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Road Traffic Act 1988


This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

  1. Introductory Text

  2. Part I Principal Road Safety Provisions

    1. Driving offences

      1. 1.Causing death by reckless driving

      2. 2.Reckless driving

      3. 3.Careless, and inconsiderate, driving

    2. Motor vehicles: drink and drugs

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

      2. 5.Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above prescribed limit

      3. 6.Breath tests

      4. 7.Provision of specimens for analysis

      5. 8.Choice of specimens of breath

      6. 9.Protection for hospital patients

      7. 10.Detention of persons affected by alcohol or a drug

      8. 11.Interpretation of sections 4 to 10

    3. Motor racing and motoring events on public ways

      1. 12.Motor racing on public ways

      2. 13.Regulation of motoring events on public ways

    4. Protective measures: seat belts, helmets, etc.

      1. 14.Seat belts: adults

      2. 15.Restriction on carrying children not wearing seat belts in motor vehicles

      3. 16.Wearing of protective headgear

      4. 17.Protective helmets for motor cyclists

      5. 18.Authorisation of head-worn appliances for use on motor cycles

    5. Stopping on verges, etc., or in dangerous positions, etc.

      1. 19.Prohibition of parking of HGVs on verges, central reservations and footways

      2. 20.Definition of “heavy commercial vehicle” for the purposes of section 19

      3. 21.Prohibition of driving or parking on cycle tracks

      4. 22.Leaving vehicles in dangerous positions

    6. Other restrictions in interests of safety

      1. 23.Restriction of carriage of persons on motor cycles

      2. 24.Restriction of carriage of persons on bicycles

      3. 25.Tampering with motor vehicles

      4. 26.Holding or getting on to vehicle in order to be towed or carried

      5. 27.Control of dogs on roads

    7. Cycling offences and cycle racing

      1. 28.Reckless cycling

      2. 29.Careless, and inconsiderate, cycling

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

      4. 31.Regulation of cycle racing on public ways

      5. 32.Electrically assisted pedal cycles

    8. Use of motor vehicles away from roads

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

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

    9. Directions to traffic and to pedestrians and traffic signs

      1. 35.Drivers to comply with traffic directions

      2. 36.Drivers to comply with traffic signs

      3. 37.Directions to pedestrians

    10. Promotion of road safety

      1. 38.The Highway Code

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

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

  3. Part II Construction and Use of Vehicles and Equipment

    1. General regulation of construction, use etc.

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

      2. 42.Offence where regulations are contravened, etc

      3. 43.Temporary exemption from application of regulations under section 41

      4. 44.Authorisation of use on roads of special vehicles not complying with regulations under section 41

    2. Tests of vehicles other than goods vehicles to which section 49 applies

      1. 45.Tests of satisfactory condition of vehicles

      2. 46.Particular aspects of regulations under section 45

      3. 47.Obligatory test certificates

      4. 48.Supplementary provisions about test certificates

    3. Tests of certain classes of goods vehicles

      1. 49.Tests of satisfactory condition of goods vehicles and determination of plated weights, etc

      2. 50.Appeals against determinations

      3. 51.Particular aspects of regulations under section 49

      4. 52.Supplementary provisions about tests, etc., of goods vehicles

      5. 53.Obligatory goods vehicle test certificates

    4. Approval of design, construction, equipment and marking of vehicles

      1. 54.Type approval requirements

      2. 55.Type approval certificates

      3. 56.Conditions of, and cancellation or suspension of, type approval certificates

      4. 57.Certificates of conformity

      5. 58.Minister’s approval certificates

      6. 59.Supplementary provisions as to certificates of conformity and Minister’s approval certificates

      7. 60.Appeals

      8. 61.Regulations for the purposes of sections 54 to 60

      9. 62.Other supplementary provisions

      10. 63.Obligatory type approval certificates, certificates of conformity and Minister’s approval certificates

      11. 64.Using goods vehicle with unauthorised weights as well as authorised weights marked on it

      12. 65.Vehicles and parts not to be sold without required certificate of conformity or Minister’s approval certificate

    5. Conditions for grant of excise licence

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

    6. Testing vehicles on roads

      1. 67.Testing of condition of vehicles on roads

    7. Maintenance and loading of goods vehicles

      1. 68.Power to inspect goods vehicles to secure proper maintenance

      2. 69.Power to prohibit the driving of unfit goods vehicles

      3. 70.Power to prohibit driving of overloaded goods vehicles

      4. 71.Offences in connection with unfit or overloaded goods vehicles

      5. 72.Removal of prohibitions

      6. 73.Provisions supplementary to sections 69 to 72

    8. Miscellaneous provisions about vehicles and vehicle parts

      1. 74.Operator’s duty to inspect, and keep records of inspections of, goods vehicles

