New driving laws to be aware of this month

Driver holding steering wheel while using smartphone for GPS navigation.

May 2023, it’s the month of King Charles’ coronation but also the month of new driving laws.

From greater council powers to changes to the Highway Code itself, here’s everything you need to know about new or amended driving laws being introduced this month.

Two key areas

More power to councils

12 councils across the UK have been handed traffic powers which allow them to fine drivers for offences only previously dealt with by police.

Surrey County Council will start monitoring yellow box junctions, potentially handing out fines of up to £70 for offenders. Meanwhile, Reading Borough and Hampshire County Council will also receive similar powers come ‘spring 2023’.

Elsewhere, councils in Derby, Buckinghamshire and Norfolk have each received powers of their own – although it remains unknown which areas will be monitored.

Highway Code changes

Don’t forget to be aware of recent changes to the Highway Code.

If you’re caught using or just holding your phone at the wheel, you could receive a fine of up to £200 and six points on your licence. Remember that it’s 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.

The early stages

On 16 May, a road safety meeting will debate the possibility of stopping newly passed youngsters under the age of 25 from carrying passengers under the same age limit in their vehicles.

The proposed move would see a ‘graduated driving licence’, restricting new motorists from certain activities for a short timeframe. Although the move hasn’t been approved talks are set to take place around it later this month.

Another change that’s being discussed in May is the potential for allowing fuel tankers to carry more fuel.

The Government is currently consulting on the possibility of increasing the existing 44-tonne weight limit currently in place and the consultation will run until May 17, with the Department for Transport accepting feedback until 11.45pm.

Now you’re up to date with the latest driving laws, why not check to see if the ULEZ expansion affects you? Here’s everything you need to know.

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