The new driving laws you need to know about this March

Lorry on motorway

New Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standards and Direct Vision Standard and HGV Safety Permit driving laws will come into force from the 1st March 2021.

But what are they and how will they affect you?

Low Emission Zone (LEZ)

Your vehicle will need to meet the Euro 6 standards to drive within the Greater London area without a charge.

If you drive a lorry, heavy van or specialist heavy vehicle over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight, or a bus/minibus or coach over 5 tonnes – you’ll have to pay a daily charge – if your vehicle doesn’t meet regulations.

Euro 4 or 5 Particulate Matter (PM) vehicle owners will pay a daily charge of £100, and those that don’t meet Euro 4 (PM) face a huge £300 daily charge.

Refusing to pay it, will see you issued with a penalty charge of £500, reduced to £250 if you can pay within 14 days.

London Safety Permit

If you drive a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) over 12 tonnes, you’ll need to apply for a safety permit from the 1st March to prove you meet the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) to drive in Greater London.

The DVS measures how much you can see directly through your cab window. This assesses the level of risk to vulnerable road users, such as people walking or cycling near your vehicle.

It’s free to apply for the new permits, so make sure you have one before you get on the road to avoid the penalty fine of £550 – that’s if you don’t pay the reduced fee of £275 within 14 days.

TfL said: “The Direct Vision Standard and HGV safety permit for HGVs is part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s transport network by 2041.”

It added that all new standards had been put back to March to give businesses affected by the changes time to meet them amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Outside of London, Bath will see its first Clean Air Zone enforced on the15th March 2021.

Bath and North East Somerset Council has confirmed private cars and motorbikes will not be charged under the new scheme. However, taxis, private hire vehicles and minibuses which do not meet the new guidelines will be charged up to £9 per day.

Exemptions are available for some hard to replace vehicles or those which support health and emergency services.

Find out more about the other motoring laws you need to know about in 2021.