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Road Traffic Act 1972

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  1. Introductory Text

  2. PART I Principal Road Safety Provisions

    1. Offences connected with driving of motor vehicles

      1. 1.Causing death by reckless or dangerous driving

      2. 2.Reckless, and dangerous, driving generally

      3. 3.Careless, and inconsiderate, driving

      4. 4.Driving under age

      5. 5.Driving, or being in charge, when under influence of drink or drugs

      6. 6.Driving, or being in charge, with blood-alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit

      7. 7.Evidence on charge of unfitness to drive

      8. 8.Breath tests

      9. 9.Laboratory tests

      10. 10.Ancillary provisions as to evidence in proceedings for an offence under s.5 or 6

      11. 11.Detention of persons while affected by alcohol

      12. 12.Interpretation of ss.6 to 11

      13. 13.Person liable to be charged with offence under ss.5, 6 or 9 not liable to be charged with certain other offences

      14. 14.Motor racing on highways

      15. 15.Regulation of motoring events on highways

      16. 16.Restriction on carriage of persons on motorcycles

    2. Offences connected with riding of pedal cycles

      1. 17.Reckless, and dangerous, cycling

      2. 18.Careless, and inconsiderate, cycling

      3. 19.Cycling when under influence of drink or drugs

      4. 20.Regulation of cycle racing on highways

      5. 21.Restriction on carriage of persons on bicycles

    3. Offences connected with traffic generally

      1. 22.Drivers to comply with traffic directions

      2. 23.Pedestrians to comply with directions to stop given by constables regulating vehicular traffic

      3. 24.Leaving vehicles in dangerous positions

    4. Accidents

      1. 25.Duty to stop, and furnish particulars, in case of accident

      2. 26.General provisions as to accident inquiries

      3. 27.Special provisions as to accident inquiries in Greater London

      4. 28.Inquests on road deaths in Greater London

    5. Ancillary provisions for preventing, or mitigating effects of, accidents

      1. 29.Penalisation of tampering with motor vehicles

      2. 30.Penalisation of holding or getting on to vehicle in order to be towed or carried

      3. 31.Control of dogs on roads

      4. 32.Wearing of protective headgear

      5. 33.Protective helmets for motor cyclists

    6. Manning of locomotives and trailers

      1. 34.Requirements as to employment of persons to attend to locomotives and trailers

    7. Restrictions on use of motor vehicles off roadway

      1. 35.Control of use of footpaths and bridleways for motor vehicle trials

      2. 36.Prohibition of driving motor vehicles elsewhere than on roads

    8. Road safety information and road training

      1. 37.The Highway Code

      2. 38.Powers of Secretary of State and local authorities as to giving road safety information and training

      3. 39.Powers of Secretary of State to subsidise bodies other than local authorities for giving road safety information and training

  3. PART II Construction and Use of Vehicles and Equipment

    1. General provisions

      1. 40.Regulation of construction, weight, equipment and use of vehicles

      2. 41.Temporary exemption from application of regulations under s.40

      3. 42.Authorisation of use on roads of special vehicles not complying with regulations under s.40

      4. 43.Tests of satisfactory condition of vehicles other than goods vehicles to which s.45 applies

      5. 44.Obligatory test certificates for vehicles other than goods vehicles to which s.45 applies

      6. 45.Tests of satisfactory condition of certain classes of goods vehicles and determination of plated weights and other particulars therefor

      7. 46.Obligatory test certificates for goods vehicles to which s.45 applies

      8. 47.Approval of design, construction, etc., of goods vehicles

      9. 48.Supplementary provisions as to type approval and other certificates

      10. 49.Appeals

      11. 50.Regulations for purposes of ss.47 to 49 and other supplementary provisions

      12. 51.Obligatory type approval, manufacturers' and Minister's approval, certificates

      13. 52.Regulations prohibiting the grant of excise licences for certain vehicles except on compliance with certain conditions

