Changes to driving laws in 2023 are on the horizon, including stricter regulations on mobile phone use while driving.
A range of new changes will affect drivers, such as adjustments to fuel duty and pavement parking rules. Additionally, all new cars will be required to install speed limiters, signalling a shift in manufacturing standards.
In this article, we will discuss the main changes that you need to be aware of.
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Potential Increase in Fuel Duties
The fuel duty rate is set to change, as the temporary 5p per litre reduction implemented in March 2022 will end on March 23, 2023. However, controversy arose when some petrol stations were accused of not passing on the savings to drivers. It is unclear if fuel duty will go up in Spring 2023, as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt did not address the issue in the Autumn Statement. The Office for Budget Responsibility has suggested a potential 12p increase, but the Treasury has yet to make a decision. Stay tuned for updates.
Collection of Levy from Heavy Goods Vehicles
Starting in August 2023, heavy goods vehicles weighing over 12 tonnes will be required to pay a levy to compensate for the road damage they cause. Initially introduced in 2014, the measure was temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide relief for hauliers dealing with driver shortages and financial concerns.
Stricter Rules on Mobile Phone Use
In 2022, one of the significant changes was the implementation of stricter rules regarding mobile phone use while driving. These regulations prohibit drivers from holding or using a phone, tablet, or sat-nav for any reason, even when stationary at traffic lights or in a queue. However, exceptions to the rule include calling 999 in an emergency, using a phone while safely parked, or using a phone to pay at a drive-thru.
If you’re caught on camera, expect a notice of intended prosecution to arrive by post.
Introduction of New Number Plates
As is customary every year, the UK will introduce a new series of number plates in 2023. From March, ’23’ plates will begin to appear on the roads, with ’73’ plates being used to register new cars from September onwards.
Parking on Pavements
In 2023, a significant change is scheduled to take place in Scotland that will ban drivers from parking on dropped kerbs and pavements in an effort to improve accessibility. Originally agreed upon in 2019, the implementation was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and advocates have been pushing for its swift enforcement. A similar ban is already in place in London, and there is speculation that it may be extended to the rest of England in the future.
Extension of Ultra-Low Emission Zones
From August 29, 2023, the “ULEZ” zone will encompass all 33 boroughs of the city. This means that cars not meeting low emission standards will be required to pay a £12.50 fee each time they pass through the area. Comparable zones are currently in place in Brighton and Birmingham, and Dundee, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh are poised to follow suit.
New regulations mandate that all newly manufactured cars must come equipped with a speed limiter, which curbs engine power and consequently limits the vehicle’s speed. It’s important to note, however, that this does not relieve drivers of their obligation to comply with speed limits.
Benefit-in-kind (BiK) car tax is a levy imposed on employees who use company cars for personal purposes. The tax amount is determined based on a percentage of the vehicle’s value, which varies depending on the employee’s salary and other factors. The BiK rate for petrol vehicles has increased from 13% to 25% since 2013. In an effort to encourage more workers to switch to electric cars, the government has announced that the BiK rate will remain unchanged until 2025.
Electric vehicle owners were informed in 2022 that they would be required to pay road tax starting in April 2025. In the initial year, they will be placed in the lowest tax bracket, which is projected to cost £10. From 2026, most owners will be subject to the standard rate of £165, with an additional £355 fee for vehicles priced at £40,000 or more.
In conclusion, these changes to the motoring laws will have a significant impact on all road users in the UK. Drivers will need to be aware of the new rules and regulations, to avoid penalties and possible driving bans. By adhering to these new rules, we can all work together to improve road safety and reduce the number of accidents on our roads.