      2. 75.Vehicles not to be sold in unroadworthy condition or altered so as to be unroadworthy

      3. 76.Fitting and supply of defective or unsuitable vehicle parts

      4. 77.Testing condition of used vehicles at sale rooms, etc

      5. 78.Weighing of motor vehicles

      6. 79.Further provisions relating to weighing of motor vehicles

      7. 80.Approval marks

    9. Pedal cycles and horse-drawn vehicles

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

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

    10. Miscellaneous

      1. 83.Offences to do with reflectors and tail lamps

      2. 84.Appointment of officials and destination of fees

      3. 85.Interpretation of Part II

      4. 86.Index to Part II

  4. Part III Licensing of drivers of vehicles

    1. Requirement to hold licence

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

      2. 88.Exceptions

    2. Tests

      1. 89.Tests of competence to drive

      2. 90.Review of conduct of test

      3. 91.Repayment of test fees

    3. Physical fitness

      1. 92.Requirements as to physical fitness of drivers

      2. 93.Revocation of licence because of disability or prospective disability

      3. 94.Provision of information, etc. relating to disabilities

      4. 95.Notification of refusal of insurance on grounds of health

      5. 96.Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight

    4. Granting of licences, their form and duration

      1. 97.Grant of licences

      2. 98.Form of licence

      3. 99.Duration of licences

    5. Appeals

      1. 100.Appeals relating to licences

    6. Disqualification (otherwise than on conviction)

      1. 101.Disqualification of persons under age

      2. 102.Disqualification to prevent duplication of licences

      3. 103.Obtaining licence, or driving, while disqualified

    7. Miscellaneous

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

      2. 105.Regulations

      3. 106.Destination of fees for licences, etc

      4. 107.Service of notices

      5. 108.Interpretation

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

  5. Part IV Licensing of drivers of heavy goods vehicles

    1. Requirement for HGV licence

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

    2. Grant, duration and revocation of licences

      1. 111.Licensing authority, and applications, for HGV drivers' licences

      2. 112.Grant of HGV drivers' licences

      3. 113.Duration of HGV drivers' licences

      4. 114.Disqualification on revocation of HGV driver’s licence

    3. Appeals and review of tests

      1. 115.Review of conduct of test

      2. 116.Appeals relating to HGV drivers' licences

    4. General and supplemental

      1. 117.Regulations

      2. 118.Fees and expenses

      3. 119.Common test of competence to drive for the purposes of Parts III and IV

      4. 120.Interpretation

      5. 121.Provisions as to Northern Ireland heavy goods vehicle drivers' licences

      6. 122.Protection of public interests

  6. Part V Driving Instruction

    1. Instructors to be registered or licensed

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

      2. 124.Exemption of police instructors from prohibition imposed by section 123

    2. Registration

      1. 125.The register of approved instructors

      2. 126.Duration of registration

      3. 127.Extension of duration of registration

      4. 128.Removal of names from register

    3. Licences

      1. 129.Licences for giving instruction so as to obtain practical experience

      2. 130.Revocation of licences

    4. Appeals

      1. 131.Appeals

    5. Examinations and tests

      1. 132.Examinations and tests of ability to give driving instruction

      2. 133.Review of examinations

    6. General and supplemental

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

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

      3. 136.Surrender of certificates and licences

      4. 137.Production of certificates and licences to constables and authorised persons

      5. 138.Offences by corporations

      6. 139.Service of notices

      7. 140.Receipts

      8. 141.Regulations

      9. 142.Index to 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

      7. 149.Avoidance of certain agreements as to liability towards passengers

      8. 150.Insurance or security in respect of private use of vehicle to cover use under car-sharing arrangements

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

      10. 152.Exceptions to section 151

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

      12. 154.Duty to give information as to insurance or security where claim made

      13. 155.Deposits

      14. 156.Power to require evidence of insurance or security on application for vehicle excise licence

    2. Payments for treatment of traffic casualties

      1. 157.Payment for hospital treatment of traffic casualties

      2. 158.Payment for emergency treatment of traffic casualties

      3. 159.Supplementary provisions as to payments for treatment

    3. General

      1. 160.Regulations

      2. 161.Interpretation

      3. 162.Index to Part VI

  8. Part VII Miscellaneous and General

    1. Powers of constables and other authorised persons

      1. 163.Power of police to stop vehicles

      2. 164.Power of constables to require production of driving licence and in certain cases statement of date of birth

