Car Tips & Advice 28/12/2018

Drive Safely & Legally in 2019

2019 sees some changes to the HIghway code, along with possibility of a graduated licence roll-out and the increase in Smart Motorways. Be alert, keep safe and on the right side of the law.

New laws to watch out for in 2019

As drivers we need to keep up-to-date with all new laws and developments; these are what you need to be aware of for 2019:

  • Leave 1.5m gap when overtaking a cyclist
  • Do NOT drive on a Smart Motorway lane marked with a red X
  • Be aware of changes to the MOT test
  • Newly qualified drivers may have restrictions placed on them

Keep safe and legal in 2019

As our roads get busier, not just with cars, but vans, HGV, vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians too, the law is trying to catch up and you need to be alert. Fail to take note of the new laws and you could find yourself on the wrong side of them with points on your license and a dent in your wallet.

Keeping Cyclists Safer

In 2016, 102 cyclists were killed on Britain’s roads, with a further 3,400 cyclists seriously injured. Clearly wearing a cycle helmet helps, but sadly when a cyclist is involved in a collision with a car or larger vehicle, they’re always going to come off much worse, that’s why a Highway Code Rule stresses the importance of giving cyclists plenty of room when you overtake them.

Remember the cyclist ahead of you could be about to signal their intention to turn right or they may need suddenly need to avoid a pothole and we all know how frequent they are and how catastrophic they can be for cyclists.

Image showing 1.5m clearance between car and cyclist

The new rule states that when overtaking a cyclist, drivers must give at least 1.5m clearance, that’s 4ft 11”, between their vehicle and the cyclist.

That cyclist could be your child, your partner or your friend, so make sure you follow this new rule which is there to make life safer for all cyclists on today’s busy roads.

Graduated Driving Licences

A scheme to phase new drivers onto our roads the will be piloted in Northern Ireland and if it’s successful could go on to be rolled out country wide.

This new graduated scheme looks at areas which could help reduce the number of accidents new drivers are involved in, which according to the RAC include:

  • Driving curfews – restricting new drivers from roads during certain times
  • Passenger numbers – legal limits on how full a new driver’s car can be
  • Lower alcohol limits – reduction in the legal threshold for blood readings
  • Speed limits – new drivers restricted to slower speeds
  • Engine sizes – power output limits put on the new drivers’ vehicles
  • Mandatory ‘P’ plates – required for up to two years after passing a test

If you are a newly qualified driver or have one in your household, do you think this is a good idea?

Long haired teenage girl driving and texting

Get Motorway Smart

As the Smart Motorway roll-out continues apace it will really pay to know what the rules of these new style roads are.

One that will cost you if you don’t know it and abide by it is that lanes marked with a red ‘X’ are closed. Drive on one of these lanes and you could find yourself with 3 points on your licence and a £100 fine.

Follow the Smart Motorway rules and keep on the right side of the law.

Smart motorway with red X in one lane

MOT Update

The MOT test was updated in May 2018, so you may not have come across the new test as yet. If you want the full details then we have them, but for a quick reminder faults will be classed as:

Dangerous – A direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment. Do not drive the vehicle until it’s been repaired. Fail

Major- It may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment. Repair it immediately. Fail

Minor – No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. Repair as soon as possible. Pass

Advisory – It could become more serious. Monitor and repair if necessary. Pass

Pass –Meets the minimum legal standard. Make sure it continues to meet the standard. Pass

There will also be new areas tested as part of the MOT which you can find more information about here.

All these new laws are about keeping everybody safer on the road, so let’s look forward to a safer, 2019 for all us road users.

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