This Bill is mainly concerned with automated vehicles, electric vehicles, and air traffic control.
The Bill will make it compulsory for automated vehicles (or “driverless cars”) to have motor insurance, and there to be a register where all automated vehicles operational in the UK must be listed.
It will aim to make the infrastructure for electric vehicles more accessible and widespread in the UK. The main proposals for this are:
- make sure that information about the location of vehicle charge points is openly available
- set minimum technical specifications for charge point connectors
- oblige charge point network operators to allow interoperability between networks
- make sure there are charge points at all motorway service areas and large fuel retailers
- require that charge points are ‘smart’ and can interact with the electricity grid.
This Bill also contains some provisions to modernise the air traffic control licensing system, so the Civil Aviation Authority is more able to enforce the terms of the license, and make changes to it.
There is also a proposal to introduce a stronger legal framework for speed awareness courses. These are police-run educational courses for those charged with minor motoring offences. The new statutory regime will ensure there is greater accountability and transparency over their operation, and allow for a cap on the fees charged.
This Bill will make it an offence to misuse a laser pen. Under the new proposals it will be illegal to direct a laser pen at a vehicle and it would no longer be a requirement to prove that any harm was done to that vehicle or aircraft.
The Bill will also extend insolvency provisions for package holidays.
By updating the rules surrounding automated and electric vehicles, the Government has said that it hopes “it will help the UK to become a world leader in these technologies by breaking down some of the barriers that could limit companies from testing them here”.
It is expected that electric vehicles will become more popular in near future and so this is an attempt to make sure the UK is equipped to deal with the demand, and to capitalise on any investment that could come from electric vehicle manufacture and testing.
Measures around insurance for self-driving cars will ensure better protection and mean innocent victims involved in a collision with an automated vehicle will have quick and easy access to compensation.
Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, said: “Automated vehicles have the potential to transform our roads in the future and make them even safer and easier to use, as well as promising new mobility for those who cannot drive.But we must ensure the public is protected in the event of an incident and today we are introducing the framework to allow insurance for these new technologies.”
This is a Government Bill from the Department For Transport, and the Secretary of State Chris Grayling MP.
We can expect any measures that promote new transport technology to receive widespread support.
How to get involved
Contact your MP or the Department for Transport.
If I don’t act, will it go through?
As a Government Bill it is likely to go through.