Here, Wasim Bux from insurance provider iGO4 tells plumbers about the new driving laws that all van drivers need to know in 2019.
When your livelihood depends on your van, you need to be familiar with any new driving laws. In this article, I’ll be outlining the main changes you need to know for 2019.
Smart motorway closures
Smart motorways are designed to adapt to conditions on the road as they happen, warning drivers of speed limits or hazards. But, some drivers are still ignoring the warnings, driving on closed lanes and causing danger to broken down vehicles and recovery teams. If you’re caught driving your van through one of these lanes, you could face a fine of up to £100 and three points on your licence.
New MOT tests and classifications for your van
As of May 2018, new MOT tests and categories have been introduced, which is something you should bear in mind if your van is due in for a test any time soon. Vehicles will now be classed as dangerous, major, minor, or pass. A major or dangerous classification is a fail and you will be expected to get any faults repaired immediately.
The MOT examiner will now also check tyre pressure, brake fluid, brake pads, reversing lights, headlight washers, and daytime running lights. The government will also be cracking down on emissions, meaning cars with a diesel particulate filer (DPF) will get a major fault if there’s smoke coming from the exhaust or the DPF has been tampered with. You can check the owner’s manual if you’re unsure if your diesel van has a DPF.
Learner drivers on motorways
From June 2018, new driving laws have allowed learner drivers on motorways when accompanied by an instructor. This means that you’re going to need to take care on these roads when driving to and from a job. It’s recommended that you exercise patience and keep a safe distance — about three seconds —from the learner car in front, increasing this distance in wet or icy conditions.
Changes to the Highway Code
In 2019, expect to see updates to the Highway Code to protect cyclists and pedestrians. You should leave a 1.5m gap between your van and a cyclist when overtaking. Get too close and you could be risking a £100 fine.
The government is also urging drivers to use the ‘Dutch reach’, which asks drivers to open vehicle doors with the hand that’s furthest away from it. This forces the driver to look behind them for cyclists and pedestrians before opening their door.
Keep up to date with these new driving laws to keep yourself, the public, and your job safe. See iGO4 for a van insurance quote.