Lockdown restrictions are easing across the board as driving lessons are also set to resume from early next week. With classes resuming and holidays back on the cards, many may accidentally break lockdown driving rules without realising which may lead to consequences.
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Despite restrictions easing, the government is maintaining advice that road users should still not share a car with anyone outside of their household.
This is because it will be impossible to maintain “strict” social distancing guidelines.
This means it would not be possible to go on holidays or day trips with friends and family unless they drive themselves to the destination.
GOV.UK’s coronavirus guidance says: “You should avoid sharing a private vehicle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble as you will not be able to keep to strict social distancing guidelines.
“The Department for Transport has provided specific guidance on using private vehicles.
“Please see their guidance on Private cars and other vehicles for more information on car sharing and traveling with people outside your household group.”
The Department for Transport says they “recommend” people who usually took part in a car share found a different way to travel.
Motorists have been told if they must travel with people outside their household or support bubble certain precautions must be in place.
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Road users should aim to share transport with the same people on each journey or keep trips to small groups.
Windows should be opened for ventilation and passengers should remain side by side rather than facing each other.
Owners are being advised to consider seating arrangements to “maximise distance” between people seated in the car.
Drivers and other passengers should wear face coverings such as a mask during the journey to reduce spread of the infection.
Vehicles should also be cleaned between journeys including areas passengers may have touched such as door handles.
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The advice was supported by the RAC who said solo journeys were “strongly advised” at the moment.
The RAC also says those who do need to share a car should only do so with members of their own household.
In a statement the car experts warned: “You should not share a vehicle with someone from another household.”
Back in April, motoring lawyer Nick Freeman claimed breaking lockdown driving rules could see car insurance policies become invalidated.
Breaking road laws would usually result in drivers being fined and policies being axed so these temporary measures may result in issues for drivers.
However because the advice is only recommended it is unlikely road users will be fined for breaking the car sharing guidelines.
But road users could put themselves at risk of catching the disease themselves or spreading it to other members of their household.
The Department for Transport says the risk of transmission is “small” if a two metre gap is maintained.
This is difficult inside an airtight vehicle which will see passengers at higher risk of catching the virus if a fellow passenger happens to be infected.
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