The Importance Of Staying Safe On The Roads

The Importance Of Staying Safe On The Roads

It’s 2018 and there are more cars on the road than ever before. Even in the past eighteen years (yes I’m that old) since I passed my driving test, I have noticed a difference in the amount of traffic. So it’s only right that there are laws and restrictions put in place that assist us with staying safe on the roads.

This year alone there are new laws coming into place that some of you may not be aware of. Let’s look at those first.


Children’s Car Seats

New models of backless booster seats will now only be suitable for children who are taller than 125cm or weigh more than 22kg. High back seats will feature a  guide to lower the level of the seatbelt in line with the passenger’s shoulders.

Children under 15 months old must now travel in a backwards-facing car seat. Something that might not be very popular with some parents!

All children must use a car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall depending on what comes first. Children over 12 or more than 135cm tall of course, must wear a seatbelt.


Driving Test Changes

There is currently an independent driving element in the driving test where the examiner gives no instructions for 10 minutes. In the new test, there will be a section where the driver will have to follow instructions from a sat nav. This is to prove they can follow the directions safely and sensibly.

The drivers will also be asked to demonstrate to the examiner, a particular function of the car. For example, how to demist the windscreen.

Drivers will also need to demonstrate their ability to reverse into a car parking space, something that hasn’t been in the test until now.


Misusing Motorways

Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras will be introduced on major motorways. These are being put in place to monitor any misuse of the hard shoulder. If a driver uses the hard shoulder on a managed motorway when it isn’t open, or drives in a lane with a red ‘X’ above it, the cameras will automatically trigger a penalty. The penalty will include a £100 fine and three points on your driving licence. Nasty! But all the more reason to use the motorways sensibly.



All of these things are in addition to the laws that have been in place for a while. Let’s have a recap of some key British road rules so that we can all practise staying safe on the roads. After all, none of us wants or needs a fine and/or points on our license if it can be avoided.


Speed limits

Know your speed limits. You would think this was common sense, but on a recent Speed Awareness Course (yes, guilty as charged!), I was shocked at just how many people in the room didn’t know the basic laws. If you’re uncertain, hop on over to the Governments Highway Code site and familiarise yourself with them.


Traffic Signs

Again, make sure you know what the signs mean so that when you’re on unfamiliar roads, you still know what speed you should be doing.


Mobile Phones

This is a biggy – but an important one. Only a fool will pick up their mobile phone when driving. The police are clamping down on this faster and stronger than ever. Did you also know that it’s illegal to use your phone when you’re in standstill traffic? Don’t get caught out. Be sensible. That text or phone call can wait until you can pull over safely.


Alcohol and Drugs

If you have even the slightest suspicion that you might be over the legal limit to drive – don’t do it. Better still, don’t drink and drive at all. It’s just not worth it. Stick to soft drinks if you think you might need to drive later. It’s not worth the risk on your life and those others on the roads. The same goes for drugs. Just say no!


Staying Safe On The Roads


These are obviously just some of the rules that are enforced in the UK. If you feel you need to refresh your memory, there is no harm in doing some of your own research. After we have been driving a while, we all get a little complacent, but it’s important to stay ahead of the game so that you can be the best and the safest driver you can possibly be.

Alternatively, if you do find yourself in a bit of a pickle with a driving-related issue, David Philips and Partners can help anyone dealing with a driving-related penalty. Hopefully, this won’t happen to you, but if you do, it’s nice to know there are specialists out there to help you.


Did you notice I sneakily admitted to having to go on a Speed Awareness Course? Have you ever been on one and how did you find it? Perhaps you’ve had other driving-related offences down to laws you didn’t know existed? Let me know in the comments.



Written in collaboration





  1. 1st May 2018 / 9:44 am

    My eldest son has just turned 17 and is desperate to learn to drive. Very useful post, which I’ll share with him. I’m glad I passed my test back in the day …! #triumphanttales

  2. 1st May 2018 / 12:14 pm

    I agree with the changes to the driving test. I took my Pass Plus shortly after my driving test and found it really useful. We did things like filling up the car with fuel, driving on a motorway, driving for a longer period of time. I actually think that driving tests should be more in line with pilot tests where you have to drive a certain number of hours in total before taking it. I’m not sure that opinion would be very popular though!

  3. 1st May 2018 / 2:30 pm

    I’ve only ever had 1 speeding ticket and there is some dispute as to whether i was actually driving that day, but it was in South Africa and it’s the owner of the vehicle that pays the fine and there are no points on the licence either. Same rules in Dubai. I’ve only ever been in an accident when I’ve been stationary in heavy traffic on more than 3 occasions and was rear ended. I do think as we get older it should be mandatory to resit our tests after a certain age and should have a full medical to renew the licence every 3-5 years like they do in SA and Dubai. #triumphanttales

  4. viewfromthebeachchair
    1st May 2018 / 3:32 pm

    I wish more police would nab phone talkers and texters! It drives me insane to see these people texting!!! Are you kidding! Common sense people! #triumphanttales

  5. 1st May 2018 / 4:18 pm

    Very nice. Thanks for the reminders. I have to take a defensive driving course every a couple of years at work. It makes a difference. #TriumphantTales

  6. 1st May 2018 / 4:36 pm

    The phones while driving make me nuts! What on earth is so important? Most cars come with the capability of answering your phone for you if necessary, but text messaging can always wait until you get to your next stop!

  7. Dave - Dad's Turn
    2nd May 2018 / 8:00 pm

    All very sensible! The course also sounds like a really good way to help people know what’s what too #TriamphantTales

  8. 3rd May 2018 / 2:13 am

    I’ve been driving for *ahem* a bit longer than that, but as a parent of somebody currently working towards earning their divers license as well as somebody that probably wasn’t ready when they received their own, I’m in favor of the increased regulation that is seen nowadays #triumphanttales

  9. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...
    8th May 2018 / 11:31 am

    I can’t believe some of the terrible driving I’ve seen. I am worried about the upgrading to smart motorways as most people just ignore the red x #triumphanttales

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