New driving laws in June could see petrol and diesel car owners hit with massive fines

From today (June 1), petrol and diesel car owners could be slapped with hefty fines due to changes in driving laws.

The start of the new month sees the introduction of new charges, as three out of four major cities start charging petrol and diesel drivers under the new Low Emission Zones (LEZs). The LEZs will operate non-stop, 24/7, all year round, with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras linked to local and national vehicle licensing databases to monitor all vehicles within a LEZ.

These cameras will identify vehicles that don't meet emission standards. However, stationary vehicles won't be subject to LEZ restrictions, it has been confirmed.

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The LEZs will be enforced by Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). If a non-compliant vehicle is detected within a LEZ, a PCN will be issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle, with enforcement starting from June 1.

Low Emission Zone - Aberdeen

Aberdeen and Edinburgh are set to start enforcing their LEZs on Saturday. A LEZ is an area where only vehicles meeting certain emission standards are allowed, reports BirminghamLive.

The introduction of the LEZ is aimed at tackling air pollution in city centres, primarily nitrogen dioxide (NO2), caused by road traffic. Aberdeen City Council has rolled out a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in the city centre as of 30 May 2022, with a two-year grace period where drivers won't face fines for entering with vehicles that don't meet the standards until after 31 May 2024.

Low Emission Zone - Dundee

Dundee has become the second Scottish city to introduce a low emission zone (LEZ), which bans some vehicles from its city centre. Glasgow was the first a year ago and recently announced that it had received more than £1m in penalty charges issued to 33,000 drivers of non-compliant vehicles who entered the restricted zone.

Rebecca Wade, who cycles to work in Dundee from her home in Broughty Ferry, feels the new LEZ will make a big difference. Dr Wade says: "It's really wonderful that some of the buses are now hybrid and electric, so there's much less pollution from those."

"Many of the cars are electric too, but you just can't avoid that exhaust pollution when you're sitting at junctions."

Low Emission Zone - Edinburgh

Aberdeen and Edinburgh will begin enforcing their LEZs on Saturday. Prof Jill Belch, from the University of Dundee, who led the research, said it would take a couple of years for the LEZs to show a change in the health of people living or working within them.

But she said the number of acute asthma attacks should fall very quickly. She said: "The first thing we'll see is that the pollution levels will come down and that's great. But it's not just hospital admissions, it's the long-term effects with dementia and heart attacks."

E-scooter trials

The Department for Transport (DfT) has changed its rules regarding e-scooter trials in the UK to grant local authorities more power. Local authorities which are currently running e-scooter trials now have the opportunity to request changes to the geography and the fleet size of their trial. Requests for changes can be made to the DfT until April 5 and approved requests will come into force from June 1 this year.