Driving Laws That Are Different for Younger Drivers
Driving is great, especially if you’re a new driver who is just getting to grips with the thrill of driving. Of course, everyone wants to obey the rules so you don’t have your licence taken away or have any pricey fines to pay. For young and new drivers, there are a few laws which are different to older, more experienced drivers. You should really know about them, so read on!
This is going to cover:
- The amount of points that will get your licence revoked
- Speed Awareness Courses
- Hiring a car in the UK and driving abroad
- Potential new laws coming into place
Points on your licence
Firstly, to have you licence taken away, normally you would need 12 or more points on your licence. Well, if you are in your first 2 years of driving, then it will take only 6 points. So be extra careful if you’re just starting out!
One of the main laws that catches out a lot of people, especially younger drivers, is using your mobile phone. Although the fine is 6 points no matter what your age or experience, it’s one to take note of because 6 points will get your licence revoked if this is within your first 2 years of driving like I mentioned earlier. You are however allowed to use your phone’s navigation apps if the device is in a holdall. You must not be carrying the phone in your hand.
If you do get 6 points on your licence and it is revoked for whatever reason. You will have to pay and re-take the theory and practical tests. There is no time restriction for this, so if you did have your licence revoked, you could pay and retake the theory test as well as the practical test as soon as you feel ready. Although its best to take into account that if you lost your licence for something like speeding, it’s probably best to retake some driving lessons to learn about how you can stick to the speed limits better. These points will stay on your licence for 3 years from the date of the offence, even if you took your test again and have a new licence. You will then be allowed up to 12 points on your licence after the offence, but take into account you will already have 6 on there. It's still best to keep those points as low as possible though!
Getting 6 points on your licence will get it revoked
This means getting caught using your phone whilst driving once will result in you having to re-take your driving test if you are within your first 2 years of driving
If your licence does not get revoked and you end up going to court for the offence, the court can give you a fine or a ban from driving for a varied time limit, depending on the offence. Having a driving ban or disqualification is of course different to having your licence revoked as you can not re-apply for your licence whenever you like.
Speed Awareness Courses
Getting caught speeding is obviously never a good thing. If you get caught doing 35mph in a 30mph zone, you may not actually get points on your licence. This will of course depend on the situation; however, you may get offered a speed awareness course. This means you can take this course instead of getting points. Keep in mind though that if the situation is bad then you can get points on your licence or a fine as well. You will not be offered a speed awareness course if you’ve already done one within the last 3 years.
Driving too slowly is also an offense. You can get penalty points as well as a fine for going too slowly if it is dangerous. Whether you’re looking at the scenery or just trying to be extra safe, remember the speed limits are there for a reason. The same goes for the opposite, obviously if you’re going too fast, you could be fined or get points on your licence. Don’t forget if you can’t remember the speed limit of a road which has street lights, its best to stick to 30mph unless clearly instructed of a different speed limit. Some speed limit signs are painted onto the floor as well as signs on the side of the road, so it’s hard to miss them! Have a look at all driving laws and penalties here, this includes young and new drivers.
Driving abroad and hiring a car
Moving onto something completely different and much more upbeat and happy, if you’re looking to drive internationally, on a holiday for example, you must be over 18. Some countries have different laws; however, this is the general age. You must also have a permit which allows this, which costs £5.50. You’ll need to check the age for driving in where you’re going before, just in case. Driving abroad is different to hiring a car, whether this be within the UK or abroad.
Potential new laws
There has been talk of new drivers, or learner drivers, having a curfew where they are not allowed to drive during certain hours of the night, however there has been no definite laws put in place in the UK as of April 2018. This was a suggestion because 1 in 4 young drivers are involved in an accident in their first 2 years of driving. The first year is when drivers are most at risk. Here is what was talked about.
Laws you may not know
There are also some laws which are the same for everyone in the UK, which you may not have known about. Using your phone to pay for a meal at a drive through. Even though your car is stationary, this still counts as using your phone behind the wheel, so just use your contactless card or cash instead! This could land you the same penalty as if you were caught texting behind the wheel whilst driving along a road.
If you are yet to buy your first car, we wrote a blog with some advice on what you should be looking for depending on whether you want a new or used car. Your budget will also be one to consider. Read it here…
Did you know all of these laws? Let us know in the comments…
The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.