New UK Driving Laws for 2013

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In case you weren’t aware, there will be some new driving licence laws in the UK as of 19 January, 2013.

They won’t affect everybody, but those who are learning to drive or about to get a licence should take note. For specifics on the new regulations, go to; the list is rather daunting, but if you have more questions, call the number given on the site.

The changes are mostly in the legal age at which different vehicles can be driven; it’s more of a graduated system similar to those already in place in other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and some parts of the US.

The idea, according to the Department for Transport, is to further reduce the number of traffic-related injuries and fatalities which, based on numerous studies, are highest amongst the 16-to-25 age group of drivers.

The tricky part is deciphering all the exceptions to the rules; in some cases the new age restriction won’t apply if you’re a member of the armed forces, or if you’re driving with no passengers, or driving in certain prescribed areas. Mopeds and motorcycles come in for most of the new restrictions, and those are also broken down into categories.

At first glance, the biggest hassle is going to be enforcing these new laws, since most of them have to do with the weight and carrying capacity of the vehicle or with the relative power of the engine. For example: the minimum legal age to drive will be 24 if the motorcycle you’re driving has “a power exceeding 35kW or with a power to weight ratio exceeding 0.2kW per kg”.

If you’ve already got your driving licence you’ll still be entitled to drive any vehicle that was included on the current licence, but if you want to add another type of vehicle after 19 January you’ll be subject to the new rules.