New driving under lockdown guidelines are “encouraging” car sharing as long as the simple guidelines are followed, says the expert. The new guidance is in a desperate attempt for motorists to avoid public transport in a bid to halt the spread of the virus as people return to work.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Freeman said: “The motorist now has much more freedom and indeed the government is actually encouraging drivers to car share with other commuters.
“[This is] provided the windows are open, the car is constantly cleaned and everyone looks in opposite directions. My advice is that the driver should keep eyes on the road.”
The Department for Transport has suggested those from different households who normally shared vehicles should look at finding different ways to travel.
However those who need to share a car must ensure the basic hygiene guidelines are met before doing so.
Those sharing a car should also ensure the vehicles have been properly cleaned between journeys and should consider changing seating arrangements to ensure a distance is kept between each individual.
Gov.UK says: “If people from different households use a vehicle (for example through a car share scheme), you should clean it between journeys using gloves and standard cleaning products.
“Make sure you clean door handles, steering wheels and other areas that people may touch.
“Where people from different households need to use a vehicle at the same time, good ventilation (keeping the car windows open) and facing away from each other may help to reduce the risk of transmission.
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“Where possible, consider seating arrangements to optimise distance between people in the vehicle.”
Mr Freeman says driving rules have only been slightly eased instead of fully lifted meaning motorists remained in a “quasi lockdown”.
The changes will allow extra freedoms to motorists to use their vehicle but road users still need to follow strict guidelines.
He confirmed motorists would be free to use their car to drive somewhere for exercise as long as social distancing measures were kept
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Freeman said: ““We are still in a quasi lockdown, and the initial lockdown rules have not been lifted but eased. The practical effect of this is as follows
“The motorist is free to use his or her vehicle for any reason which constitutes a reasonable excuse, such as driving to work, shopping, medical reasons etc…
“But also now for exercise and sport, such as golf and tennis, provided it only involves one other person and social distancing is preserved.
“They can do this as often as they like and can now even drive to a park to meet a friend, subject to the above proviso.”
In his address to the nation on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed fines would rise to deal with those breaking the guidelines.
Mr Freeman warns fines “have been increased” with motorsts potentially hit with charges higher than £3,000.
The new rules have seen starting fines rise from £60 to £100 while the introduction of a staged system will lead to heavy punishments for repeat offenders.
Mr Freeman said: “Fines have been increased, now starting at £100. It doubles each time up to a maximum of £3200, ie six offences.
“They are halved if paid within 14 days. If the case reaches court, the fine is unlimited.”
Published at Thu, 14 May 2020 06:38:00 +0000