With all four of us now driving, a pretty big part of our family finances at the moment are given over to motoring expenses. We’re very clear with the boys about what we expect regarding how they drive (one of them has one of those black box telematics things which records how they drive). Recently, quite a few new rules have come into force, many of which are to do with speeding and mobile phone. Chatting about it with friends and family, though, it seems like many people aren’t aware of the changes. Did you know about the new speeding fines?
A major overhaul of the speeding laws
As incidents of road accidents (especially caused by speeding) are increasing, every government is taking strong action against drivers who break the rules of the road and drive too fast.
Before the new rules, the maximum fine which could be handed out for exceeding the speed limit was set at £1000, or £2500 for motorway offences. These caps still remain, however unlike previously, when offenders could only be charged up to 100% of their salary, this has now increased to up to 175% in the most serious cases . The minimum fine of £100, and the rule for three points on the license of the motorists remain the same, but now offenders could also face being banned from driving for up to 56 days or getting six points on their licence.
New driving laws that you should know about:
If you’ve got teenage drivers, it might be worth reminding them of the new driving laws – many of which don’t even refer to speeding:
- While collecting a meal from a drive through, if you’re paying with your smartphone, you may have to pay the fine (seems unenforceable, but we’ll see).
- Talking on a mobile phone is prohibited under the law, but, you can also be fined for just holding your phone in your hand with the car engine switched on.
- You can be fined if you throw anything out of the car window while driving.
- It’s illegal to smoke in the car if someone under the age of 18 is present.
- Leaving a car parked with its engine running can also incur a heavy fine. As per the Highway Code, you must not leave a vehicle stationary with the engine running unnecessarily on a public road.
- Though it’s not illegal to eat in your car, but, you risk prosecution for careless driving.
If you drive abroad, you might not be aware of new rules which have recently come into effect. British motorists caught crossing the speed limits on camera will face serious fines in Europe. The message is clear: think twice before you increase your car speed on the road. Speeding in countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and France can now result in heavy fines.
European countries are now able to obtain the details of the driver through the comprehensive DVLA database. This new law is based on the principle that the registered owner of the vehicle would be held responsible for all the fines. But, it significantly differs from British Law, where the actual driver of the vehicle is held responsible, and is required to pay the fines.
The New EU Directive
The new EU directive will now cover eight motoring offences, including using a phone while driving, not using a seat belt and speeding. However, due to a legal quirk, European drivers speeding on the roads of the UK cannot be pursued in the same way by the British Police.
Scary right? If you’ve got young drivers in the house (or even older ones!) it might be worth a chat – you can never be too careful!