Motorists warned of Highway Code rules amid EV ownership changes
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Motoring experts at LeaseElectricCar.co.uk have researched the several changes that the DVLA made to road laws in the UK in 2022. Amendments to the law also applied to vehicle infrastructure as the UK increased its EV ownership in 2022.
An electric vehicle was recently named the second best-selling car in the country and the Government implemented new infrastructure laws to help new and existing EV owners.
All newly built homes and buildings are now required to have an electric car charge point installed.
The Highway Code also makes it clear that drivers caught using or even holding their phones will receive a fine of up to £200 and six points on their licence.
The hierarchy of road users was also introduced, as pedestrians will now always have right of way, putting the greatest responsibility onto drivers of large vehicles.
Tim Alcock from LeaseElectricCar.co.uk said: “There is no excuse for any of us drivers not to know any changes and amendments, however minor they are, to the Highway Code.
“You need to stay up to date with the latest laws on the road to avoid hefty fines and penalty points – if you are caught just holding your phone you could face a £200 fine and six points.
“One of the most important laws is the introduction of rules H1, H2, and H3 which ensures that pedestrians always have right of way when crossing at junctions and in slow moving traffic, and how drivers of larger vehicles now bear the most responsibility.
“Implementing these law changes will help to protect the more vulnerable road users, like pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
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“Law changes also apply for infrastructure – the rise of electric vehicles in the UK over the past year has been reflected in the rule book too.
“New homes and buildings now need to come with EV charging points.
“The best thing drivers can do going into 2023 is to review and keep in mind these changes that have happened in the past year to avoid those big penalties as we go into 2023, when no doubt there will be more adjustments made to the Highway Code.”
One of the most interesting changes to the Highway Code in 2022 was Rule H1 – which puts the greatest responsibility for any accidents, onto drivers of large vehicles.
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Doing so helps protect more vulnerable road users, like cyclists and pedestrians, the experts added.
The Highway Code states that motorists who are in control of a vehicle that will cause the greatest harm in a collision bear the greatest responsibility of driving safely to protect road users who are more at risk.
The H1 rule also states how cyclists and horse riders must ensure they are accommodating and wary of pedestrians.
Rule H2 in the Highway Code makes it clear pedestrians now always have the right of way on a road drivers are turning into.
Previously the vehicle had the right of way, but now drivers must wait for the pedestrian to cross before continuing – this applies when turning into a road as well as someone crossing in slow-moving traffic.
Rule H3 tells drivers and motorbike users when they are turning – priority should be given first and foremost to cyclists and horse riders.
Drivers should no longer cut across more vulnerable road users who are continuing ahead when the motorist is changing directions or lanes and turning into or out of junctions.
Essentially vehicles need to avoid turning if there is a cyclist or horse using the road on the approach to the junction, so the vulnerable users do not need to stop or swerve.
Other than the priorities of road users made more clear under the 2022 changes to the Highway Code, new laws are also to do with vehicle infrastructure.
From 2022 onwards, every single new home built in the UK is now required to have EV charging points installed.
This change in law comes after the government announced the ban on petrol and diesel car sales from 2030, making it easier for Brits to charge their electric vehicles.
The law on installing charge points also applies to new-build supermarkets, workplaces, and other buildings undergoing large renovations.
The Highway Code also amended the law on mobile phone usage for motorists.
Since the law changed in March 2022, it is now completely illegal for those who are driving to hold or use their mobile phones, sat navs, tablets and any other devices that can send and receive data.
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