Drivers warned of major driving law changes in May – Driving in Europe, MOTs and more
Driving abroad: RAC's tips for driving in Europe
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Many driving law changes have already taken place this year, most notably the Highway Code changes, with drivers being urged to adhere to all new rules. Drivers are being advised to prepare for a number of extra costs associated with any new rules, which span from new Clean Air Zones to driving internationally.
Transporting goods to Europe
From May 21, 2022, drivers will need a standard international goods vehicle operator licence to transport goods for hire or reward in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
This will apply to vans or light goods vehicles, vans towing trailers and cars towing trailers.
Drivers will need to apply for a standard international goods vehicle operator licence for the first time.
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If they already have one, they can add the vehicles to their international goods vehicle operator licence or apply to upgrade their standard national to a standard international licence.
They can also apply to upgrade their restricted goods vehicle operator licence – if they have one – to a standard international goods vehicle operator licence.
Drivers will face hefty costs, however, with a £257 fee to make a “major variation” to their licence, as well as £401 price tag for the licence, meaning some drivers will need to fork out over £650.
Motorists can be fined by the DVSA if they operate without the correct licence. They can also be prosecuted in the European countries they drive through.
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Clean Air Zones
Clean Air Zones and other emissions-based charging systems have grown in popularity in recent months following the successful launch in Bath, Birmingham and Portsmouth.
In a comment to Express.co.uk, Jason Longhurst, Strategic Director at the Department of Place at Bradford Council, said: “The Council is meeting with the Government in May where we expect them to give a start date for the CAZ.
“The ANPR camera network is prepared and we have provided grants to Bradford businesses that, so far, have translated into 87 percent of Bradford taxis being compliant along with 317 buses and 20 percent of HGVs in the district being upgraded to meet the CAZ emission requirements.
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“Cars are unaffected by the Bradford Clean Air Zone and most Bradford businesses will also be unaffected. An extensive exemptions programme has recently been launched, where Bradford businesses can register with so that they will not have to pay.
“Certain businesses based outside the District can also apply for an exemption. Getting an exemption means that they will not have to pay to drive in the Bradford Clean Air Zone.
“You will not be charged to drive a passenger car or motorbike in the Bradford Clean Air Zone. This means that you do not need to take any action or apply for an exemption and it’s the same for people who live outside the Bradford District. They will not be charged for passenger cars or motorbikes either.”
The CAZ spanning across Greater Manchester was originally planned to launch on May 31, but was delayed after talks between the Government and The Greater Manchester Air Quality Administration Committee. A new plan is set to be delivered by July 1, 2022.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps suggested that private e-scooters could be legalised for use on roads.
Speaking earlier this week, the Government minister said legislation could be included in the Queen’s Speech on May 10.
Mr Shapps told the Commons Transport Select Committee that “in the future I want to crack down on the illegal use on roads of non-compliant e-scooters”.
Changes to the frequency of MOT tests may also be unveiled in May, following suggestions from Shapps and Boris Johnson.
The Prime Minister had suggested that measures could be taken to help drivers cope with the cost of living crisis.
This would include changing requirements for MOT tests for vehicles to be every two years, rather than annually.
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