2022 - New driving laws and changes that are coming in 2022 and how they might affect you.
There are considerable new changes in legislation coming into play in 2022; these changes include parking practice in certain areas, clean air zones, and important new rules on mobile phone usage.
These rules came into effect on Saturday 1st January, and for drivers who don't keep up to date with the highway code, you could potentially face heavy penalties as a result.
1. Road user priority in Highway Code
For the first time ever, the law will be amended and require those that enact the greatest harm to others will have a higher level of responsibility to reduce the danger.
For example, this will mean that someone driving will have more responsibility to watch out for people cycling, walking or riding a horse, and cyclists will have more responsibility to be aware of pedestrians.
The new hierarchy is now as follows:
- Horse riders
- Large passenger vehicles/heavy goods vehiclesYou can read about the details on the government website here.
2. Mobile phone loophole to be banned
Tougher laws on using your mobile phone while driving have come into force in 2022.
It's already illegal to call or text while driving, other than in an emergency.
However, from 2022, it is now illegal for drivers to be using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists, or play games. Anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving will face a £200 fixed penalty notice and an automatic six points on their license.
This change was further supported by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who said: "Too many deaths and injuries occur while mobile phones are being held.
"By making it easier to prosecute people illegally using their phone at the wheel, we are ensuring the law is brought into the 21st century while further protecting all road users."
'Hands-free' devices such as a sat nav will still be able to be used if they are secured in a mount holder.
There will, however, be an exemption to the new law for drivers making a contactless payment using their mobile phone while stationary to ensure the law keeps pace with technology.
3. Petrol costs
In the 2021 Budget, another freeze on fuel duty was announced. The tax you pay per litre of petrol and diesel.
It will therefore remain at the same level - 57.95p per litre - which it has been for the past decade.
4. New £70 fines from councils
Drivers could potentially be hit with a £70 fine from their local authority, as councils are set to be given more power against motorists.
Presently, most councils are only able to send out penalties for parking offences and driving in bus lanes.
Under the 'Moving Traffic' offences act, councils will be able to punish drivers for performing bad maneuvers and stopping in yellow box junctions.
The new powers will mean that almost 300 councils in England will be able to apply for the right to issue these penalties as well.
An RAC spokesman, Simon Williams, said: “We’re fearful that some authorities may be over enthusiastic in using their new powers for revenue-raising reasons.
“Drivers who blatantly ignore signage or highway rules should expect penalties but there are instances which are not always clear-cut."
5. New builds to have compulsory built-in EV chargers
All new properties built in England from 2022, including both commercial buildings and housing, will have to have an EV charging point installed.
It is hoped that with more EV charge points available, the government hopes to boost the uptake of electric vehicles ahead of the planned ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars after 2030.
6. Clean air zone charges
You may already be aware of London’s Clean Air Zone, which is also known as the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), this currently charges drivers with the most polluting vehicles £12.50 per day – on top of your normal congestion charge fees.
Last year on 25th October, this area was expanded up to the North and South Circular ring roads, as a result affecting more drivers.
Next year, Greater Manchester and Bradford will introduce their own Clean Air Zones.
The Greater Manchester's Clean Air Zone will come into force on May 20, 2022.
However, currently it will only apply to drivers of buses, coaches, taxis, HGVs, PHVs and LGVs.
Government funding is available to help eligible people, businesses and organisations move to cleaner, compliant vehicles and so they do not have to pay a daily charge.
The Clean Air Financial Support Scheme is currently open to applications from eligible heavy goods vehicle (HGV) owners, with applications for other vehicle owners due to open in late January 2022.It's worth using the ULEZ checker online here to see if the charges apply to your vehicle.
7. Speed limiters in new cars
To improve road safety, all new cars will be fitted with speed limiters from 6th July 2022.
ISA (The Intelligent Speed Assistance) black boxes will use GPS to work out what the speed limit is and will then ensure a vehicle car doesn't break it.
A new regulation will be imposed by the European Commission in the General Safety Regulation having been approved by the European Parliament in 2019.
ISAs will be mandatory for all new models given 'type approval' from 6th July. This means that it includes any new car brought to market from that date, rather than new cars already in production.
8. Parking on pavements could be banned.
Scotland has already passed a bill to outlaw all parking on pavements from 2023, but tougher rules could apply in England in the future.
Parking on the pavement is already illegal in London and the greater London area. But changes to the law are expected in 2022 that will give local councils across England and Wales the power to issue on-the-spot £70 fines to those who mount the kerb.
In November 2020, the government held a consultation on the matter, with a proposed blanket ban to prevent motorists blocking pavements for parents with pushchairs, those with limited mobility and anyone reliant on a seeing-eye dog.
The Department for Transport’s (DfT) consultation proposed three options to reform the rules on pavement parking:
- A legislative change to introduce a London-style pavement parking prohibition throughout England.
- A legislative change to allow local authorities with civil parking enforcement powers to enforce against 'unnecessary obstruction of the pavement'.
- Improving the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process, under which local authorities can already prohibit pavement parking.
9. Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) increase.
Vehicle Excise Duty, often referred to as road tax, is set to rise in line with the retail prices index measure of inflation, most of which occur in April.
However, the government has not confirmed the new rates. As per usual, the amount you pay will likely depend on your new car's CO2 emissions.
Those that emit zero grams per kilometre of CO2 are expected to continue paying nothing, while petrol- and most diesel-powered drivers (including hybrids) that emit between 1g and 50g per kilometre will pay £10 for the first 12 months.
Cars that emit between 51g and 5g per kilometre currently pay £25 for the first year.
Cars that emit between 76g and 150g per kilometre of CO2 will see their VED rates rise by £5 this year - to £220.
The more CO2 that a car emits per kilometre, the more likely you will have to pay in the future.
The worst affected are usually cars that emit more than 255g per kilometre of CO2 - these currently set you back £2,245 a year in tax - it then increases each April.
You can find out how much you're currently paying by clicking here.
The standard rate - the amount you pay after the second year - for cars registered on or after 1 April 2017 is currently £155 a year for anything other than zero-emissions vehicles.