Law changes that van drivers need to know

Law changes that van drivers need to know

With new driving laws being introduced all the time, how can you keep up with them all? 

We spoke to Wasim Bux from van insurance provider iGO4, who’s kept us in the loop of the new 2019 rules that van drivers need to know about.

New driving laws come into play very frequently, but how do you know which ones are the most relevant to you? Being a tradesperson, your van is one of the most important things to help keep you on schedule, which means that you’ll also need to follow the necessary driving laws to keep you out of any trouble. In this article, I’ll be highlighting all the driving laws that will be introduced this year that van drivers need to know about.

Changes to the Highway Code
Many have argued that the Highway Code doesn’t offer enough advice when it comes to protecting cyclists and pedestrians, so it comes as no surprise that changes have been made to make it clearer. It is now recommended that drivers keep a 1.5m gap between their vehicle and a cyclist. Get caught veering too close and you can risk a £100 fine and prosecution for driving without due care and attention.

The Highway Code will also urge drivers and passengers to use the ‘Dutch reach’, which asks you to open doors with the hand that’s furthest away from the door – so drivers in the UK will open it with their left hand. This forces you to look behind you before opening the door, which means you’ll automatically be checking to see if there’s anything coming your way. While this isn’t actually a law, it’s going to be encouraged as another part of the effort to protect road cyclists and pedestrians.

Learner drivers can use the motorway
Towards the end of last year, it was announced that learner drivers would be allowed to drive on motorways when accompanied by an instructor. While this might not seem all that relevant to you, it does mean that, while you’re out in your van, you need to keep an eye out for learners and drive with patience and care. It’s suggested that you keep a safe distance (at least three seconds) behind the learner vehicle in front and increase this distance even more in wet or icy weather.

Fines for ignoring smart motorway closures
The installation of smart motorways is a great way to automatically control traffic and road closures, but a lot of drivers are still ignoring the red X and driving on closed roads. You might be in a rush to get to your next job and decide to drive along the empty closed road to get there quicker, but this puts other people at risk – especially road workers, breakdown teams, and emergency services. Drivers who choose to ignore road closed signs may be expected to pay a £100 fine and face up to three points on their licence. It’s expected that roadside cameras will be installed this year to catch those breaking the law on smart motorways.

It’s important that we keep updated with any new driving laws being implemented in the UK in order to keep ourselves and other people safe. Make sure that you’re following these new rules to avoid heavy fines or a much bigger consequence.

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