posted 4 years ago

Legal Update: Driving in 2015

Changes to motoring legislation in 2015

January 2015

Patriotic Driving Licences

The Union Flag will be displayed on driving licences issued after January 1, 2015. The changes will apply to motorists in England, Scotland and Wales and is designed to provide road users with a symbolic sign of their national identity.

Driverless Cars

Another new law introduced in January 2015 allows the operation of driverless cars on UK roads for the first time. The areas selected by the Government for trials are Bristol, the London borough of Greenwich, and Milton Keynes and Coventry, which are working together on one project.


From 2015, medical staff treating patients on the move are now exempt from seatbelt laws introduced in 1993 if they are “providing medical attention or treatment to a patient which due to its nature or the medical situation of the patient cannot be delayed”.

Work Can “Benefit In Kind”

The “benefit in kind” to someone who is able to use their work’s van for personal use has now increased to £3,150 for Income Tax purposes.

March 2015

Drug Driving

A new law on driving under the influence of certain drugs, including some common medicines, will come into force on 2 March 2015.

The law states that it is an offence to drive with certain drugs above specified limits in your system, even if your driving ability is not impaired.

There are, however, medical defences for people caught driving under the influence of properly prescribed drugs.

The new law mainly relates to prescription medications that are sometimes abused, such as medicines used to treat extreme pain, drug addiction and multiple sclerosis.

June 2015

Paper Driving Licence

From 8 June 2015, the photocard licence counterpart will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA.

Endorsements and penalty points will instead be recorded on DVLA’s driver record.

Entitlements/penalty points and the status of your driving licence won’t change.

October 2015  

Smoking In Cars

Smoking in cars carrying children will become illegal from 1 October 2015.

The measure will criminalise smoking by parents, carers or other adults in a car carrying anyone under the age of 18.

The punishment is expected to range from a £60 fine or points on a motorist’s licence to as much as £10,000 for drivers who fail to stop passengers smoking in a vehicle carrying a child.

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*What new law would you introduce in 2015? Let us know


I would reduce speeds on all roads that's what causes loss of life and horror smashes and it seldom get the blame

Make it illegal for drivers of cars to do less than 55mph on the Motorway as they cause most of the accidents, this is due to heavy lorries having to pull out to overtake them which causes other vehicles to move over. They also cause congestion as the more slower lorries go into the middle lane which slows up other traffic and causing queues and sometimes having the cars using drastic action to avoid crashing, as slowing down from 70 plus miles an hour down to 56 mph within a space of only a few yards.

Retesting of elderly drivers is long overdue. If they are not capable of simple manouvers, parking or going over 20mph... they should not be on the road.

The mobile comments previously mention it is already against the law to use a mobile phone including with hands free, Bluetooth ect it carrys a fine upto a £1000 and points but sadly I do think it should tougher and policed more. I would like driving tests to emphasis more on the characteristics of Hgv vehicles and do a separate test for motorway driving

The law that I would introduce with immediate effect would be... Banning the use of a Mobile Phone by the driver of any vehicle... while the engine is running. This Law would take effect A.S.A.P! This should be backed up with an instant 30 Day driving Ban! Further more, for repeat offenders a further 3 months ban should be added on, every time they are caught! Example... 1st time caught 3 month Ban... 2nd time caught 6 month ban, and so on! I would bring this Law into force simply because Accidents caused by the use of mobile phones have far surpassed the number of accidents caused by drink-driving...!!! It is sad however... that we, as human beings; have to be forced to stop doing something that could easily kill ourselves, or kill or injure other people? Lets face it... is your life; or that of another only worth a FREE text or a 20 pence phone call. Please drive safe your family are expecting you to come home...???

Re: Ban on smoking in car - Here's a brain teaser... What about a seventeen year old driver in a vehicle with several friends 16/17 years old and all smoking?? The youngsters are old enough to smoke and the driver is not yet considered an adult to enable prosecution!

New driving laws should be introduced, that bans any use of a mobile phone whilst in a moving vehicle, also that newly qualified drivers, should be limited to low BHP vehicles with a top speed of 65 MPH for at least 2 years, unless they also take on the Advanced drivig course & pass it !

