UK drivers should be aware that from June 1, changes are being made to current driving laws. It’s important that you familiarise yourself with them and any that may directly affect you in order to avoid any penalties. Not knowing the law is not a defence accepted by the police, so the onus is on you to ensure you fully understand all driving laws.
Glasgow’s New Low Emission Zone
The LEZ has been a feature for many cities around the UK, but on the 1st of June 2023, a new low-emission zone starts in Glasgow. This means anyone driving a vehicle into the city centre that is diesel or petrol will be fined as the city attempts to bring down emissions. If vehicles meet the emissions standards, they will be acceptable, but if they do not from the start of June, there will be a penalty charge for anyone driving into the city centre.
Full standards are available, but basically, if you have a diesel vehicle that was first registered in September 2015, or later, or a petrol vehicle that was registered in 2006 or later, then your vehicle meets the emissions standards, and you will not be charged. This not only applies to Glasgow's LEZ, but similar schemes in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.
Vehicles that do not meet the standards will receive an initial fine of £60. The first time they enter the LEZ, this will then double every time the offence is committed until the maximum fine of four £80 for cars and light goods vehicles and £960 for HGVs and buses. This, of course, could get really expensive very quickly. However, the city convener for climate and transport, counsellor, Angus Miller, said, “This is an important milestone for the city in its mission to reduce air pollution rates.”
He went on to speak about the fact that the health of local people in Glasgow is being damaged because the air quality is so poor, and this has a contributory effect on health inequalities in the city, negatively impacting those who are most vulnerable. At the moment, it is estimated at 90% of vehicles that enter the city centre, meet the current standards so will not be affected by the change. The changes and introduction of the LEZ are designed to remove the hype, polluting vehicles that add excessive harmful concentrations of emissions, causing air pollution.
MOT Changes Consultation
The first MOT date has been up for debate for a while now by the Department of Transport. They are considering moving it from three years after registration to four. In January, this was put out to public consultation to see what the general opinion was. The reason for the delay would be to try and save money for motorists and given the number of new cars it could be worth £100 million overall. The consultation came to an end in March, and it is now expected that the Department for Transport will publish a decision and findings in late June.