pedestrians and cyclists. The government has been putting more effort into getting people out of their cars and onto active transportation. The hierarchy of road users can help with this by giving drivers the responsibility to protect those who are more vulnerable.

Plans for new smart motorways have been delayed by five years.

The government has put a pause on smart motorways for five years so they can conduct a full safety review. Gathering data will help them make the right decisions in understanding how safe they are and what changes need to be made. The government is investing £900million into improving this safety, with £390million going towards 150 additional emergency areas. The different regions should give motorists more space to safely stop in the event of a hazard. Safety concerns arise as drivers could be stranded in a live lane while waiting. There are currently 375 miles of smart motorway in the UK, including sections of the M25, M3, M4 and M6. All ongoing projects relating to smart motorways will be completed within the following year. Still, no new projects will start for around five years.

Stricter rules on the use of mobile phones in vehicles

In 2021, you’ll only be allowed to use your mobile phone for calls if you’re pulled over. Things are about to get stricter when using your phone at the wheel. The new regulations will penalise drivers for touching their phones while driving. This means using your phone for streaming, gaming, taking photographs or selfies and scrolling through playlists will be illegal. You could receive a fine and points on your license if you’re caught. But there are some exceptions. Drivers should be able to use their mobile phone as a satnav if it is secure in a phone holder. When it’s safe and convenient, the driver will have to stop and pull over to manually change their route. 

Local councils can now enforce minor traffic offences instead of the police.

Motorists need to be aware that they could be fined up to £70 by councils for some minor offences, such as: Sitting in yellow zig-zagged lines and driving in a cycle lane. Before the rule change, it was common for police to issue driving fines. But this is the first time that councils outside of London and Cardiff have been given the right to do this.

Nurses will have the ability to tell if you’re fit to drive. 

The government considers giving nurse practitioners the right to perform medical check-ups to examine whether people are fit enough to drive. Until now, GPs used to have this power. This change could potentially allow people to renew their Driving Licenses easier, meaning more people would be able to get this done.

From July 2022, speed limiters will be mandatory on new cars.

In 2022 it will be the law for all cars to have speed limiters in the years to come. The speed limiter – an Intelligent Speed Assistant system (ISA) – alerts drivers if they’re going too fast. The driver must be aware of the car’s speed limit, or the vehicle will automatically shut off. However, a driver can override this in certain circumstances and opt for higher speeds, like if they’re overtaking.

The government will no longer allow drug users to hold driving licences.

In December 2021, it was announced that official documentation and ID such as driving licenses could be removed from people found in possession of illegal drugs. The government could also be aiming to introduce harsher sentences for offenders. It seems like a good idea to decrease crime rates for drug-related crimes.

It is illegal to stop or park on the pavement.

Enforcing parking restrictions on pavements may become more accessible for UK councils. They would be allowed to issue fines if found parked in violation of the new regulations. New measures introduced are likely to mean that councils across the country could start issuing fines for people hopping out of their cars to drop parcels or for brief stops. The new legislation is designed to reduce congestion and improve safety among pedestrians. Parking on pavements is illegal in many parts of the UK. The Scottish ban on pavement parking should come into effect by 2023.

Ban on red diesel and rebated biofuel

To help the UK reach its climate targets, on April 1st 2022, there will be a ban on the use of red diesel. This ban will primarily affect businesses rather than individuals. This fuel is usually for agricultural machinery such as tractors or ploughs. However, the ban might mean that companies will switch to cleaner-burning fuel options.

Electric car grant cut

Getting rid of petrol and diesel cars by 2030 is a hot topic. The 2050 net-zero deadline looms closer each time we hear about it, and for a good reason. The deadline is a way of tackling pollution and saving natural resources to secure the Earth’s future. The government’s electric car grant helped make them affordable. But, in December 2021, the government reduced the grant. The government has changed their guidelines for this car grant, and it’s now only available for vehicles priced under £32,000. Previously the grant applied to up to £35,000.

New clean air zones for Manchester, Bradford and more in 2022

Beginning in 2022, Manchester will launch a Clean Air Zone. The CAZ charges high-emission vehicles to enter within it. Some of these zones target buses and private vehicles depending on their emissions. Non-compliant motorhomes and camper vans won’t be able to enter, but private cars, mopeds and motorbikes will be exempt.

New homes will be required to have EV charging points fitted by law in 2022.

Cables and chargers are a pain to mess around with, so some people now consider it an obstacle when they’re thinking about switching to EV. However, all new builds are now required to have EV chargers built-in. These charging points need to be mandatory in new-build homes, supermarkets, or other building/s undergoing significant renovations. The government is hopeful that its plans to invest in green-charge issues will produce up to 145,000 charging points.