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Woodfines flags up three changes in transport law

Mike Hayward, partner at Woodfines solicitors
Mike Hayward, partner at Woodfines solicitors

Mobile use, MoT details, and motorway driving updates

The head of transport and regulatory at Woodfines, Mike Hayward, is advising firms to take note of three changes in transport law affecting every business in the UK.

The first involves an update to the law on driving using a mobile phone, which means that even if you are making a hands-free call and are involved in an accident not caused by you, you can be found guilty of careless driving.

“The new legislation means that death by dangerous driving could result in a life sentence,” says Hayward.

“What we’re saying is: tell your staff – no phone calls. Have a zero-tolerance policy: it’s not a six-point offence any more, it’s a substantial fine and/or a prison sentence.”

Woodfines’ expertise is showcased every year when it runs a transport conference at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.

Now in its seventh year, this year’s event “provided a lively and informative day of discussions with over 100 delegates from the road transport and passenger business sector across the region”.

The second recent change in transport law involves the annual MoT test.

“It’s a wholesale change to the MoT system,” Hayward says. “Every car, lorry, van and taxi now has a test with different categories of failure. Firms and individuals need to have their vehicle checked before it goes in for an MoT if possible: you need to make sure it’s right as any major fault will be on record forever.”

Finally, learner drivers are now legally able to drive under instruction on motorways, following a change that came into law on June 4.

“Driving on the motorway is a very different style of driving, with no traffic lights or other ways to slow traffic down,” said Hayward. “Tell your drivers this has happened as learner drivers under instruction are going to be very nervous.”

Woodfines’ transport department is able to assist or advise on any aspect of road traffic law. Email transport@woodfines.co.uk or call 01223 411421 for details.

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