Longridge: 01772 783314 | Garstang: 01995 602129 | Lancaster: 01524 581306 
 
Longridge: 01772 783 314 
Garstang: 01995 602 129 
Lancaster: 01524 581 306 
Two cars which have crashed into one another - one blue, one black.
A new decade, new driving laws to consider. Don’t be under any misapprehension; if some things don’t seem ‘big’ to you, they could still catch you out! 
#1 Parking Charge ‘grace period’ 
 
Since 2015, all council car parks have allowed users a 10-minute grace period before issuing a late fine. The bad news was, this was only a voluntary-opt-in for private parking firms. 
 
However, in 2020, this will – hopefully - apply to all car parks in England, Scotland and Wales, meaning that if you’re under 10-minutes late getting back to your car (or buying a new ticket), you won’t get charged a small fortune! 
 
Not only should the proposed changes, currently being developed by the British Standards Institution, prevent you getting landed with a fine for an extra minute of parking, but the Government also proposes a crack down on debt collection, preventing ‘aggressive’ collection from private parking firms; you can read all about the changes proposed by the Government in November 2019, here
 
 
#2 Driving Licences for newly passed driving 
 
Already active in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the USA, the Department of Transport is considering introducing a Graduated Driving Licence scheme, which would time-limit new drivers, as follows:- 
 
• A minimum learning period for new drivers 
• No driving at certain times of the night 
• A maximum number of passengers allowed in the vehicle, or an age restriction of passengers 
• Lower alcohol limits compared to more experienced drivers 
• Speed limits lower than the usual limits imposed 
• A restriction on the vehicle engine size for newer drivers 
• Mandatory ‘P’ plates for up to two years after the driver passes their driving test 
 
Under current laws, new drivers are treated fairly equally to other more experienced drivers, save for harsher penalties for ‘bad’ behaviour (such as use of a mobile phone behind the wheel, which carries a punishment of six penalty points and a £200.00 fine). If new drivers receive 6 points on their licence within 2 years, they will lose their licence. 
 
According to figures released by the Department of Transport, as many as one in five drivers have an accident or incident within their first year of driving, with as many as 400 young drivers per year sustaining serious or fatal injuries, according to Government statistics. The scheme is set to reduce these figures massively. For more information and updates about the licences, you can read the RAC’s blog, here
 
#3 Low Emissions Zones 
 
Many drivers who have been unlucky enough to drive through the bustling city centre of London in the past year will be aware of these types of zones already: vehicles which don’t meet certain car emissions standards when driving through a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will have to pay a fee. This is usually anywhere from £6.00 to £50.00, depending on your vehicle. 
 
Basically, the idea behind this is to reduce the number of cars driving through these areas, and to charge those who aren’t as eco-friendly. 
 
Whilst currently these zones are usually only found in London, the following UK cities are planning on introducing the zones in 2020: 
 
• Birmingham 
• York 
• Leeds 
• Oxford 
• Bath and North Somerset 
 
Additionally, the LEZs in London (and the Clean Air Zones) are set to expand, making the city even ‘cleaner’. You can find out all about the new zones on confused.com’s blog, here
 
#4 Smart Motorways 
 
As most of us motorway-frequenters will be aware, smart motorways are being introduced across the country, and Highways England are set to provide more safe areas, by increasing the distance between emergency stopping areas on smart motorways from 1.5 miles to 1 mile. 
 
#5 Driving Permits for Driving in the EU 
 
Depending on how the Brexit deal ends, you could need to get an International Driving permit in order to drive abroad. If that wasn’t annoying enough (Another thing to consider when going abroad!), you may need more than one if you intend to travel through different countries. 
 
So, whilst our team of personal injury solicitors in Lancaster can’t help much if you’re caught speeding (whilst we deal with most types of everyday legal matters, including “No Win, No Fee” Personal Injury Compensation Claims, fixed-fee Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and applications for a Grant of Probate, and fixed-fee property sales and purchases, our team don’t currently – or likely ever! – deal with criminal law), we can help you if you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident in England and Wales. 
 
Whether you’re a driver, a pedestrian, a passenger, a horse-rider, or a cyclist, contact our team of personal injury solicitors in Lancaster today on 01524 581 306, via email to injury@mglegal.co.uk, or pop into your local office
 
Remember, all of our injury compensation claims are accepted on a “No Win, No Fee” basis (see our page on Conditional Fee Agreements for more information, here), and you can keep up to 100% of your compensation! Our team of personal injury solicitors in Lancaster have a success rate of over 99% which shows that you should always use a solicitor! 
 
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors 
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