      14. 53.Testing of condition of vehicles on roads

      15. 54.Remedying of defects discovered on roadside tests

      16. 55.Tests to check whether defects have been remedied

      17. 56.Power to inspect goods vehicles to secure proper maintenance

      18. 57.Power to prohibit the driving of unfit goods vehicles

      19. 58.Removal of prohibition of driving of unfit goods vehicle

      20. 59.Operators' duty to inspect, and keep records of inspections of, goods vehicles

      21. 60.Vehicles not to be sold in unroadworthy condition or altered so as to be unroadworthy

      22. 61.Testing condition of used vehicles at sale rooms, etc.

      23. 62.Goods vehicles not to be sold without required manufacturer's or Minister's approval certificate

      24. 63.Approval marks

      25. 64.Provisions as to proceedings for certain offences in connection with goods vehicles

      26. 65.Restriction on number of trailers drawn

    2. Provisions as to pedal cycles and horse-drawn vehicles

      1. 66.Regulation of brakes, bells, etc., on pedal cycles

      2. 67.Regulation of brakes on horse-drawn vehicles

    3. Provisions as to lighting of vehicles

      1. 68.Obligatory front and rear lamps and headlamps

      2. 69.Obligatory reflectors

      3. 70.Restriction on the nature of the lamps to be carried

      4. 71.Restriction on movement of lamps

      5. 72.Multi-purpose lamps and combined lamps and reflectors

      6. 73.Regulation of position, character, use, etc., of lamps and reflectors

      7. 74.Bicycles, tricycles and invalid carriages

      8. 75.Horse-drawn agricultural vehicles

      9. 76.Vehicles carrying overhanging or projecting loads

      10. 77.Vehicles towing and being towed

      11. 78.Power of exemption and variation of requirements

      12. 79.Power to impose additional requirements for vehicles over prescribed length and trailers

      13. 80.Application of ss.68 to 79 to reflecting material

      14. 81.Offences

    4. Supplementary

      1. 82.Interpretation of Part II

      2. 83.Administrative expenses, appointment of officials and destination of fees

  4. PART III Licensing of drivers of vehicles

    1. Driving licences

      1. 84.Drivers of motor vehicles to have driving licences

      2. 85.Tests of competence to drive

      3. 86.Repayment of test fees

      4. 87.Requirements as to physical fitness of drivers

      5. 88.Grant of licences

      6. 89.Duration of licences

      7. 90.Appeals relating to licences

      8. 91.Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight

      9. 92.Notification of disease or disability

    2. Disqualification and endorsement of licences

      1. 93.Disqualification on conviction of certain offences

      2. 94.Appeal against disqualification, and rule for determining end of period thereof

      3. 95.Removal of disqualification

      4. 96.Disqualification of persons under age

      5. 97.Disqualification to prevent duplication of licences

      6. 98.Effect of disqualification

      7. 99.Offence of obtaining licence, or driving, while disqualified

      8. 100.Arrest without warrant of persons driving while disqualified

      9. 101.Endorsement of licences

      10. 102.Combination of disqualification and endorsement with probation orders and orders for discharge in England or Wales

      11. 103.Interim disqualification on committal in England or Wales under s.56 of Criminal Justice Act 1967, etc.

      12. 104.Information as to date of birth and sex

      13. 105.Supplementary provisions as to disqualifications and endorsements

    3. Supplementary

      1. 106.Conduct of proceedings in certain courts by or against the Secretary of State

      2. 107.Regulations for purposes of Part III

      3. 108.Destination of fees for licences, etc., under Part III

      4. 109.Service of notices

      5. 110.Interpretation of Part III

      6. 111.Provisions as to Northern Ireland drivers' licences

  5. PART IV Licensing of drivers of heavy goods vehicles

    1. 112.Drivers of heavy goods vehicles to be licensed

    2. 113.Licensing authority, and applications, for heavy goods vehicle driver's licences

