As we draw to the end of a chaotic and very disrupted year, there are a few noteable items to bear in mind! We scour the news so you don't have to!
Highway Code changes coming up in January
Following a consultation on the Highway Code, major changes have been put forward. These are coming into force on January 21st. The following are the main points:
Hierarchy: larger vehicles now have a duty to protect the safety of smaller ones (ie. more vulnerable road users). This means lorry/bus and coach drivers bear the most responsibility.
Junctions: Drivers are to give way to pedestrians crossing on the road they are joining. Also, vehicles on the road cannot cause cyclists to swerve or stop as a result of turning; the driver has to indicate and wait on the road for cyclists to pass before turning.
General driving: Drivers must leave a gap of at least 1.5m at 30mph. and more if the speed is higher. If overtaking pedestrians or horses, this minimum distance is 2m.
Advanced Stop Lines: Drivers must not encroach on the boxes at junctions for cyclists (fines given) and cyclists must not go ahead of the second stop line.
Roundabout: Cyclists have priority and drivers are to follow (not overtake within the lane).
Cyclists should wear high vis vests and helmets, and have a bell on the bike (all not compulsory). They should pass to the left of stationary vehicles on the road and leave a gap of 1m if cycling past parked vehicles. Cyclists are now advised to cycle in the middle of the lane if it is a quiet road and pull over to the left side if traffic catches up. On busier roads, cyclists are to cycle at least 0.5m from the side of the road.
Driving Licence changes
As from December 16th, anyone who passed their car driving test after 1997 can now tow trailers up to 3500kg (dependent on the towing capabilities of the vehicle). Those who passed before 1997 are unaffected.
ADR training can still be delivered remotely
This special rule appeared during the pandemic, and will continue up to June this coming year. Check out our ADR courses - get trained up! £600 for the full course, £550 excluding tanks. If the course is a remote one, the training is over Zoom with the exams in Bridlington.
Temporary relaxation of enforcement of EU driving hours regulations
This exemption continues until 9th January, and most likely will be extended. What does it involve?
Drivers can opt between these rules (but not both):
Four 10 hour driving days per week as opposed to the normal two.
Two reduced weekly rests of 24 hours can be taken back to back, and 99 hours fortnightly drive, provided the following two weekly rest periods are at least 45 hours. The owed time must be paid back on the weekly rests, not daily ones. Owed time can be split over these two regular 45 hour rests.
The exemption only applies if it doesn't negatively affect the public, it must directly solve supply issues otherwise unsolvable and as long as driver safety is not compromised.
Drivers cannot use this relaxation unless the company has applied for permission.
Driving test changes
Drivers applying for a lorry driving licence can now go straight to category C+E rather than going through Class 2 beforehand.
The practical driving test is split into CPC Modules 3a and 3b. It is possible now to pass the reversing / unhitch and hitch manoeuvre with an accredited training centre before attending the on the road practical test.
As we draw to the end of a chaotic and very disrupted year, there are a few notable items to bear in mind! We scour the news so you don't have to!