The Highway Code is changing – and cyclists get even more priority over drivers

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AA president Edmund King said: “By making mobile phone use as socially unacceptable as drink driving, we are taking big steps to making our roads safer.”

Newer drivers can tow heavier trailers

Prior to 16 December 2021, the rules governing who could tow what depended on when you passed your test. 

Drivers whose licences were issued before 1 January 1997 could have a vehicle plus trailer maximum authorised mass (MAM) of up to 8,250kg, or a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM. 

If you passed your test after 1 January 1997, the total vehicle and trailer MAM was 4,250kg (with the car/van’s MAM no more than 3,500kg). They could tow a trailer over 750kg as long as the MAM of trailer and vehicle was no more than 3,500kg. 

Drivers who qualified after 19 January 2013 could only tow a trailer over 750kg if it was no more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle (up to 3,500kg in total). To tow anything heavier you had to pass a special car and trailer towing test.

Those who qualified for their licences after 1997 can now tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM. The rule changes don’t affect drivers whose licence was issued before ’97.

More box junction penalties

Until now the only yellow box junctions to be monitored by local authority cameras were in London and Cardiff. Now local authorities across the UK can mount cameras over box junctions and hand out £70 penalties to drivers who break the rules. 

These so-called “moving traffic offences” are a significant source of revenue. The City of London rakes in about £25 million a year in fines so the number of cameras across the country is bound to increase. 

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