    3. 114.Grant of heavy goods vehicle drivers' licences

    4. 115.Duration of heavy goods vehicle drivers' licences

    5. 116.Disqualification on revocation of heavy goods vehicle driver's licence

    6. 117.Court may determine whether test of competence to drive was properly conducted

    7. 118.Appeals relating to heavy goods-vehicle drivers' licences

    8. 119.Regulations for purposes of Part IV

    9. 120.Fees and expenses

    10. 121.Common test of competence to drive for the purposes of Parts III and IV

    11. 122.Transitional provisions as to certain heavy goods vehicle drivers' licences

    12. 123.Restriction on institution of proceedings for certain offences

    13. 124.Interpretation of Part IV

    14. 125.Provisions as to Northern Ireland heavy goods vehicle drivers' licences

  6. PART V Driving Instruction

    1. 126.Driving instruction for payment to be given only by registered or licensed persons

    2. 127.Exemption of police instructors from prohibition imposed by s.126

    3. 128.The register and registration and duration thereof

    4. 129.Extension of duration of registration

    5. 130.Removal of names from register

    6. 131.Licences

    7. 132.Appeals

    8. 133.Examinations and tests of ability to give driving instruction

    9. 134.Power to alter conditions for entry or retention in, and removal from, register and grant or revocation of licences

    10. 135.Power to prescribe form of certificate of registration, etc.

    11. 136.Surrender of certificate and licences

    12. 137.Production of certificate and licences to constables and authorised persons

    13. 138.Evidence by certificate as to registration and licences

    14. 139.Offences by corporations

    15. 140.Service of notices

    16. 141.Expenses and receipts

    17. 142.Regulations for purposes of Part V

  7. PART VI Third-Party Liabilities

    1. Compulsory insurance or security against third-party risks

      1. 143.Users of motor vehicles to be insured or secured against third-party risks

      2. 144.Exceptions from requirement of third-party insurance or security

      3. 145.Requirements in respect of policies of insurance

      4. 146.Requirements in respect of securities

      5. 147.Issue and surrender of certificates of insurance and of security

      6. 148.Avoidance of certain exceptions to policies or securities and of certain agreements, etc., as to risks required to be covered thereby

      7. 149.Duty of insurers or persons giving security to satisfy judgment against persons insured or secured against third-party risks

      8. 150.Bankruptcy, etc., of insured or secured persons not to affect claims by third parties

      9. 151.Duty to give information as to insurance or security where claim made

      10. 152.Deposits

      11. 153.Power to require evidence of insurance or security on application for vehicle excise licence

    2. Payments for treatment of traffic casualties

      1. 154.Payment for hospital treatment of traffic casualties

      2. 155.Payment for emergency treatment of traffic casualties

      3. 156.Supplementary provisions as to payments for treatment

    3. Supplementary

      1. 157.Regulations for purposes of Part VI

      2. 158.Interpretation of Part VI

  8. PART VII Miscellaneous and General

    1. Furnishing of information and production of documents

      1. 159.Power of police to stop vehicles

      2. 160.Weighing of motor vehicles

      3. 161.Power of constables to require production of driving licences and in certain cases statement of date of birth

      4. 162.Power of constables to obtain names and addresses of drivers and others, and to require production of evidence of insurance or security and test certificates

      5. 163.Powers of certifying officers and examiners as respects goods vehicles

      6. 164.Penalisation of failure to give name and address, and power of arrest, in case of dangerous or careless driving or cycling, etc.

      7. 165.Pedestrian contravening constable's direction to stop to give name and address

      8. 166.Duty of driver, in case of accident involving injury to another, to produce evidence of insurance or security or to report accident

      9. 167.Duty of owner of motor vehicle to give information for verifying compliance with requirement of compulsory insurance or security

      10. 168.Duty to give information as to identity of driver, etc. in certain cases

    2. Forgery, false statements, etc.

      1. 169.Forgery of documents, etc.

