Wednesday 22nd July 2015
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2015 has already seen a few new changes for motorists; such as the end of the paper counterpart of the driving licence, but do you know what else is planned for this year? The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is warning people to be prepared for more changes so that they understand the new driving laws. A lot of these changes are being driven (no pun intended) to harness the power of the internet and save on admin costs.

New changes for motorists in 2015

One big thing coming up in London on 1st September will be a new project called The Safer Lorry Scheme that ensures all lorries and construction vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are fitted with basic safety equipment.  The scheme will be enforced by the Metropolitan Police, the City of London Police and the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency and aims to reduce the number of fatal accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians.

Motoring legislation in 2015

The ban on smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 18 takes effect on 1st October.  Anyone smoking in the car, regardless of whether they are the parent or not will be punished. Fines and penalties are expected to be announced nearer the time. However, some reports say that there may be a £50 fine or points put on licences and there are even rumours of drivers being fined up to £10,000 for failing to stop smoking in a car carrying a child.  Funnily enough, anyone aged 17 who is driving a car on their own (with their licence of course) while smoking won't be charged.

Some changes have already been put into effect, so just make sure you are aware of them.  In March this year a new law on driving under the influence of certain drugs and medicines came into effect. Basically, this means that it is an offence to drive with certain drugs in your body above specified levels, even if your driving is not affected.  This law was brought in to help check on the misuse of certain prescription medicines that are often abused. If you aren’t sure if medicine that you take comes under this banner then visit here for more information and speak to your GP.

There’s also a new digital service called ‘Make a Plea’ which allows people charged with minor motoring offences to make their plea online at a time and place they choose. This service is being rolled out across England and Wales and aims to reduce time and costs for the courts.  For more information visit the gov.uk site.

All in all 2015 is shaping up to be a pretty decisive year in the history of motoring.  We can only hope these changes are for the best.  Let us know in the comments box below what you think about it all.