I agree with Steve on restricting new drivers which would be similar to the motorcycle restrictions.I also think new young drivers should have to retake their test if they have more than 2 accidents in the first two years of driving.

Do not allow ALL new drivers in a car over 1400cc or 90bhp for 2 years or 5 years after penalty points or accident.

I agree with all of these points. Smoking should be banned everywhere as soon as possible.

why is Northern Ireland not included on the new driving licence,we have our own identity as well,anothern government cope out.

I would simply ban Smoking all together, eating is illegal,smoking should be too. Drop a sandwich, no bother, drop a cigarette or a light is dangerous

I agree with most of the comments on here so will add a few not mentioned: 1. Ban the new crazy idea that automatic driving lights only need to work on the front of cars leaving many idiots with no rear lights on in poor conditions. I've advised many such drivers and they were all oblivious. 2. Ban pin-prick parking lights (Range Rover drivers seem to think they are good enough in fog) 2. I would remove the driving licence from all people who cannot spell 'licence' - about a third of those on this forum would be banned!

scrap car tax and put the cost onto fuel so that those who use the most pay the most.

People should not smoke in any vehicles for so many reasons. The police will not be able to enforce it.

did you know you dont have to read or speak english. to pass your test in england.

I welcome the new law on smoking in cars, but its easy for me because I am a non smoker. what I want to know how the police with all due respect are go to in force it... or is it going to fall by the way side like the on mobile phones imposable to enforce....

Ben Cohen Commented: With regards to the smoking law; First of all I thought this was a free country not a dictatorship?! With the greatest respect Ben you appear to be naive in the extreme with that comment. The law says you cannot commit murder so does that make it a 'dictatorship' ?

Regards smoking and minors, what is the legal position if it is an under 18 year old smoking in the car?

I don't know how this could be done or legislated for but, it should not be possible for a foreign driver of a HGV to drive in this country if they cannot read well enough to understand English road signs. Also think it would be a good idea to introduce a standard international system of symbolic road signs?

Forget the 'smoking in cars with children aboard' just ban smoking - my last comments refer, it's potentially just as dangerous as using a mobile - which still goes on, everywhere.

New Law: make it legal to turn left through a red traffic light (with appropriate care of course !)

Why can't some of the road tax be used to paint the change of speed zones in large numbers on the road that glows slightly when light hits it, making it clear that you have entered a new speed zone and repeated 150/200 metres further along smaller especially 30 zones?

Driving on side lights should be banned in inclement weather and poor light. Also people who do not indicate when turning should be stopped and given a warning,3 times and then your booked. and your

ALL parking on pavements and paths should be banned in WHOLE of UK unless signs say you can.

It is already an offence to drive on foglights except in fog or falling snow. We seem to have one or the other every night in Liverpool!

Cars whose dipped head lights have one that is shinning in your face so it looks like it is full beam, should be stopped by police and made to have an MOT and produce it to the station to show it has been corrected

I would stop idiots who drive with fog lights on when they aren't required, ie. at night, especially when used with side lights.

ban smoking in cars altogether and allow undertaking. Too many people hogging outside lane on dual carriageways because they are turning right at a roundabout one mile along the road

It should be illegal to drive just on side lights. If it's sufficiently dark to need lights then side lights are insufficient. New cars should automatically go to dipped beam if the engine is running.

I'd like to see that all changes in road speed limits have to be published throughout the borough/district to which they apply and any neighbouring boroughs or districts and that there is a right of appeal against the proposed limit. Far too often these days inappropriate new lower speeds limits are brought into force in such a way as it's impossible to intervene when they are advertised.

Like some of your other respondents I do not wish to have the Union Flag on my driving license. These days I am not proud to be 'British'. Surely it would be possible to have a choice of flag, English, Scottish etc. After all each license has to have the individual's photo and info, it wouldn't take much to offer the choice of a flag.

Remove speed limiters from HGV's so they don't take 20 miles on a dual carriageway to overtake each other-it works in USA. Allow undertaking-it works in the USA, Switch of average speed cameras in road works when no work is taking place (most of the time) up the national speed limit to 85 mph & e slip road/ motorway junction speed to 60mph minimum, forget bringing in all these laws that cannot be properly policed, We are supposed to be a democracy, not a communist country run by "He who knows best"!

