Electric Vehicle Highway Code Changes
The market for electric vehicles is growing and according to recent car sales figures by a not-for-profit motoring consultancy, New AutoMotive, more electric vehicles have been sold so far in 2022 than in all of 2020. We know that electric vehicles are the future, but they also bring a new set of challenges for owners and road users, which have resulted in changes to the Highway Code. Just one example is that people are charging their vehicles with long charging cables. These can act as trip hazards to the public as well as creating obstacles for other vehicles and road users.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the changes that may impact your staff or fleet, based on information from DAS UK Group
What’s changed for Electric Vehicle users?
What are the new rules?
The rules on charging electric vehicles have changed to reduce the trip hazard to pedestrians. The guidance given states that users should park their cars close to the charging point and use a warning sign if possible. There is also the expectation that the charging cable should not run a long way across the pavements, and after charging is complete, it should be returned to the appropriate place. This also prevents users creating an obstacle for other vehicles.
What are users concerned about?
Some users are concerned about someone else stealing or removing the warning sign off their car when it is in use. However, since the expectation is that other road users respect the signs and do not act to increase the danger of those around them, these instances could be treated as theft. Anyone found stealing or removing the warning sign will be charged as guilty if they “dishonestly appropriate property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving them of it.”
Who is liable if an accident occurs because of charging cables?
Electric vehicle owners are now being encouraged to park close to the charging point, not run the cable a long way across the pavement and return the cable back to the appropriate place after it has been used. Therefore, if the reasonable steps are not taken to adhere to these requirements and an accident does occur, the electric vehicle user may be held liable.
If you are using any vehicles, including electric, to help deliver your service, then you will need to arrange suitable insurance to cover these vehicles for business use.
Legally, all vehicles must be insured on UK roads. The level of cover you decide to choose is entirely up to you, but we always recommend fully comprehensive cover so you have complete peace of mind should an accident or issue arise.
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