DVLA warnings – Drivers warned they MUST report any one of 182 common medical conditions or face a massive £1,000 fine

DRIVERS have been warned to be aware of three changes to road rules this month to avoid fines of up to £1,000.

The DVLA has told motorists to double check whether they are affected by the changes, which includes the end of driving licence extensions.

Other new regulations coming this month include new clean air zones and changes to towing rules.

We explain what the changes are and how you can avoid getting a fine of up to £1,000.

Read our DVLA warnings live blog below for full list of laws as well as other updates and tips…

  • Louis Allwood

    New car-modification rules

    Drivers could be slapped with fines if their car modifications aren’t in line with UK regulations and some of them can even end up invalidating your insurance.

    New offences could be brought in under the governments plans to plug up the gaps in legislation.

    These would apply to those who are “supplying, installing and/or advertising, a ‘tampering product’ for a vehicle or non-road mobile machinery.”

    Other possible new offences include “removing, reducing the effectiveness of, or rendering inoperative a system.”

    So, what kind of penalties could you face? Here’s an idea of the gravity of the fines you could face.

    Brits who plaster stickers on their car’s rear window could be slapped with a £300 fine and six penalty points.

    Having a dodgy number plate – which may involve it being covered with a reflective coating, having an unlawful font or design, or incorrect spacing – could land you a £100 penalty.

  • Louis Allwood

    Munching at the wheel

    Another common motoring myth is that it’s illegal to eat while driving.

    While this isn’t true, again you could get an on-the-spot fine of £100 and three points if snacking proves distracting and you’re deemed as not being in proper control of the vehicle.

    There are also plenty of speed camera myths, and many drivers believe you will only have been caught speeding if the camera flashes, for example.

  • Louis Allwood

    Could fines be on the rise? 

    It remains unclear if motorists will be fined a higher rate under the new rules.

    But the tighter restrictions could see a higher number of drivers forking out more cash, as the government look to “strengthen our ability to enforce compliance”.

    They intend to ensure “cleaner and safer vehicles” are on the roads and are looking to bring in new offences to do so.

  • Louis Allwood

    You could be fined £30 for having your fog lights on

    BRITS could be slapped with a £30 fine for driving with fog lights on under a surprising rule.

    Motorists may think they know the do's and don't's of how to use their lights, but it seems this rule in the Highway Code is often overlooked.

    Drivers could face a brush with the law if they use their fog lights when they aren't needed, as they can dazzle other road users and obscure your brake lights.

    It could cause havoc on the roads and see you pulled over by the police if you fail to comply with the rule.

    You could then face points on your license and a fine of up to £30 if you use the high visibility lights when cops don't deem it foggy enough.

    Rule 236 of the Highway Code states: "You MUST NOT use front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced (see Rule 226) as they dazzle other road users and can obscure your brake lights.

    "You MUST switch them off when visibility improves."

  • Louis Allwood

    Warnings over ice

    Colder weather can mean ice on the roads – and on the windscreen of your car.

    You could be landed with a £60 fine and three penalty points for failing to scrape ice off your windscreen.

    With 35% of motorists admitting to driving with their windscreen misted up or covered in ice, Brits are being warned not to take risks on the road this winter.

  • Louis Allwood

    Putting your lights on

    The clocks going back also means that drivers will need to put their headlights on while driving so they can see properly.

    Motorists are being urged to remember to switch on their headlights when driving in the dark or risk up to 9 points on their license as well as forking out for the fine.

    With some drivers assuming that their car will pop on the lights automatically, it's best to double check if you're being safe on the road.

    If stopped by police with a broken light, you could be given a penalty of £100, without penalty points being added to your licence.

    This could rise to £1,000 if challenged in court. 

    But if you are found to be driving a vehicle in a “dangerous” condition, you could be issued a penalty of up to £2,500 and three points. 

    And in severe cases, a fine of up to £5,000 and up to nine penalty points could be issued. 

  • Louis Allwood

    Checking eyesight

    The clocks went back an hour early last month, which means there will be less daylight.

    That will mean that for many, driving in the dark back and forth from your commute to work will be the norm during the winter months.

    The DVLA took to Twitter earlier this month to remind drivers that they need to take a 20metre number plate vision test to see if their sight is up to scratch.

    You must be able to read – with or without glasses or contact lenses on – a car number plate made after September 1, 2001 from 20 metres away.

    If you do not meet the minimum eyesight requirements, you could face a £1,000 fine or a driving ban.

