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Driving Awareness in the UK

Image of a student driving a car pictured from the back seat of the vehicle

DRIVING AWARENESS IN UK

 

It is estimated that 1 in 3 people will be involved in a car accident during their lifetime. Therefore, it is important for all drivers to be aware of the dangers around them and to drive carefully. The driving system in the United Kingdom(UK) is different from other countries. To drive in the UK, you need a valid Driving License, Insurance and MOT Certificate.

 

Important points to note about driving in the UK before your arrival:

For some countries you may use your home country driving licence in the UK for up to a year, after which you will need to apply for a UK license. Please check DVLA for further information about whether you will need to obtain a UK license.

 

You must have reached the minimum age to drive a vehicle in the UK.

You must be:

  • 17 years or over to ride a motorcycle with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 125cc or power not exceeding 11kW
  • 19 years or over to ride a motorcycle not exceeding 35kW
  • 21 years or older to ride a motorcycle unlimited in size/power
  • 17 years old or more to drive a car

A provisional (learner’s) driving licence issued abroad is not valid for use in the UK.

 

Broader Information regarding driving rules, regulations and penalties

Please ensure you are within the speed limit which will be displayed on signage. If in doubt, speed limits tend to be 20mph in school zones, 30mph in residential areas, 40-50mph on dual carriageways and 70mph on motorways. These speeds will vary depending on the type of vehicle you own; more information can be found on the DVLA website.

 

Seat belts and children in cars

If fitted, seat belts must be worn in the front and rear of vehicles by all occupants.

Children under 3 years old
  • Must use a child restraint appropriate for their age/weight in any vehicle (including vans and other goods vehicles).
  • The only exception is that a child under 3 may travel unrestrained in the rear of a taxi if the right child restraint is not available.
  • Rear-facing baby seats must not be used in a seat protected by a frontal airbag unless the airbag has been deactivated.
Children 3 to 11 years and under 135cm in height
  • Must always use an appropriate child restraint when travelling in the front seat
  • Must use the correct child restraint in the rear where adult seat belts are fitted
  • May use an adult seat belt in the rear:
    • In a taxi, if the correct child restraint is not available.
    • For a short and occasional trip if the correct child restraint is not available.
    • Where two occupied child restraints in the rear prevent the use of a third.

The driver is responsible for compliance with this law for children under 14 years and the fines vary between £30 and £500 if a driver is found not to comply.

 

Drinking and Driving

Drink Driving kills. Driving under the influence of alcohol slows down your reaction time and impairs judgement, making your driving unsafe and putting you, and others, at greater risk of accidents. The safest and best advice is to avoid alcohol completely if you must drive. A conviction for driving with excess alcohol and failing to provide a specimen will automatically result in a period of disqualification of at least 12 months, an endorsement on your licence and a punishment ranging from a fine to a period of imprisonment in more serious cases.

 

Please be aware this article is correct as of 07/12/22. Please ensure that you keep up to date with latest guidance via the DVLA and Highway Code websites. 

 

Nithin Raj Govindan Krishnan

Vice  President

Business & Law

Email: n.raj@angliastudent.com

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