      2. 170.False statements and withholding material information

      3. 171.Issue of false documents

      4. 172.Using goods vehicle with unauthorised weights as well as authorised weights marked thereon

      5. 173.Power to seize articles with respect to which offences under ss.169 to 171 may have been committed

      6. 174.Personation of, or of person employed by, authorised examiner

    3. Offences in Scotland

      1. 175.Taking motor vehicle without authority, etc.

      2. 176.Penalty for aiding, abetting, etc. commission of offences

    4. Prosecution and punishment of offences and other provisions relating to legal proceedings, etc.

      1. 177.Prosecution and punishment of offences

      2. 178.Penalty for breach of regulations

      3. 179.Restrictions on prosecutions for certain offences

      4. 180.Time within which summary proceedings for certain offences must be commenced

      5. 181.Evidence by certificate

      6. 182.Admissibility of records as evidence

      7. 183.Proof, in summary proceedings, of identity of driver of vehicle

      8. 184.Jurisdiction of courts of summary jurisdiction in Scotland for certain offences

      9. 185.Destination of fines

    5. Inquiries

      1. 186.General power to hold inquiries

      2. 187.General provisions as to inquiries

    6. Application to the Crown

      1. 188.Application to Crown

      2. 189.Application of ss.6 to 11 to persons subject to service discipline

    7. Interpretation

      1. 190.Interpretation of expressions relating to motor vehicles and classes thereof

      2. 191.Articulated vehicles

      3. 192.Hover vehicles

      4. 193.Certain vehicles not to be treated as motor vehicles

      5. 194.Method of calculating weight of motor vehicles and trailers

      6. 195.Interpretation of statutory references to carriages

      7. 196.General interpretation provisions

      8. 197.Effect of certain references to Scottish local authorities

    8. Exclusion of application of certain provisions to tramcars, trolley vehicles, etc.

      1. 198.Exclusion of application of certain provisions to tramcars, trolley vehicles, etc.

    9. Supplementary

      1. 199.Exercise of regulation-making powers and Parliamentary control thereover

      2. 200.Provision, etc. of weighbridges

      3. 201.Provisions as to Thames embankment

      4. 202.Protection of public interests

      5. 203.Consequential and other amendments of other Acts

      6. 204.Transitory modifications of this Act

      7. 205.General repeals, revocations, savings and transitional provisions

      8. 206.Saving for s.38 of Interpretation Act 1889

      9. 207.Saving for law of nuisance

      10. 208.Commencement

      11. 209.Short title and extent


    1. SCHEDULE 1

      Supplementary Provisions in connection with Proceedings for Offences under Section 33

      1. 1.(1) A person against whom proceedings are brought in England...

      2. 2.(1) Where proceedings are brought in England or Wales against...

      3. 3.(1) Where a contravention of the principal section committed by...

      4. 4.(1) Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, in any...

      5. 5.(1) An accused who in any proceedings for an offence...

    2. SCHEDULE 2

      Travelling, etc., Allowances for Attendance at Road Safety Conferences

      1. 1.(1) Where arrangements made by a local authority under section...

      2. 2.Expenditure incurred by a local or other authority in the...

      3. 3.In this Schedule " local or other authority " means...

    3. SCHEDULE 3

      Deferred Tests of Condition of Vehicles

      1. 1.Where the driver is the owner of the vehicle, he...

      2. 2.Where the driver is not the owner of the vehicle,...

      3. 3.(1) Where under the foregoing provisions of this Schedule a...

      4. 4.It shall be the duty of the owner of the...

      5. 5.References in this Schedule to the owner of a vehicle...

    4. SCHEDULE 4

      Prosecution and Punishment of Offences

      1. PART I

        1. Offences under this Act

      2. PART II

        1. Other Offence Involving Obligatory Disqualification and Endorsement

      3. PART III

        1. Other Offences Involving Discretionary Disqualification and Obligatory Endorsement

          1. 1.Stealing or attempting to steal a motor vehicle.

          2. 2.An offence, or attempt to commit an offence, in respect...