      3. 165.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

      4. 166.Powers of certifying officers and examiners as respects goods vehicles

      5. 167.Power of arrest in Scotland for reckless or careless driving or cycling

    2. Duty to give name and address

      1. 168.Failure to give, or giving false, name and address in case of reckless or careless or inconsiderate driving or cycling

      2. 169.Pedestrian contravening constable’s direction to stop to give name and address

    3. Duties in case of accident

      1. 170.Duty of driver to stop, report accident and give information or documents

    4. Other duties to give information or documents

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

      2. 172.Duty to give information as to identity of driver, etc., in certain cases

    5. Forgery, false statements, etc.

      1. 173.Forgery of documents, etc

      2. 174.False statements and withholding material information

      3. 175.Issue of false documents

      4. 176.Power to seize articles in respect of which offences under sections 173 to 175 may have been committed

      5. 177.Impersonation of, or of person employed by, authorised examiner

    6. Offences in Scotland

      1. 178.Taking motor vehicle without authority, etc

    7. Inquiries

      1. 179.General power to hold enquiries

      2. 180.General provisions as to inquiries

      3. 181.General provisions as to accident inquiries

      4. 182.Special provisions as to accident inquiries in Greater London

    8. Application to the Crown

      1. 183.Application to the Crown

      2. 184.Application of sections 5 to 10 to persons subject to service discipline

    9. Interpretation

      1. 185.Meaning of “motor vehicle” and other expressions relating to vehicles

      2. 186.Supplementary provisions about those expressions

      3. 187.Articulated vehicles

      4. 188.Hover vehicles

      5. 189.Certain vehicles not to be treated as motor vehicles

      6. 190.Method of calculating weight of motor vehicles and trailers

      7. 191.Interpretation of statutory references to carriages

      8. 192.General interpretation of Act

      9. 193.Exemptions for tramcars, trolley vehicles, railway locomotives, carriages and trucks

      10. 194.General index

    10. Supplementary

      1. 195.Provisions as to regulations

      2. 196.Provision, etc., of weighbridges

      3. 197.Short title, commencement and extent


    1. SCHEDULE 1

      Supplementary Provisions in Connection with Proceedings for Offences under Sections 17 and 18(4)

      1. Proceedings in England and Wales

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

        2. 2.(1) Where— (a) it appears that an offence under section...

        3. 3.(1) Where proceedings are brought in England and Wales against...

      2. Proceedings in Scotland

        1. 4.(1) Where a contravention of section 17 or 18(4) of...

      3. Proceedings in Great Britain

        1. 5.(1) Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, in any...

        2. 6.(1) An accused who in any proceedings for an offence...

        3. 7.In this Schedule, “appliance” means an appliance to which section...

    2. SCHEDULE 2

      Deferred Tests of Condition of Vehicles

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

      2. 2.When the driver is not the owner of the vehicle...

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

      4. 4.The owner of the vehicle must produce it, or secure...

      5. 5.(1) References in this Schedule to the owner of a...

    3. SCHEDULE 3

      Appeals under Section 131 Against Decisions of the Registrar

      1. 1.On an appeal under section 131 of this Act, the...

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

      3. 3.(1) The Secretary of State may by rules made by...

      4. 4.(1) The Secretary of State may on an appeal under...

      5. 5.Section 180 of this Act, in its application to an...

    4. SCHEDULE 4

      Provisions Not Applicable to Tramcars, etc.

      1. 1.Sections 12, 25, 26 and 127 of this Act do...

      2. 2.Sections 2, 3, 4(1) and 181 of this Act do...

      3. 3.The provisions of sections 41, 42, 47, 48, 66 and...

      4. 4.Section 83 of this Act does not apply to railway...

      5. 5.Part III of this Act and, in the Road Traffic...

      6. 6.Sections 101 and 109 of this Act do not apply...

      7. 7.Part VI of this Act does not apply to tramcars...

      8. 8.Sections 78, 79, 163, 165, 168, 170, 171, 178, 190...

      9. 9.Section 164 of this Act does not apply to tramcars...

      10. 10.In this Schedule “operated under statutory powers” means, in relation...

      11. 11.Paragraphs 1 to 3 and 5 to 9 above shall...

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