Driving with day time running lights is stupid...driving in day light with dipped headlights is barking mad.If you can't see a vehicle then you need glasses,if you wear glasses then and still can't see you should not be on the road.Lights during day time draw your attention and with so many lights of different designs your focus is shifted from the road to these lights,it's curiosity that makes us look too long.I would ban these lights immediately.A test every 10 year is worse than lights,yes I know there are a lot of careless motorists out there, retesting them after 10 year will not improve their driving any.I would suggest a part of the driving test should be compulsory viewing of road accidents for at least an hour then answer questions on paper as to the causes and effects these accidents could have been avoided.

Make driving a privilege not a right

I would impose a fine for improper use of rear fog lights There is a legal seeing distance when they can be used but people use them when you can see but it's raining Also the use of dipped headlight sould be policed not just side lights

Reference driving in Spain, I hired a car there 3 months ago and they just took my licence number and ran it through the computer. They have the internet there you know.They do that anyway as paper parts can be forged, would you believe...

I would introduce a flat rate fee for all cars/vans/and heavy goods which travel to this country . The rate in my opinion should be £20.00 every time they enter this country.after all the driversdo contribute to the bad state of our roads.and another thing we pay if we travel to certain areas of the EU2138

It's already illegal to eat or drink whilst driving. Is smoking any less distracting?

With regards to the smoking law; First of all I thought this was a free country not a dictatorship?! Secondly how do they plan on policing this as people still use their mobiles yet that''s illegal I understand about the fact of second hand smoke but you can smoke at home & children can be surrounded by it, mind they'll make that illegal too soon

I would make it illegal to sit with your foot on the brake at junctions and traffic lights. I'm fed up with being blinded by modern high up brake lights when the driver in the car in front does this :D

Smoking should b banned totally in all vehicles

Responding to Andy McClelland & Michael Farrell's points - I have been asked for both parts of my driving license while hiring a car in Spain. I had to demonstrate a clean, pointless license.

I would criminalise all smoking & use of (non hands free) mobile phones, both enforced with a three month ban. I would also use the motorway cameras to spot drivers sat in the overtaking lanes when the first lane is blatantly empty, (e.g. 100m in front & behind) & do fine, bigger fine, 3 month ban for repeated offenders.

The paper counterpart for the driving licence abolished not before time one less item as a professional lorry driver I am forced too carry at all times while driving any vehicle any use (five cards in total) thanks for that. As for smoking should be banned totally any vehicle any time as a confined space can present many dangers again as a lorry driver already illegal to smoke in the cab as this is my place of work

Clarification is required about the continued use of the old paper driving licence, after June 8th. Mine is dated 1977. On what grounds could a penalty be awarded, will the proof of having a full licence be withdrawn?

i would have thought the most significant change to motoring law in 2015 is upping the speed limit to 50 mph on single carriageways due to happen in march for hgv s. Great for the taxman, and the employers....maybe not so good for the already stressed out lorry drivers and the un informed car drivers , used to just getting in front of it will be going a bit quicker from march.!

In response to Michael Farrell's point: in years of hiring cars on the continent I have not once been asked for the paper counterpart of my driving licence.

In response to Sandra Scott's comment. Technically, the UK is a country in its own right even though it consists of 4 countries: England, Scotland, Wales & N. Ireland. It's a Sovereign state and is often referred to as 4 countries within a country. I'm a scots-born proud Brit and I am more than happy that they are now going to be putting the Union flag on our UK licences. I'm proud to be British and I'd much rather have the British flag displayed than that of the EU. I do not doubt your patriotism towards your country of birth, England and while your ethnicity is English, your actual nationality is British as stated in your UK of GB & N. Ireland passport. The Union flag is representative of all British people, be they English, Scots, Welsh or Northern Irish and it is obviously the correct choice as it is to represent all of our UK driving licences and not each individual country. The DVLA is also the organisation that represents the whole of the UK. I'm a very patriotic Brit and love the Union Flag and would much rather have that on my driving licence than any other flag.

For those saying how do you check your points: this is relatively simple, go to the DVLA site (link here:, enter your driving licence number and your National Insurance number, also postcode, and your details are shown. Took me a while to find this...