Are you aware of the changes to driving laws in 2015?

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New regulations this year have already changed driving licences, drug-drive limits, speed limits and much more – make sure you’re not caught out.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is warning people to be ready for a host of changes coming up in driving laws in the UK – and fear many are totally unaware of what is in store in 2015.

New regulations that have changed driving licences, drug-drive limits and speed limits have already taken place in 2015. There are, however, other changes expected to take place later in the year.

For motorists oblivious to these changes, the IAM is raising awareness to ensure all road users understand the new driving laws and changes.

In March, a new law on driving under the influence of legal or illegal drugs including cannabis and cocaine and prescription drugs including diazepam, methadone and morphine came into force across England and Wales.

Motorists convicted of drug-driving will get a minimum one-year driving ban, unlimited fine, up to six months imprisonment and a criminal record.

In April, the speed limit for the largest heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) travelling on a single carriageway across England and Wales increased from 40mph to 50mph, and on a dual carriageway it has increased from 50mph to 60mph.

Changes to driving laws and other-related procedural changes have also come into force this year to take advantage of the internet, increase convenience and save time on administration.

From the Government’s launch of the ‘Make a Plea’ service in March, which enables motorists charged with minor motoring offences including speeding, failing to identify the driver or using a vehicle without insurance to respond to the charges made against them digitally, to the scrapping of the the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) paper counterpart of the photo card on June 8, in which all driver information such as endorsements and which category of vehicles you are entitled to drive is stored electronically – the changes have allowed motorists to access information remotely.

Important changes have also come into force with how motorists provide proof of their driving records to a third party and will need to obtain a special code from online to allow sharing of data.

A new scheme in London will be introduced later this year on September 1 that ensures all lorries and construction vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are fitted with basic safety equipment.

The Safer Lorry Scheme, which will be enforced by the Metropolitan Police, City of London Police and the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency, will aim to tackle the number of fatal collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians.

Upcoming changes to driving laws will also see smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 18 becoming illegal from October 1. Potential fines and penalties are expected to be announced closer to the time.

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: “This year has seen some of the biggest changes in motoring procedures we have ever seen.

“It is very important drivers and riders are fully up-to-date on what is happening – they will affect everyone in one way or another. So don’t get caught out, get informed.”

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