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New Year, New Rules

As we settle into the New Year, 2015 is expected to see changes in legalisation, licensing and roads.  Therefore, to help ease you in gently, we have rounded up the most important new legalisations set to come into place throughout the year, ensuring we all drive safer and remain legally compliant in 2015

1. Say goodbye to your paper license

Originally set for abolishment in January, the DVLA has now confirmed that the withdrawal of the driving licence counterpart will now happen in June 2015. As handy as it is not safeguarding a piece of paper, the FTA has raised concerns regarding the replacement system as it will heavily rely on drivers providing the information and has rejected it as being unsuitable. The DVLA commented; “Focus continues to be on bringing on technical solutions that provide up to date, fit for purpose alternatives to the paper counterpart and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the FTA on the developments.”

2. Introducing… Driverless cars

The UK government has announced that it will allow driverless cars to grace the public roads, come January of 2015.

Initially, there will be three trials of the new technology, in which invited cities have had to compete to host the trials. In addition to this, the UK’s road regulations have had to be updated to cater for this new wave of technology.

As the name suggests, it refers to vehicles that take control of steering, accelerating, indicating and breaking during most of the journey, much like aeroplanes do when they are set to autopilot. Lidar technology is a light detection and ranging system which measures how lasers bounce off reflective surfaces to capture information about millions of small points surrounding the vehicle every second. It may help lead to reducing driver error on the roads, but there is still a long way to go with trials and tests before it’s fully implemented.

3. Changed laws for Drink Driving in Scotland

Changes to the drink-drive limits came into force in Scotland on Friday 5th December 2014. The limit has been lowered considerably as drivers are now considered to be drink driving if they have more than 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, whilst the old limit was 80mg per 100ml of blood.

By 6am on the morning that the new law was enforced, four people had been arrested for breaching the new limit. This new change means that the limit is so low that drivers could be breaking the law after one glass of wine, or one pint of beer. Along with anti drink-drive campaigners we would urge motorists not to drink at all.

4. More funding for new roads

It was announced in December that £15 billion will be spent on a ‘road revolution’ for England. Amongst the dozens of new road plans is that of a tunnel on the A303 at Stonehenge, making it easier to bypass the historical landmark.

The revolution will involve 100 road improvement schemes and will add 1,300 new miles of extra lanes to motorways and A roads which should hopefully lighten the competition.

No one knows what is around the corner in 2015 but, whatever this year brings, as a driving agency we’re excited to see the industry taking notice and looking to improve legislation, roads and even technology.



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