A new year brings with it a number of changes to motoring laws which include various changes to the MOT test, leaving more room when overtaking cyclists and new guidelines for learners.

How the Highway Code is going to change

When overtaking cyclists drivers now have to leave enough space for cyclists, or face a £100 fine.

The Highway Code says there must be at least 1.5 metres (4ft 11in) between the car and the cyclist, which is roughly the width of a car door.

Those who fail to leave enough of a gap could face a £100 fine.

Learner drivers on motorways

Learner drivers will now be able to use motorways if an instructor is supervising.

Smart Motorways

Changes to smart motorway legislation will see drivers handed points on their licence for driving through a red X sign as well as a £100 fine.

Driving under a red X is already an offence which can result in a police prosecution.

Changes to MOT tests

New categories are being introduced for MOT tests which include:

Dangerous: A car deemed a direct or immediate risk to road safety or the environment. This leads to an MOT test failure.

Major: Could affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or affect the environment. This will also be a test failure.

Minor: No significant effect on safety but must be repaired as soon as possible.

Advisory: An issue which could become more serious in the future

Pass: Meets the current minimum legal standards for maintenance and condition.

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