This month saw an increase to people using their phones whilst driving, however, this wasn’t the only motoring legislation introduced this year.
Here’s five driving law changes that you need to be aware of
Driving whilst using your phone
Using your phone or any other handheld device whilst driving has been illegal for many years now, however new laws introduced this month means it’ll now cost you more than a couple of points.
If you’re caught using your mobile phone whilst driving, and not on hands free, you will receive a £200 fine and 6 points on your license. This means those who have been driving for less than 2 years will lose their license if caught using their phone behind the wheel.
New mileage rates for company cars
Drive a company car? HMRC has published the latest advisory fuel rates for company car users.
AFR’s (Advisory Fuel Rates) are recommended reimbursement amounts for drivers reclaiming business mileage for those using a company car. HMRC then review these rates and published revised figures every quarter.
The rates apply to the following:
Reimbursing employees for business travel in their company cars OR Requiring employees to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel. These rates should not be used in relation to vans.
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Ban on some child care seat models
If you’ve got a backless booster seat in your car, you may want to replace it. New rules have now changed how backless car sears, or booster cushions, are made across Europe.
Some manufacturers are now banned from selling certain models due to the government believing backless car seats offer much less protection in the event of an accident. Under the new guidelines, backless booster seats are only suitable for children taller than 125cm and weigh more than 22kg.
Slow Down, Speeding fines are changing
Drivers caught out for speeding are to face tougher penalties as of the 24th April.
Drivers responsible for the most serious speeding offenses will be handed harsher fines, under a series of strict new rules for district judges and magistrates, designed to make drivers ‘think twice’
The changes will see fines motorists caught going well above the speed limit start from 150% of their weekly income, rather than the existing 100%
Drivers will also face points or disqualification depending on the offense.
Fines are determined in categories. Band A fines are 50% of someone’s weekly income. Band B 100% of someone’s weekly income. Band C 150% of someone’s weekly income.
Coming this April – Car Tax Rules Changes
Road Tax is set for a significant revamp this April, with newly registered vehicles set to cost you more.
As a result of the changes, the amount of tax that you’ll have to pay will be based on your vehicle’s emission levels and list price. Currently, vehicles are divided into bands, based on their emission levels ONLY.
As of April 1st, the advertised price of your vehicle will also be taken into account. As a result, a flat standard rate of £140 will apply, with an additional £310 charged on cars with a list price over £40,000 between years of two and five of ownership. Your current car will NOT be affected. The new rules ONLY apply to vehicles registered in the UK after 1st April 2017.