A New Year has arrived, and with it a whole lot of changes to the law planned for 2017. If you haven’t thought of a New Year’s resolution yet, how about vowing to be a safer driver? We could all improve our driving skills, even if it is trying not to get road rage or not speeding on the motorway.

To help you out, we’ve put together some motoring changes to be aware of for the year ahead. It’s always good to stay one step ahead of the law!

Mobile Phone Usage

The government has promised to crack down on drivers using their mobile phones behind the wheel – and with good reason. Smartphones are a huge distraction and cause fatalities as drivers take their eyes off the road to check notifications. Motorists are soon set to face a much heftier penalty if caught looking at their mobile or speaking without hands free technology. The points penalty is set to double to six points and an on-the-spot fine of £200. These radical changes mean that anyone caught twice could face a £1000 fine and a six month driving ban – is it enough to deter motorists?

photo of a uk motorway

Tax Changes

The new road tax changes are due to come into effect from 1st April 2017, but will only apply to newly registered cars. This is the biggest shake-up to VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) in recent years, and many commentators wonder whether it’s worth the hassle. Before car tax was calculated on emissions to reward motorists for choosing eco-friendly cars. However, as many manufacturers have now reduced CO2 emissions in a variety of models, the government has realised there is a shortfall on car tax being paid. However, the changes will only apply to brand new cars so if you buy second hand you won’t need to worry.

Driving Test Suggestions

Looking ahead to 2018, the Transport Minister has announced plans to allow learner drivers on motorways. It is part of a plan to improve road safety, as first-time drivers can pass their test and drive on a motorway currently with no experience whatsoever. Many have welcomed the plan as it will produce more confident drivers, but will learner vehicles on the motorways be a nuisance for everyone else?

Happy New Year from Windmill Garage!

Motoring Laws and Tax Changes to be aware of in 2017
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