  • Louis Allwood

    ULEZ changes

    Last month, the London Ultra-Low Emission Zone boundary vastly expanded, meaning drivers of older cars and vans will have to pay a £12.50 charge for every day they enter the area.

    It now covers everywhere inside the North and South Circular roads, a huge residential area – and if motorists don’t pay the daily charge, they’ll be hit with a £160 fine.

    The ULEZ charge applies to any diesel car or van that doesn’t meet the Euro 6 exhaust standard.

    That is basically any vehicle older than September 2015, although some Euro 6 cars were on sale before that.

    For petrol cars, only older vehicles get hit as the cut-off is pre-Euro 4 – those newer than 2005 escape the charge.

    Classic cars are free if they are more than 40 years old and the charge even covers motorbikes pre-Euro 3, which is 2007.

    The charge doesn’t apply on December 25, but otherwise it is 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Louis Allwood

    Expired driving licence warning

    In order to drive legally, you must have a driving licence – but they only last for 10 years.

    During the Covid crisis, drivers were granted a breather and given an extra 11 months on driving licences that expired between February 1 and December 31, 2020.

    That means if your licence was due to expire on December 31, 2020, you'll have until November 30 – a matter of weeks – to renew it.

    But as two fifths of Brits don't know their driving licence must be renewed every 10 years, it could mean thousands of drivers could be on the road with an expired licence.

    Co-op Insurance recently revealed that 450,000 driving licences have already expired after the extension ran out for thousands of drivers earlier this year.

  • Louis Allwood

    New towing a trailer rule

    A new law will roll out from November 15, which drivers will need to know about if they're planning on towing a trailer or a caravan.

    Drivers who passed their test after January 1, 1997, will be able to tow heavy loads without taking a specialist test first.

    This marks a major change from current rules where some drivers need to have a car and trailer test to be able to tow.

    From Monday, any qualified driver start pulling trailers weighing up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) without training, experience or supervision.

    Drivers licences will now display a category BE on the photocard, indicating that you can tow a trailer or caravan.

    But drivers towing for the first time have been warned by the National Accident Helpline to "take extra care".

  • Louis Allwood

    The full list of 'notifiable' medical conditions

    A

    • Absence seizures
    • Acoustic neuroma
    • Addison’s disease
    • Agoraphobia
    • AIDS
    • Alcohol problems
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
    • Amputations
    • Angina
    • Angioma
    • Angioplasty
    • Ankylosing spondylitis
    • Anorexia nervosa
    • Anxiety
    • Aortic aneurysm
    • Arachnoid cyst
    • Arnold-Chiari malformation
    • Arrhythmia
    • Atrial defibrillator
    • Arteriovenous malformation
    • Arthritis
    • Asperger syndrome
    • Ataxia
    • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
    • Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD)

    B

    • Balloon angioplasty (leg)
    • Bipolar disorder
    • Blackouts
    • Blepharospasm
    • Blood clots
    • Blood pressure
    • Brachial plexus injury
    • Brain abscess, cyst or encephalitis
    • Brain aneurysm
    • Brain angioma
    • Brain haemorrhage
    • Brain injury (traumatic)
    • Brain tumours
    • Branch retinal vein occlusion
    • Broken limbs and driving
    • Burr hole surgery

    C

    • Caesarean section
    • Cancer
    • Cataracts
    • Catheter ablation
    • Cardiac problems
    • Carotid artery stenosis
    • Cataplexy
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Chronic aortic dissection
    • Cognitive problems
    • Congenital heart disease
    • Convulsions
    • Coronary artery bypass or disease
    • Coronary angioplasty
    • Cystic fibrosis

    D

    • Deafness
    • Defibrillator
    • Déjà vu
    • Dementia
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diabetic retinopathy
    • Dilated cardiomyopathy
    • Diplopia (double vision)
    • Dizziness
    • Drug misuse

    E

    • Eating disorders
    • Empyema (brain)
    • Epilepsy
    • Essential tremor

    F

    • Fainting
    • Fits
    • Fractured skull
    • Friedreich’s ataxia

    G

    • Giddiness (recurring)
    • Glaucoma
    • Global amnesia
    • Grand mal seizures
    • Guillain-Barré syndrome

    H

    • Head injury
    • Heart attack
    • Heart arrhythmia
    • Heart failure
    • Heart murmurs
    • Heart palpitations
    • Heart valve disease or replacement valve
    • Hemianopia
    • High blood pressure
    • HIV
    • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    • Huntington’s disease
    • Hydrocephalus
    • Hypertension
    • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
    • Hypoglycaemia
    • Hypoxic brain damage
    • Hysterectomy

