The last 12 months have seen a number of big changes for motorists across the UK, and it looks very much like 2015 will follow suit.
New laws on smoking in cars that are carrying children, drug-driving limits and even changes to our driving licences are all in the pipeline for the New year.
So here’s a look at some of the changes that have taken place, as well as those which will be introduced in the coming months which all motorists need to be aware of.
You No Longer Need a Tax Disc
Although the law came into effect in October 2014, this year is probably the first time that many motorists will face the new law changes when it comes to road tax. Drivers are no longer required to display a tax disc on the windscreen and the DVLA now hold a record of all vehicles on their computer. Obviously you still need to pay vehicle tax and you will get a renewal reminder when your vehicle tax is due to expire.
Drink Drive Laws have changed in Scotland
A new law came into force at the end of 2014 which makes the legal drink-drive limit in Scotland lower than elsewhere in the UK. The legal alcohol limit north of the border has changed from 80mg in every 100ml of blood to 50mg.
Smoking in Cars will Become Illegal
From 1 October 2015 smoking in cars carrying children will become illegal. The new law will make it an offence for parents, carers or other adults in a car carrying anyone under the age of 18 to light up and the punishment is expected to carry a £60 fine or points on a motorist’s licence, rising to as much as £10,000 for drivers who fail to stop passengers smoking in a vehicle carrying a child.
Paper Driving License No Longer Valid
From 8 June 2015, the photocard licence counterpart will no longer be issued by the DVLA. Obviously penalty points and the status of your driving licence won’t change, but will be recorded on the DVLA’s central driver database instead. However the DVLA advise that paper licences issued before 1998 will remain valid, and should not be destroyed.
New Drug-Driving Laws Come into Effect
In March 2015 a new law on driving under the influence of certain drugs, including some common medicines, will come into force. These changes state that it is an offence to drive with certain drugs in your system above a specified level, even if your driving ability is not impaired. The new law mainly relates to prescription medications that are sometimes abused, but if you do take certain drugs for health reasons, it might be worth checking if this puts you in danger.
Test your knowledge of the Highway Code with our online quiz. Just click here.