There’s been a bit of a shake up recently regarding driving speeds and the law. Pretty much everyone I speak to, leaner and licence holder alike seem to be completely oblivious to the changes, so I thought I’d put together this little post to help clarify and inform you of the changes you really need to know about right now.
The law changed back in 2017 and the aim was to severely punish those who were regarded as being reckless.
What do these bands mean? It’s the severity of the punishment.
- Band A 50% of weekly income - 3 points and a fine
- Band B 100% of weekly income - 4 to 6 points, 7-28 day ban and a fine
- Band C 150% of weekly income - 6 points, 7-56 day ban and a fine
These are all starting points for fines and could potentially be increased (or decreased) depending on the circumstances. Weather, population density, location, heavy loads and passengers in the vehicle, towing and previous track record would all come into play when receiving your final chastisement.
It’s not just a monetary punishment either. In addition penalty points will be added and if you’re a newly qualified driver, you could see yourself back at the theory and practical test centre very quickly if you pick up 6 or more points within your first two years.
There is the potential salvation of the Speed Choice Workshop, but this would only be available to good citizens who breach the limit within band A.
Using Phones and Sat Navs
It’s illegal to use an electrical device whilst behind the wheel of a car with the engine on. Any phones being used should be done so with hand free access. Sat Navs should NOT block your view of the road or traffic ahead (so no sticking it in the middle of the window). You must be in full control of your vehicle at all times and if the police think you are distracted in anyway, you can be prosecuted.
It’s a 6 point fine and £200 if you are caught using a phone and if you are a newly qualified driver - you will lose your licence.
If your Sat Nav is blocking your view of the road ahead due to positioning, it’s a 3 point fine.
Again, these are starting points for the authorities. It’s possible to be banned from driving and for fines to rise to £2000!
If you were involved in an accident and someone was killed, you could be going to prison for 14 years and currently the government are considering raising this limit to life!
If you’re wondering why is all this so steep, check out what people are happy to admit to he RAC.
Other Laws you should be aware of:
Flashing lights - This should only be to warn others of your presence, not to say thank you or to encourage other cars to come down tunnel of vehicle situations to pass each other.
Throwing rubbish from the window - Even bio-degradable rubbish is illegal.
Driving with snow on the roof - Think of what could happen to the people behind you when they get a windscreen full of your roof snow.
Paying for a drive through meal with smart phone - It’s that no touching tech behind the wheel rule. You’d have to turn the car off first before getting the phone out to pay.
Eating - It’s not necessarily illegal, but if you’re snacking and driving dangerously, then your in trouble.
Barefoot - Again, not illegal, but if you’re driving is sub standard, you could be prosecuted.
Smoking - If you’re in the car with anyone under 18 it’s illegal.
Unattended cars with engines on - Can’t warm your car up in winter unattended.
Learner drivers allowed on motorways - As long as it’s with a qualified driving instructor.
Clearance distance for cyclist - Driving instructors tell their students to leave at least two meters when overtaking a cyclist. Anything inside of 1.5 meters would see you picking up a £100 fine.
Engine Idling - £20 fine for sitting parked up with the engine on for no apparent reason. Air pollution and health risks are the reason.
Loose pets - It might be cute to have your dogs head hanging out of the window, but it needs to safely stowed away.
Splashing Pedestrians - It’s pretty low soaking people on the kerb.
Failing to inform the DVSA of address changes - It’s a legal document, it needs to be kept current.
Swearing at other drivers - Try not to let road rage get the better of you.