    I

    • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
    • Intracerebral haemorrhage
    • Ischaemic heart disease

    K

    • Kidney dialysis
    • Kidney problems
    • Korsakoff’s syndrome

    L

    • Labyrinthitis
    • Learning difficulties
    • Left bundle branch block
    • Leukaemia
    • Lewy body dementia
    • Limb disability
    • Low blood sugar
    • Lumboperitoneal shunt
    • Lung cancer
    • Lymphoma

    M

    • Macular degeneration
    • Malignant brain tumours
    • Malignant melanoma
    • Manic depressive psychosis
    • Marfan syndrome
    • Medulloblastoma
    • Memory problems (severe)
      Meningioma
    • Mini-stroke
    • Monocular vision
    • Motor neurone disease
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Myasthenia gravis
    • Myocardial infarction
    • Myoclonus

    N

    • Narcolepsy
    • Night blindness
    • Nystagmus

    O

    • Obsessive compulsive disorder
    • Obstructive sleep apnoea
    • Optic atrophy
    • Optic neuritis

    P

    • Pacemakers
    • Palpitations
    • Paranoia
    • Paranoid schizophrenia
    • Paraplegia
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Peripheral arterial disease
    • Peripheral neuropathy
    • Personality disorder
    • Petit mal seizures
    • Pituitary tumour
    • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Psychosis
    • Psychotic depression

    R

    • Renal dialysis
    • Retinal treatment
    • Retinopathy

    S

    • Schizo-affective disorder
    • Schizophrenia
    • Scotoma
    • Seizures
    • Sight in one eye only
    • Sleep apnoea
    • Sleepiness (excessive daytime)
    • Spinal problems and injuries and driving
    • Stroke
    • Subarachnoid haemorrhage
    • Surgery
    • Syncope

    T

    • Tachycardia
    • Temporal lobe epilepsy
    • Tonic clonic fits
    • Tourette’s syndrome
    • Transient global amnesia
    • Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
    • Tunnel vision

    U

    • Usher syndrome

    V

    • Valve disease or replacement valve
    • Ventricular defibrillator
    • Vertigo
    • Vision in one eye only
    • Visual acuity (reduced)
    • Visual field defects
    • VP shunts

    W

    • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome

    DVLA Statement on new fine

    A DVLA spokesman said: "It's the ongoing legal responsibility of all drivers to ensure that they are medically fit to drive and notify DVLA of the onset or worsening of a medical condition affecting this.

    "If patients are unsure whether they need to tell DVLA about a medical condition that could affect their driving, we would strongly encourage them to speak to their doctor or other healthcare professionals.

    "In more complex cases we often need additional information from a driver’s GP or other medical professional.

    "We are entirely dependent on them on getting back to us before we can make a licensing decision."

    Drivers shouldn't 'be afraid' about informing DVLA

    Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said:“Drivers should not be afraid to keep DVLA informed about their medical conditions.

    "Far better to be open than to risk a fine or invalidate your insurance. Almost 90 per cent of those who have notified DVLA get their license back when it is safe for them to drive again.

    "DVLA have been slow to deal with cases in the past but are recruiting more doctors and nurses to deal with the ever increasing workload caused by our ageing population."

    Reluctant drivers

    Part of the reason drivers are reluctant to give up their licence is the difficulty in getting it back.

    It has taken some drivers years to have a licence returned after a doctor has told them they're safe to drive due to admin delays.

    Will medications affect my driving?

    A variety of medicines can affect vision, hearing and reaction times, with even coughs and hayfever causing problems. 

    Over-the-counter medication is covered under the same law as cocaine and cannabis that prohibits driving with drugs in your body if they impair your ability.

    Painkillers used for headaches and body aches are also included in drug-drive laws – and if found driving under their influence, you could be handed an unlimited fine and a one-year driving ban.

    • Louis Allwood

      How are important are eye tests?

      One of the biggest problems is eyesight deteriorating with age.

      Drivers are encouraged to "self-check" their eyesight regularly by using the number plate test – and inform the DVLA if it's not up to scratch. 

      Seven people were killed and 63 seriously injured in accidents on UK roads in 2016 when “uncorrected, defective eyesight” was a contributory factor, data shows.

      Three police forces are now testing the eyesight of every motorist they stop.

      Officers in Thames Valley, west Midlands and Hampshire can take away the licence if they feel the driver is a danger to other motorists.

