More Highway Code Changes This Year

Tue 26th Apr 2022

After making the biggest changes to the Highway Code in a generation, the Department for Transport has announced that the rules of the road will change once again later this year to account for self-driving technology.

The Government has given the green light to a raft of new regulations on automated vehicles, with the technology being allowed on UK motorways up to speeds of 37mph. The new self-driving laws will allow drivers using the approved technology to take their eyes off the road to watch films, read emails and even surf the internet on built-in displays on the cars - even when the car is moving.

The change to legislation has brought with it a number of questions and queries, which are all set to be addressed in the the changes to the Highway Code planned for later in the year. But it is important to note that insurance firms, not the drivers, will be liable for any damages which occur while the self-driving tech is active. This could drive-up insurance premiums for those who drive cars with this technology in the short-term, at least until full legislation is passed in 2025, which is likely to pass on the liability to the motor companies.

The Level 3 Automated Lane Keeping System is already available on the new Mercedes S-Class and is expected to be introduced on other vehicles set for launch in 2022. 

“This is a major milestone in our safe introduction of self-driving vehicles, which will revolutionise the way we travel, making our future journeys greener, safer and more reliable,” said Transport Minister Trudy Harrison.

“This exciting technology is developing at pace right here in Great Britain and we’re ensuring we have strong foundations in place for drivers when it takes to our roads.

“In doing so, we can help improve travel for all while boosting economic growth across the nation and securing Britain’s place as a global science superpower.”

It’s important to note that the ALKS technology in its current form will not allow drivers to use a hand-held mobile phone device as this is considered too distracting for drivers.