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14th August 2015 |

Are you breaking the new traffic laws by accident?

At Walton Bridge Garage we take the our job very seriously, cutting corners in the motor industry can essentially cost lives and so following every procedure to the letter of the law is a must. Unfortunately not every garage and its mechanics are as thorough but thankfully this is something that has been cracked down on in recent years.

Most motorist tend to tread a fine line on occasion when it comes to the rules of the road, more often than not when speeding, with six out of 10 of us having done so before. But there are a few laws that you might be breaking without even knowing it, so we have laid out a few to make sure you stay on the right side of the law.

In 2015 a number of new traffic laws were introduced and breaking them can land you anything from points and a fine to a stint behind bars.

Driving on drugs

Ok this might seem like an obvious one, but now the police have the technology to catch you drug driving at the road side. Police now carry a “drugaliser” and as you can probably guess it means they can test you for driving under the influence of Mary Jane, as well as cocaine. Both carry a maximum penalty of a prison sentence and there is a no tolerance policy just like drink driving.

You might think its scare tactic, but so far over 900 people have been arrested for drug driving. If you are found to be driving on a drug that is impairing your body, you’re breaking the law and most drivers are unaware that this includes prescription medication. This includes diazepam, methadone and morphine, so always think twice before driving on medication.

Increased speed limit for HGVs

At the other end of the law, the speed limit for HGVs on single lane carriageways has increased by 10mph, to 50mph. Although this might seem minor, bear it in mind when approaching or overtaking, as the extra 10mph could catch you out.

Improvement to Lorry safety.

Sticking with larger vehicles, as of a few weeks’ time there will be new laws for anyone driving a vehicle of three and a half tons or more.

It will be compulsory to have essential safety equipment fitted, such as extra mirrors for better visibility and side guards to protect cyclists. Great news for cyclists but failing to adhere can cost you anywhere between £50 and £1000.

Smoking Ban in Cars

With calls this week for smoking to be banned in pub gardens, the mind boggles as to where the high-vis brigade will tread next, many will still be reeling from being told they can’t light up in their work vehicle.

But one new law we agree with is the banning of smoking in a car, with anyone under the age of 18 present. Although your child may grow-up and choose to smoke, exposing them to second-hand smoke beforehand isn’t on, with around 3million kids are exposed to cigarette smoke in UK motors. That’s why as of October it will bring more stress, rather than reducing it.

No More Tax Discs

Everybody is pretty much aware tax discs are now obsolete, even if they do still have one in the front window. As with many things in life the humble tax disc, which offered many the opportunity to buy a flashy personalised holder, has migrated to the online world for convenience and to save the trees.

We think this new law is a masquerade by the Old Bill to make some extra cash, as now when you buy any vehicle you have to purchase 12 months tax, even if there is some left from the previous owner. Not only are UK motorists advertising their cars for sale as taxed adding to the cost, many of those buying them are unwittingly being caught out driving around illegally.

A teething issue as is often the case when migrating to a digital space and one the Police should have considered more carefully. On the digital note paper licenses are also on their way out. So when providing your details for something like a job, producing the paper copy won’t get you anywhere.

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