    • Louis Allwood

      Guidance encourages doctors to 'tell on' drivers

      Guidance by the General Medical Council encourages doctors to "tell on" motorists to the DVLA as a last resort if they think they're ignoring medical advice and still driving.

      But it goes against general medical ethics that say what you discuss with a GP is confidential.

      Other motorists can also report drivers confidentially if they believe they're flouting medical rules and continuing to drive.

    • Louis Allwood

      Is there a chance I will lose my licence?

      Some of the conditions could lead to immediate licence revocation, for example eye sight problems or seizures.

      But other illnesses mean you'll only have a licence taken away if a doctor decides that it affects your driving, as figures show in nine out of 10 cases you'll keep it.

    • Louis Allwood

      What do I have to tell the DVLA about my health?

      According to the DVLA, you must tell them if you're suffering with any of the "notifiable" conditions on its list.

      And the list doesn't just run to a few simple things, it's an extensive A to Z of diseases, syndromes and ailments.

      It's also packed with common conditions such as diabetes, depression and high blood pressure included.

      Failing to report to the DVLA could see you slapped with a £1,000 fine and invalidate your insurance – and even lead to prosecution if you have a crash.

    • Louis Allwood

      Huge fine for drivers

      DRIVERS could face a fine of up to £1,000 if they fail to disclose an existing medical condition.

      Around a million motorists are estimated to be on the road with a health issue they haven't flagged to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

    • Joseph Gamp

      Expired driving licence warning

      In order to drive legally, you must have a driving licence – but they only last for 10 years.

      During the Covid crisis, drivers were granted a breather and given an extra 11 months on driving licences that expired between February 1 and December 31, 2020.

      That means if your licence was due to expire on December 31, 2020, you'll have until November 30 – a matter of weeks – to renew it.

      But as two fifths of Brits don't know their driving licence must be renewed every 10 years, it could mean thousands of drivers could be on the road with an expired licence.

      Co-op Insurance recently revealed that 450,000 driving licences have already expired after the extension ran out for thousands of drivers earlier this year.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Checking your eyesight

      The clocks went back an hour last month, which means it gets darker earlier.

      That will mean that for many, driving in the dark back and forth from your commute to work will be the norm during the winter months.

      The DVLA took to Twitter earlier this month to remind drivers that they need to take a 20 metre number plate vision test to see if their sight is up to scratch.

      You must be able to read – with or without glasses or contact lenses – a car number plate made after September 1, 2001 from 20 metres away.

      If you do not meet the minimum eyesight requirements, you could face a £1,000 fine or a driving ban.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Could fines increase under new rules? 

      It remains unclear if motorists will be fined a higher rate under the new rules.

      But the tighter restrictions could see a higher number of drivers forking out more cash, as the government look to "strengthen our ability to enforce compliance".

      They intend to ensure "cleaner and safer vehicles" are on the roads and are looking to bring in new offences to do so.

    • Joseph Gamp

      What fines can you get for car modifications?

      Drivers could be slapped with fines if their car modifications aren't in line with UK regulations and some of them can even end up invalidating your insurance.

      New offences could be brought in under the governments plans to plug up the gaps in legislation.

      These would apply to those who are "supplying, installing and/or advertising, a ‘tampering product’ for a vehicle or non-road mobile machinery."

      Other possible new offences include "removing, reducing the effectiveness of, or rendering inoperative a system."

      So, what kind of penalties could you face? Here's an idea of the gravity of the fines you could face.

      Brits who plaster stickers on their car's rear window could be slapped with a £300 fine and six penalty points.

      Having a dodgy number plate – which may involve it being covered with a reflective coating, having an unlawful font or design, or incorrect spacing – could land you a £100 penalty.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Car modifications: What new rules might be brought in?

      The government have revealed plans to bring in new rules surrounding car modifications, to prevent "tampering" of vehicles for safety and environmental reasons.

      Under the proposals for Modernising Vehicle Standards, it would be illegal for drivers to modify a system, a part or component of a road vehicle or to sell a "tampering product".

      The scheme is currently out for public consultation and could pump the brakes on motorists modifying their cars with future technology.

      Transport minister Trudy Harrison said it would prevent alterations that "negatively impact on road safety, vehicle security and the environment."

      But she did insist that Department for Transport officials have been instructed to ensure the new rules don't impact certain areas, including restoration, repairs or legitimate improvements to classic cars, or motorsports businesses involved in these activities."

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