          3. 3.An offence under section 25 of the Theft Act 1968...

          4. 4.An offence under section 13(4) of the Road Traffic Regulation...

          5. 5.An offence under section 23(5) of the Road Traffic Regulation...

          6. 6.An offence under section 25(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation...

          7. 7.An offence under section 26(6) or 26A(5) of the Road...

          8. 8.An offence punishable by virtue of section 78A of the...

      4. PART IV

        1. Supplementary provisions as to prosecution, trial and punishment of offences

          1. 1.Upon the trial of a person who is indicted for...

          2. 2.If upon the trial in Scotland of a person for...

          3. 3.A contravention occurring in Scotland of any of the provisions...

          4. 4.Where a person is charged in England or Wales before...

          5. 5.Where a person is prosecuted on indictment in England or...

          6. 6.In Scotland a person may be convicted of an offence...

          7. 7.A person may be convicted of an offence against section...

          8. 8.If on the trial of an indictment in Scotland for...

      5. PART V

        1. Interpretation

          1. 1.For the purposes of the entries in Part I of...

          2. 2." Construction and use requirement" has the same meaning for...

    5. SCHEDULE 5

      Transitional Provisions Relating to Licences to Drive Heavy Goods Vehicles

      1. 1.On the first application for a heavy goods vehicle driver's...

      2. 2.The reference in paragraph 1 above to the driving of...

      3. 3.A person shall not be entitled to a licence to...

      4. 4.The Secretary of State may by regulations restrict the class...

      5. 5.Neither subsection (1) nor subsection (2) of section 112 of...

      6. 6.With a view to spreading the work of granting heavy...

    6. SCHEDULE 6

      Appeals under Section 132 against Decisions of the Registrar

      1. 1.On an appeal under section 132 of this Act, the...

      2. 2.(1) The Secretary of State shall refer every such appeal...

      3. 3.The Secretary of State may by rules made by statutory...

      4. 4.The Secretary of State may on an appeal under the...

      5. 5.Section 187 of this Act, in its application to an...

    7. SCHEDULE 7

      Consequential Amendments of other Acts

      1. The Roads and Bridges (Scotland) Act 1878

      2. The Burgh Police (Scotland) Act 1892

      3. The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1947

      4. The Road Traffic Act 1960

      5. The Administration of Justice Act 1965

      6. The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1967

      7. The Criminal Justice Act 1967

      8. The Firearms Act 1968

      9. The Countryside Act 1968

      10. The Transport Act 1968

      11. The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970

      12. The Vehicles (Excise) Act 1971

    8. SCHEDULE 8

      Transitory Modifications of this Act

      1. 1.Section 44 shall have effect as if subsection (3)(b) were...

      2. 2.Sections 54 and 55 shall be omitted.

      3. 3.(1) In relation to vehicles in respect of which section...

      4. 4.Section 105 shall have effect as if—

      5. 5.Part VI of this Act shall have effect until 1st...

    9. SCHEDULE 9

      Repeals and Revocations

      1. PART I Enactments Repealed

      2. PART II Orders Revoked

    10. SCHEDULE 10

      Savings and Transitional Provisions

      1. 1.In so far as any order, regulation, rule, agreement, application,...

      2. 2.Nothing in this Act shall affect the enactments repealed thereby...

      3. 3.Where any enactment or document refers, whether specifically or by...

      4. 4.(1) Without prejudice to paragraph 1 above, any reference in...

      5. 5.For the purpose of determining— (a) the punishment (by fine,...

      6. 6.Sections 95 and 99 of this Act shall apply to...

      7. 7.(1) Without prejudice to section 95 of this Act, any...

      8. 8.A licence to drive a motor vehicle which was in...

      9. 9.Any record kept under an enactment repealed by this Act...

      10. 10.Section 249 of the Road Traffic Act 1960 (general provision...

      11. 11.Nothing in section 154 or 155 of this Act or...

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