March 20th, 2020 at 6:54 am
There is an ongoing pressure that internationally grows on governments that will enforce harsher legalisation on motorists, this is to ensure that they can reach the green carbon target that has been set. There is also a corresponding revolution continuously to improve artificial intelligence within cars. Ever growing technology that revolutionises the whole experience of driving is coupled with the improvements within hybrid and electric vehicles. The next decade is sure to hold a substantial amount of improvement within the motoring sector, and a total transformation is likely to be seen that lawmakers will need to stay one step ahead of. Here are some developments that motorists should definitely be made aware of in the years to come.
Government bodies are ardent to enact laws for the age group that are most vulnerable and are also discussing the idea for a certified driving licence. This will essentially place restrictions on newer drivers for a period of time after they began to drive. These may include :
- Restraints on driving at night or driving when it’s dark, however, this can be fairly early in winter months. Those insurers that offer Black Box schemes have already imposed the curfew on newer drivers. This was due to a high majority of accidents occurring at night. Those in government are now thinking of expanding these laws to new motorists, keeping them only on the road when there is daylight for a period of time, not yet specified, after passing their tests.
- Limits on the number of passengers, with possible restrictions of the age the passenger must be. This is to avoid larger groups of younger people within one car.
- ‘P’ plates may be made mandatory for at least two years for new drivers after passing the test.
- Speed limits specified for age groups
- Engine size limits
Alcohol limits to be lower than the legal level they are currently at
Intelligent Speed Assist
Newer cars have incorporated Speed Assist Technology. This reminds you when there is a change of speed limits on the road when you’re passing a sign with the speed displayed on it. EU regulations show that Intelligent Speed Assist is an element that will be required in new built cars as of 2022 for road saftey. Cameras can already incorporate the signs however this newer technology will place a limit on engine power meaning you cannot physically pass the limit.
Those in government have decided to endorse the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) which have a six-level automation, this ranges from 0 with no automation, up 5to 5 which has full automation. Essentially, this will be a self-driving car. Many car manufacturers are working around this technology and are choosing specific features that they can incorporate within their models whilst remaining safe. Innovations of this include :
- Cameras for reversing
- Internalised warning systems that alert drivers who appear distracted or drowsy
- When in lane on the motorway or dual carriageway, assistance will allow you to stay in the best and correct lane
(L)ow (E)mission (Z)one Regulations
In April 2019, London introduced the new Ultra Low Emission Zone or ULEZ in the centre of the city which will then be accepted to inner London by 2021. Birmingham in 2020, is set to propose a scheme of a similar type alongside some other cities including Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, Edinburgh and Cambridge. Any vehicles that drive inside the ULEZ zone will pay a toll or tax – £12.50 for cars and most other vehicles, up to around £100 for smaller lorries and HGVs. This is only if they fail to meet the new clean emission needs, making older make cars and other diesel cars a particular target.
(V)ehicle (E)xcise (D)uty Tax Changes
VED, for a lot of years, has remained relatively static but in April 2019, changes began to happen as VED became linked to RPI or the Retail Prices Index. Now, it will increase yearly corresponding with inflation. Only entirely electric cars will be exempt. Clearly, polluting vehicles will be made to suffer most in a scheme to deter older and diesel vehicles from driving on roads. Although new cars are the least polluting, buyers of these vehicles will have an additional one year payment – one off fee of £65.
With Brexit now having taken place, there is likely to be a heavy impact on Brits driving when in Europe. UK driving licenses will have no value for motorists, meaning a purchase of an international permit will be necessary, costing £5.50. However, as yet, it’s unknown what the true impact will be. A green card will be issued for a caravan, trailer or car by motor insurers.
Cyclists – A Vulnerable Group
Of all groups on the road, cyclists are most vulnerable to accidents. New laws are looking to allow cyclists more definite priority. 101 cyclists in 2017 alone were known to be killed by road traffic in the UK. The rules about drivers and cyclists are vague in the Highway Code, although campaigns think there should be tenets that are enshrined within law. As an example, drivers should give way to pedestrians and cyclists on left turns. Another focus is on a campaign called, ‘Dutch reach’ when opening the door of a car. This means that accessing the door of the car with the opposite hand instead of the closest hand to the door, and this restricts how much the door can swing open. This allows more reaction time for pedestrians and cyclists passing by. The theory behind this is that the partial turn of the upper portion of the body when opening with the opposite hand allows better vision in the mirror and even more clearance to know it is safe to open the car door.