Drivers are being urged to brush up on recent changes made to the Highway Code - or face fines and penalty points on their licence.
Motoring experts at LeaseElectricCar.co.uk have researched the changes made by the DVLA to road laws in the UK in 2022. Amendments to the law also applied to vehicle infrastructure, as the UK increased its electric vehicle ownership. All newly-built homes and buildings are now required to have an electric car charge point installed.
The Highway Code also makes it clear that drivers caught using or even holding their phones will receive a fine of up to £200 and six points on their licence. Meanwhile, the hierarchy of road users was introduced, as pedestrians will now always have right of way, putting the greatest responsibility onto drivers of large vehicles.
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Tim Alcock, from LeaseElectricCar.co.uk, said: "There is no excuse for any of us drivers not to know any changes and amendments, however minor they are, to the Highway Code. You need to stay up-to-date with the latest laws on the road to avoid hefty fines and penalty points - if you are caught just holding your phone you could face a £200 fine and six points.
"One of the most important laws is the introduction of rules H1, H2, and H3 which ensures that pedestrians always have right of way when crossing at junctions and in slow moving traffic, and how drivers of larger vehicles now bear the most responsibility. Implementing these law changes will help to protect the more vulnerable road users, like pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
"aw changes also apply for infrastructure - the rise of electric vehicles in the UK over the past year has been reflected in the rule book too. New homes and buildings now need to come with EV charging points.
"The best thing drivers can do going into 2023 is to review and keep in mind these changes that have happened in the past year to avoid those big penalties, when no doubt there will be more adjustments made to the Highway Code."
Here is a round-up of the main changes, according to LeaseElectricCar.co.uk.
Rule H1 - puts greatest responsibility for accidents onto drivers of large vehicles
One of the changes to the Highway Code in 2022 was Rule H1 - which puts the greatest responsibility for any accidents onto drivers of large vehicles. Doing so helps protect more vulnerable road users, like cyclists and pedestrians.
The Highway Code states that motorists who are in control of a vehicle which will cause the greatest harm in a collision bears the greatest responsibility of driving safely to protect road users who are more at risk. The H1 rule also states how cyclists and horse riders must ensure they are accommodating and wary of pedestrians.
Rule H2 - pedestrians have right of way
Rule H2 in the Highway Code makes it clear pedestrians now always have the right of way on a road drivers are turning into. Previously the vehicle had right of way, but now drivers must wait for the pedestrian to cross before continuing - this applies when turning into a road as well as someone crossing in slow moving traffic.
Rule H3 - priority for cyclists and horse riders
Rule H3 tells drivers and motorbike users when they are turning - priority should be given first and foremost to cyclists and horse riders. Drivers should no longer cut across these more vulnerable road users who are continuing ahead when the motorist is changing directions or lanes and turning into or out of junctions.
Essentially vehicles need to avoid turning if there is a cyclist or horse using the road on approach to the junction, so the vulnerable users do not need to stop or swerve - wait for a safe gap.
EV charging points
Every single new home built in the UK is now required to have EV charging points installed. This change in law comes after the Government announced the ban on petrol and diesel car sales from 2030, making it easier for Brits to charge their electric vehicles. The law on installing charge points also applies to new-build supermarkets, workplaces, and other buildings undergoing large renovations.
Using mobile phones
Since the law changed in March 2022, it is now completely illegal for those who are driving to hold or use their mobile phones, sat navs, tablets and any other devices that can send and receive data. Hands free access is allowed whilst driving, such as voice command systems and built-in sat navs, so long as the driver is not holding these devices.
If motorists are caught holding or using devices as they are driving, a £200 fine and six penalty points could incur, and for new drivers, their licence could be stripped away completely.
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