Has Diesel's Time Run Out?

With more than 48 million drivers registered with DVLA and change to motoring laws always has huge impacts so it’s always important to keep up to date.

In 2019 several new laws will be introduced including fines for overtaking cyclists and a clampdown on newly qualified drivers. However, are these laws just more of the same and ultimately going to have little effect on the number of crashes on UK roads. Decide for yourself by reading the proposed changes below.


Overtaking Cyclists –

Following law changes in March, motorists could be fined for not leaving enough space (1.5M) between a vehicle and a bike. Failure to do so could land you with a £100 fine and three points on your licence. Police forces across the country are being encouraged to penalise those who drive dangerously close to cyclists.


Learners on Motorways –

Previously motorists were only allowed on the motorway once they had passed their full driving test. However, they are now allowed to get on the country’s largest and busiest roads as part of their lessons, as long as they have a qualified instructor who has dual controls in the car. It is important to note that it is not yet compulsory.

MOT Rules –

There are new categories for defects with cars which drivers will have to understand, which are:

  • Dangerous – Direct risk to road safety or the environment. Results in a Fail.
  • Major – Could affect safety or the environment. Results in a Fail.
  • Minor – No effect on safety, but should be repaired as soon as possible.
  • Advisory – Could have an effect in future.
  • Pass – Meets the current legal standards.

A variety of new requirements are also being included in the MOT for the first time which include:

  • Underinflated tyres
  • Contaminated brake fluid
  • Brake pad warning lights and missing brake pads or disks
  • Reversing lights for post 2009 vehicles
  • Daytime running lights for vehicles newer than March 2018

Diesel Car Tax Increasing

Instead of being fixed at £140 per year, VED rates will now be calculated based on the car’s carbon dioxide emissions.

The highest raise of first-year tax is £500, for cars which emit between 191 and 225g of CO per year. However, those which emit the more environmentally-friendly 111 to 130g/km will only see their tax go up by £40.


Newly Qualified Drivers

Recently qualified drivers could also face changes once they have passed, with the government even considering bringing in a graduated driving licence. Currently, new drivers who have been behind the wheel for less than two years face stronger penalties for offences like using a mobile phone. However, a whole range of restrictions could also be imposed. A pilot scheme for graduated licences will be tested in Northern Ireland from 2019 to 2020. This could lead to it being rolled out in England if successful.

The RAC believes these restrictions are likely to focus on:

  • Curfews –
  • Passengers numbers
  • Reduced speed limits compared to other drivers
  • Engine sizes limits
  • Mandatory P plates
  • Lower alcohol limits than the wider population

Smart Motorways

The government is considering fines of up to £100 for motorists who drive on lanes which have been closed on a smart motorway. These lanes are shown by red Xs on automated signs above the motorway and are used when there is a blockage or accident to prevent further incidents. Any drivers who ignore the signs in future to take advantage of a clear lane could face fines.

The government is expected to announce that offenders will face £100 fines and three points on their licence. It is believed they will be modifying roadside cameras to help identify drivers who violate these restrictions.