Green Card update and new driving laws

Green Card no longer required for driving in the EU

Post-Brexit, it had previously been a mandatory requirement to have a green card to drive in the EU. It was used as a way to prove that your car was insured to drive abroad. However, after a new ruling a green card will no longer be necessary. The rule came into force on August 2nd and will be applicable to both personal and commercial vehicle users. 

It will help reduce bureaucracy for drivers and road hauliers travelling between the UK and EU and is welcome news for many motorists.

In pre-Covid times, 2.6 million UK motorists including commercial vehicles and private cars would travel to the EU.

Please note that if you are taking your own car to the EU and your trip is less than 12 months, it will be necessary to take your V5C logbook with you. If it’s a car you have hired or leased, you’ll need a VE103 form which proves you can take it out of the UK. For more information please visit the Government website. 

Smart Motorway stricter rules

Smart motorways were introduced as a cost-effective way to increase capacity on congested motorways; but safety concerns have been clear from the start. We highlighted their risks early on – and have reviewed some of the concerns in previous blog posts. Meanwhile, reports of incidents continue to rise. 

As part of the smart motorway setup, a sign with a ‘Red X’ indicates a vehicle has broken down in the hard shoulder, so it shouldn’t be used as a normal lane. It has since been made illegal to drive in a Red X lanes and needless to say ignoring these one of these sings is very dangerous. Camera enforcement will see drivers face an automatic £100 fine and three penalty points for doing so.

A ‘go left’ campaign has also been introduced by Highways England to provide guidance for what to do in the event of a breakdown. This has been its biggest ever motorway safety campaign and further info can be found here. 

Speed limiters mandatory from 2022 

From 2022 speed limiters will be mandatory in all new cars. This will mean drivers will be alerted if they are driving too fast and the car will intervene if the driver doesn’t slow their car. The car will be tracked using in-built GPS.  

Although the finer details are yet to be announced, it is expected ‘nagging’ features will be used to slow drivers down. The features are called this because that is exactly what they do, nag you to slow down. Features are likely to include visual, auditory and physical nagging. The latter is technology that can apply motion force to the user and is already used in many vehicles for automated lane assistance. In this case it could be used to ‘push back’ against your foot if the speed limit is exceeded. In certain situations, such as overtaking, thankfully the limiter won’t work.

Stricter penalties for mobile phone use

The fine for being caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel was recently increased to £200, up from £60. The number of penalty points also increased from 3 to 6 for the offence. 

In a new development, drivers will no longer be able to use a loophole to escape punishment for using a hand-held phone to take a photo or play a game. However, mobiles can still be used to pay for a drive-through takeaway and drivers will still be permitted to use devices hands-free.

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Smart Motorways

Smart Motorways