A number of changes are being made to motoring laws in 2019 and knowing about these could help you avoid some potentially hefty fines! These changes include:

  • new guidelines for learners / new drivers
  • additional changes to MOT testing
  • smart motorways
  • new rules on overtaking cyclists

Read on below to find out about all these changes come into force this year...

Changes for learners and new drivers

In the past, learners have not been allowed to use motorways as part of their lessons and were only allowed on the motorway once they had passed their test, but those learning to drive from 2019 will be allowed to drive on a motorway with the supervision of an instructor.


Graduated Driving Licences have not yet come into force but is something which is being considered and would be a way of imposing stricter restrictions on new drivers. These restrictions could include...

Curfews - times when new drivers are allowed to be on the road

Passengers - limits on how many passengers a new driver can have in their car

Speed - separate, lower speed limits to other drivers

Engine sizes - a limits on how powerful their car can be

Mandatory P plates - currently optional, but could be made mandatory for up to two years

Alcohol - lower limits than the general driving population

MOT Test Changes

Despite a major shake up to the MOT testing process in May 2018, additional measures are being introduced to ensure that all cars on the road are safe. Your vehicle will now be categorised as follows: -

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. Also a failure.

Minor: No significant effect on safety but must be repaired as soon as possible. A minor result will be a pass.

Advisory: An issue which could become more serious in the future. This result will be deemed as a pass.

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

For more information on the changes which came into place in May 2018 click here to read our earlier blog.

Smart Motorways

Smart Motorways are becoming common place on British roads and whilst they are a bit of a contentious topic, it looks like they are here to stay. Top of the list of concerns from drivers is how to actually use them which in turn poses questions of fines or punishments for not using them correctly.


The obvious fine will come from a driver not adhering to the speed limit displayed on the motorway, and with variable limits in place, there is a much higher chance of getting caught out. But now you could also face a fine for ignoring the red 'X' signs which indicate a lane is closed. A lane might be closed because there is debris in the road, or because there could be an accident or a breakdown up ahead, so for your own safety and the safety of others, and to avoid a potential fine, never drive in a lane closed by a red 'X'.

Overtaking Cyclists

Certainly a topic that splits opinion but one which every driver needs to be aware of.


The current law states that motorists should leave at least 1.5m (4ft 11in) distance, the approximate width of a car door. With the introduction of a monetary penalty, police will now be looking to penalise those who get too close when passing a cyclist on the road.

Not leaving enough space could leave you £100 out of pocket and with three points on your license.