Child car seats
On March 1st child car and booster seat regulations changed.
Under the new rules, it is illegal to have your child’s car seat fitted incorrectly. Under the new rules, only children who weigh 22kg or more, or are 4ft 10in (125cm) tall will be recommended to use the backless booster seats.
All children who are under 12 years old or less than 4ft 5in tall (135 cm) will be required to travel in car seat. Once the child is older than 12 or reaches the height guideline, then they will be allowed to travel in the regular adult car seas.
Only EU approved seats can be used in the UK. Here is what you need to look out for to ensure you’re buying an appropriate seat:
Driving laws all Brits need to be aware of to avoid fines
Make sure you also check for an orange ‘approved’ label. On the orange approved labels there should be a capital E as well as the code R129. This signifies therefore it is a correct and suitable seat to buy.
If your baby is 15 months old or younger, their car seat must be rear-facing, any child older than that can ride in a forward-facing seat.
Car seats should be replaced when a baby’s head is level with the top of the seat. Babies that are under 9kg should also travel in a baby carrier and not a child seat.
When fitting a seat parents must ensure that only a belt with a diagonal strap is used unless the seats are specifically designed for use with a lap belt or you use ISOFIX anchor points.
It should be noted that if you are caught with an ‘unsuitable’ or wrongly fitted car seat then you could charged £500
Crit’Air pollution stickers were introduced in France earlier this year
Crit Air stickers
The Crit’Air stickers scheme which was introduced in January by French authorities in a bid to reduce air pollution.
As part of the scheme, all vehicles, cars, lorries, motorbikes and buses, have to display a windscreen sticker or risk facing a fine.
These stickers correspond to how much the car pollutes and are split into six different colour categories.
Each colour relates to one of the six European Union emission standards for cars, which date back to 1992 when Euro 1 was introduced.
Ctrit’Air green stickers are given to the very cleanest vehicles, such as electric and hydrogen-powered cars, while grey stickers are given to the dirtiest, most-polluting vehicles.
The penalty for drivers who fail to display one of these stickers ranges from an on-the-spot fine of between €68-135 (£58 to £117).
Speeding fine calculations changed earlier this yeat
Under the new speeding laws introduced on 24th April, drivers can be charged up to 175 per cent of their weekly wage.
There is a cap of £1,000 on minor speeding offences or up to £2,500 for major ones.
A three band system will determine the severity of an offence and corresponds to different charges.
These charges are calculated on a percentage basis.
A minor offence constitutes a band A charge. Band A charges are for drivers who exceed the stated speed limit between one and 10mph.
So, if a driver travels 31mph up to 40mph in a 30mph zone, they can be charged between 25 per cent and 75 per cent of their weekly income.
Drivers who exceed the stated speed limit by 11mph up to 20mph will be charged between 75 per cent and 125 per cent of their wage.
Major offences, which are for speed limit breaches of up 22mph and above will be charged between 125 per cent and 175 per cent of their week wage.
In addition to the variable fee motorists could land themselves with a driving offence of this nature, they could also receive between three and six penalty points.
Multiple changes to the current driving test will be implemented by the end of the year
From December 4 2017, any new motorist who wants to pass the driving test will have to learn how to be proficient using a Sat Nav.
The independent driving portion of the examination will also be doubled in length to 20 minutes.
Manoeuvres such as reversing around the corner will also scrapped in favour of ‘more common scenarios.’
EU speeding laws
On May 7, British motorists caught speeding in Europe coulee face £640 fines, due to a new Brussels rule.
Member states have been given powers to track down UK motorists and hand them the fines, if an offence is made.
From April 1st, cat tax rates increased in the UK which could mean millions of drivers end up paying more money to tax their vehicle.
Britons who bought and registered cars on April 1st or after that date would have to pay the new tax rates.
Only electric cars which produce zero emissions and cost less than £40,000 will be completely exempt from the car tax rates.
Cars costing over £40,000 will be expected to pay an additional £310 surcharge on top of the car tax rate for five years.
Cars registered after the date will be expected to pay a standard rate for their car tax after the first year rate.
Here are the new rates:
CO2 emissions(g/km) for petrol and diesel cars (hybrids will pay £10 less)
0g/km – £0
1 – 50g/km – £10
51 – 75g/km – £25
76 – 90g/km – £100
91 – 100g/km -£120
101 – 110g/km – £140
111 – 130g/km – £160
131 – 150g/km -£200
151 – 170g/km -£500
171 – 190g/km – £800
191 – 225g/km -£1,200
226 – 255g/km – £1,700
Over 255g/km – £2,000
This standard rate charge will vary for drivers depending on what type of car they are and what fuel they use.
-£140 per year for petrol and diesel vehicles
-£130 per year for ‘alternative fuel’ vehicles, such as hybrids
-£0 per year for zero emissions vehicles, such as fully electric
Mobile phone driving laws
Tougher punishments for motorists caught using their mobile phone while driving were introduced on March 1 2017.
The penalty for using a mobile phone while driving has now doubled to £200 and six penalty points on your licence.
Drivers will have their licences revoked if they clock up six penalty points in their first two years of driving, rather than the normal 12 points.
Additionally, if your case goes to court, you could face disqualification and an up to a £1,000 fine. HGV and bus drivers could get an up to £2,500 fine.
Hands free and use of navigation apps can be used if the phone is mounted into a holder.
Even if the phone is mounted, drivers can still be pulled over and fined if the device can be deemed to be distracting them.
The rule is that motorists must not touch their phone at all while driving.