From electric charging points in new buildings to local councils enforcing driving fines, 2022 will see a few different driving laws introduced on UK roads. As we enter the new year, it’s important for motorists to stay on top of any new laws which come into play so as to avoid any potential mishaps on the road.
If you haven’t already seen it, we’ve also reported on the government’s 5-year pause on smart motorway construction; you can take a look here.
Local councils will be given the power to enforce minor traffic offences
This new law came into play in December 2021 in England and Wales, although we’ll start to see the full effects of it as 2022 continues. According to the government ruling, local councils can apply for powers to issue fines to drivers of up to £70 for minor motoring offences, such as:
- Driving in cycle lanes
- Performing banned turns
- Stopping in yellow cross hatching (aka box blocking)
Initially, these fines were only able to be issued by police (other than in London and Cardiff). Discounts for early payments will apply to those who have been charged, although the RAC has expressed concern that some local councils may be ‘over enthusiastic’ in issuing fines in order to raise revenue.
Speed limiters to be installed in all new cars
From 6th July 2022, speed limiters will be built into all new cars in the UK. Otherwise known as an Intelligent Speed Assistant system (ISA), speed limiters differ to cruise control as drivers can still accelerate or decelerate when the speed limiter is on. It simply caps your top speed, which helps you stay within the driving limit.
Self-driving cars on UK roads
Self-driving cars – that is, cars fitted with Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) – could be on the UK roads by Spring 2022, following government talks which began in 2020. There’s no definite date at the moment, but when the ruling is passed, drivers will be able to let their cars take full control of the driving and take their hands completely off the wheel. However, they will still need to pay attention to the road and be ready to take over.
EV charging points to be fitted in new builds
On top of speed limiters in all new cars, the government has also focused on promoting green energy on UK roads by ensuring all new builds in England are fitted with their own EV charging point. This will include new-build homes, businesses and retail properties.
As this will create 145,000 more charging points per year, it is hoped that this will persuade more motorists to switch to an electric vehicle when it comes time to buy their next car. It could also put the UK in good stead when 2030 rolls around and the production of petrol and diesel vehicles is banned.
New clean air zones in Manchester and Bradford
A new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will come into force on 30th May 2022 in Manchester, following cities such as Birmingham and Bath, who already have a CAZ in place. Oxford and Bradford will also set up Clean Air Zones of their own this year, although no specific date has been set for these.
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