New driving law change introduced in King’s Speech set to affect ‘millions’

King Charles delivers his first King’s Speech in Parliament

Rishi Sunak has outlined a major new driving law change in this morning’s King’s Speech with road users across the country affected.

The sovereign read out a new Automated Vehicles Bill which will set out a legal framework for self-driving cars.

The new legislation says the UK will cement its position as a “global leader” in the industry and create around 38,0900 skilled jobs by 2035.

According to Downing Street, the new rules are among the world’s “most comprehensive legal frameworks” for self-driving cars.

A briefing document from Number 10 reads: “Self-driving vehicles will make transport safer, more convenient and more accessible, improving the lives of millions of people.

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“With 88 percent of accidents currently involving human error, the potential for automated vehicles to reduce costs, injuries, and fatalities is enormous.

“They will empower people across the country to get around more easily, including to school or work which will boost productivity.”

The Government argues the UK needs to update its laws to extract the benefits of driverless vehicles. However, they have continued to stress that the safety of motorists will still be a priority at all times.

The updates will set a threshold for self-driving vehicles in law with the Department for Transport to be given powers to authorise models.

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Companies that produce vehicles have to meet strict safety requirements or will be slapped with sanctions and penalties.

The Government will also clamp down on misleading marketing and protect users from being unfairly held accountable for incidents.

According to the Government plan, “a company rather than an individual will be responsible” for the way a vehicle drives.

Analysis shows that the UK market is estimated to be worth a whopping £41.7billion by 2035.

But, Seb Goldin, CEO of Red Driver Training agreed that road safety should remain at the forefront of the new approach.

He explained: “The driving test should be adapted to include the skills needed to navigate the introduction of fully self-driving vehicles.

“This should include a comprehensive assessment of the learner’s ability to use the roads confidently and safely using autonomous technology and vehicles.

“Although the driver is still fundamentally in control in autonomous vehicles, there are periods where assistance devices on the car might lull the driver into a false sense of security, so it’s important learners are well informed for the safety of themselves and other road users.”

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