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  • 7 new driving laws for 2022 that your business should know

    New driving laws for business

    If you’re constantly on the road for your job then knowing the latest new driving laws is essential to avoiding points on your license or being hit with an expensive fine, which can also affect your fleet insurance.

    In this guide we break down the latest 2022 driving laws your business needs to be aware of and what could happen if you or your drivers fail to comply.

    1. Changes to the Highway Code in 2022

    As part of a £338 million package to improve safety for cyclist and pedestrians, the Government is introducing some fundamental changes to the Highway Code in 2022.

    Key to these new driving laws is giving cyclists and pedestrians priority above other road users, with the Government moving to take tougher action against road users with the potential to cause the greatest harm.

    The changes, that will take effect from January, include:

    • Road users will need to give priority to pedestrians who are waiting to cross the road at junctions.
    • Cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders, and motorcyclists now have priority above cars and taxis, vans and mini buses, and HGVs, in a newly published ‘Highway Code Hierarchy’.
    • When overtaking cyclists, drivers must now leave a distance of 1.5m and travel no faster than 30mph.
    • Drivers who are turning left or right at junctions must now give right of way to cyclists who are travelling straight ahead.
    • When parked on the road, drivers must now employ the "Dutch Reach" and use their left hand to open their vehicle door, while looking over their shoulder.

    You can view the full breakdown of the new driving laws and changes to the Highway Code on the Government website.

    2. More restrictions on using your mobile at the wheel

    After public consultation found that 81% of people were in favour of tougher rules on mobile phone use while driving the Government has strengthened its stance on hand held devices at the wheel.

    In new driving laws introduced in January 2022, it is now illegal to use a hand held mobile phone for any purpose whilst driving, with the exception of making an emergency phone call, or when paying via phone at a drive through fast food outlet.
    This means that anyone caught scrolling through their music, playing a game, or taking photos or videos, will be fined £200 and given 6 points on their license.

    Drivers are still permitted to use a mobile phone for Sat Nav purposes, but the new laws now clearly state that the device must be secured in a cradle to avoid a penalty.

    3. Parking on pavements could soon be illegal

    Councils in some parts of the UK already have the power to fine drivers who obstruct pavements, but following a full pavement parking ban in Scotland (and with parking on pavements already illegal in London) the UK Government is currently weighing up its options when it comes to new driving laws regarding tackling pavement obstruction.

    While no formal changes to the law have been made, a pavement parking ban is currently one of three options the Government is considering. If a nationwide pavement parking ban were to be implemented, it could become illegal to park on pavements in the UK as soon as late 2022.

    4. More Clean Air zones coming into effect

    On May 30th 2022, Manchester will join London, Bath, Birmingham and Portsmouth in introducing a Clean Air Zone in a bid to lower harmful levels of air pollution, linked to 1,200 deaths in the city each year.

    The introduction of the CAZ means that busses, HGVs, taxis, and private hire vehicles registered outside of Greater Manchester that don’t meet emission standards will face a fine if they enter the zone’s boundaries.

    Other cities also expected to implement new driving laws by introducing CAZs in 2022 include Bradford and Oxford.

    5. Speed limiters to be fitted to all new vehicles

    Following a mandate by the EU commission, Intelligent Speed Assist (speed limiter) technology could be installed as standard in all new cars manufactured in the UK from July 2022.

    Despite leaving the EU in 2020, it’s looking highly likely that the UK Government will enforce this change with new driving laws in 2022 in a bid to try and curb speed-related road traffic incidents and fatalities.

    6. Councils now permitted to issue traffic fines

    Another new driving law that came into effect at the start of 2022 allows councils (and not just police) to issue fines of up to £70 for traffic offences such as making a banned turn, blocking a box junction, or driving in cycle lanes.

    London and Cardiff, whose councils already had this power prior to 2022, were said to have generated a combined £58.2 million from traffic offence fines in 2020 according to figures published by the RAC.

    7. The "Dutch Reach" comes into effect (with fines of up to £1000 for non-compliance).

    Finally, a new driving law has been passed that calls on motorists to utilise the “Dutch Reach” when opening their vehicle door onto a road. This is to prevent passing cyclists from being struck by doors suddenly swinging open while passing a parked car.

    Where previously the onus was on the cyclist to "be vigilant" now drivers who open their doors without looking could be hit with a £1000 fine.

    To ensure you stay within the law, you must now open your vehicle door using the hand on your opposite side (furthest from the door), whilst looking over your shoulder to check the road is clear.

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