From stricter mobile phone use penalties to Brexit changes, our driving offence specialist, James Constable, highlights the key changes you should be aware of in 2021.
MOT extension ends
Test extensions came to an end on the 31 January 2021, after months of backlog due to Covid-19. Driving without a valid MOT certificate could result in a fine of up to £1,000.
Stricter penalties for mobile phone use
In 2021 you could be faced with a £200 fine and six points on your licence, if you are caught holding your mobile phone or navigation system whilst driving a vehicle.
Previously it was stated that mobile phone or device usage had to be interactive to be in breach of the law, however, this has now been amended to make even touching your device an offence.
Please remember, this law still applies even if you are stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic, and supervising a learning driver. The police will be able to stop you, if they think you are not in full control of the vehicle and you may be prosecuted.
You can use your mobile phone in the following circumstances:
• When you are safely parked
• In case of an emergency, when you need to call 999 or 112 and it is impractical and unsafe to stop
Brexit changes to international travel
In order to travel in the EU in your vehicle, you will need a green card, your driving licence and a GB sticker on your number plate. Your insurance provider will issue your green card as proof of insurance.
If you are taking your vehicle abroad for less than 12 months, you will need to take your vehicle logbook (V5C).
Please note UK law still applies to a UK registered vehicle if you take it abroad for less than 12 months. Make sure you:
• Tax your vehicle
• You have a current MOT
• You have insurance
For a hired or leased vehicle, you will need to take a VE103 form which proves you can take it out of the UK.
In 2022, speed limiters – also known as the Intelligent Speed Assistant (ISA) will be mandatory in all new cars. The system automatically alerts the driver if they are going above the speed limit, the car will automatically intervene to slow down the speed.