New driving laws: Mobile phone clampdown among seven likely to be introduced this year

Drivers are facing a clampdown on mobile phone usage and new purchase tax amid a raft of new motoring laws expected to be introduced this year.

A number of changes have already come into place since the start of 2021, including the end of the MOT extension brought about due to the pandemic.

But also, due to Brexit, extra documentation is needed as well as a car insurance green card when driving in the EU.

And there are a flurry of potential further changes and proposals afoot and it’s important for road users to know what to expect, reports the Daily Star.

Some of these possible law changes could even hit your bank balance if you’re not too careful.

Below are seven things for drivers to look out for.

What do you think of the new driving laws which may be coming this year? Let us know what you think in the comments below

Police officer speaks to motorist
Drivers could face fines if they fall foul of a raft of new rules which may be on their way

Purchase tax

In order to make streets more eco-friendly, a new purchase tax has been proposed by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).

It will be aimed at petrol and diesel car owners to make environmentally-friendly vehicles more affordable.

The changes haven’t been confirmed, but more information is expected soon.

Mobile phone ban

Strict new rules will come into place aimed at mobile phone users behind the wheel.

Drivers could risk a £200 fine and six penalty points for holding their phone while driving.

The new ban replaces a loophole which allowed people to take photos and videos while driving without being penalised.

This is due to be introduced in the coming months after a consultation period ended on January 17.

Fuel duty freeze

This will once again be frozen for the new tax year, keeping at the same rate for a 10th year in a row.

Fuel duty is a tax currently stands at 57.95p per litre of petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak faced calls in the run-up to the spring Budget to freeze or cut the tax.

A car being refuelled at a petrol station
Fuel duty will once again be frozen for the new tax year

Local clean air zones

This year, a number of cities will begin charging drivers to commute around an area to decrease the amount of pollution.

Motorists in several outer London boroughs, Bath and Birmingham are bringing in a daily charge of between £8 and £100.

It’s important to check your local area to see if these clean air zones will impact your daily commute.

Bath has a Class C Clean Air Zone, while Birmingham will launch a Class D zone on June 1.

More cities will implement similar measures later in 2021 and 2022.

Driving lessons and tests

If you’re learning to drive, you could begin lessons again from April 12.

Millions of Brits had to halt their plans of learning to drive due to the third lockdown.

But if you want to take a practical driving test, you will have to wait a little while longer.

These tests are expected to resume on April 22 at the earliest.

Two people reaching an agreement about a car sale
Motoring changes have already come in thick and fast this year

“Driverless” cars

Cars could come with new technology that help them drive automatically.

Some can already detect lanes, but the Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) Regulation would allow cars to take over control.

When activated, ALKS keeps a vehicle within its lane and controls its movements for extended periods of time.

But unlike driverless cars, the motorist must be ready and able to resume control when prompted by the vehicle.

Payment parking ban

Ministers are considering whether to extend London’s ban on pavements to the rest of the UK.

If it does come into effect, rule-breakers could face hefty £70 fines.

It is not known when or if the rules will come into place but the Department for Transport (DfT) said it could be soon.