Road traffic act 1988 (REVISED)

The Road Traffic Act 1988 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom, concerning licensing of vehicles, insurance and road regulation.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 is divided into 7 part:

This article covers the revised edition of the Road Traffic Act 1988; below are what each part of the Road Traffic Act 1988 covers:

PART 1 (Road Traffic Act 1988) – Principal Road Safety Provisions

Part I of this act contains a number of traffic offences including causing death by dangerous driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including police powers to arrest, administer tests, etc.), as well as requirements to wear seat belts and motorcycle helmets. Full breakdown of the part 1 content below:

  1. Driving offences
    1. Causing death by dangerous driving.
    2. Causing serious injury by dangerous driving
    3. Dangerous driving.
    4. Meaning of dangerous driving.
    5. Causing death by careless, or inconsiderate, driving
    6. Careless, and inconsiderate, driving.
    7. Meaning of careless, or inconsiderate, driving
    8. Causing death by driving: unlicensed… or uninsured drivers
    9. Causing death by driving: disqualified drivers
    10. Causing serious injury by driving: disqualified drivers
    11. Causing death by careless driving when under influence of drink or drugs.
  2. Motor vehicles: drink and drugs
    1. Driving, or being in charge, when under influence of drink or drugs.
    2. Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above prescribed limit.
    3. Driving or being in charge of a motor vehicle with concentration of specified controlled drug above specified limit
    4. Power to administer preliminary tests
    5. Preliminary breath test
    6. Preliminary impairment test
    7. Preliminary drug test
    8. Arrest
    9. Power of entry
    10. Provision of specimens for analysis.
    11. Specimens of blood taken from persons incapable of consenting
    12. Breath specimen showing higher alcohol level to be disregarded.
    13. Protection for hospital patients.
    14. Detention of persons affected by alcohol or a drug.
    15. Interpretation of sections 4 to 10.
  3. Motor racing on public ways
    1. Motor racing on public ways.
    2. Motor race orders: England and Wales: overview
    3. Permission to apply for motor race order
    4. Application for motor race order
    5. Determination of applications for motor race orders
    6. Effect of motor race order
    7. Regulations by appropriate national authority: procedure
    8. Authorisation of races and trials of speed in Scotland
    9. Races and trials of speed in Scotland: further provision
    10. Regulations under section 12G or 12H: procedure
  4. Other motor events
    1. Regulation of motoring events on public ways.
    2. Disapplication of sections 1 to 3 for authorised motoring events.
  5. Protective measures: seat belts, helmets, etc.
    1. Seat belts: adults.
    2. Restriction on carrying children not wearing seat belts in motor vehicles.
    3. Safety equipment for children in motor vehicles.
    4. Requirement to notify bus passengers to wear seat belts
    5. Wearing of protective headgear.
    6. Protective helmets for motor cyclists.
    7. Authorisation of head-worn appliances for use on motor cycles.
  6. Stopping on verges, etc., or in dangerous positions, etc.
    1. Prohibition of parking of HGVs on verges, central reservations and footways.
    2. Prohibition of parking of vehicles on verges, central reservations and footways.
    3. Definition of “heavy commercial vehicle” for the purposes of section 19.
    4. Prohibition of driving or parking on cycle tracks.
    5. Leaving vehicles in dangerous positions.
    6. Causing danger to road-users.
  7. Other restrictions in interests of safety
    1. Restriction of carriage of persons on motor cycles.
    2. Restriction of carriage of persons on bicycles.
    3. Tampering with motor vehicles.
    4. Holding or getting on to vehicle in order to be towed or carried.
    5. Control of dogs on roads.
  8. Cycling offences and cycle racing
    1. Dangerous cycling.
    2. Careless, and inconsiderate, cycling.
    3. Cycling when under influence of drink or drugs.
    4. Regulation of cycle racing on public ways.
    5. Electrically assisted pedal cycles.
  9. Use of motor vehicles away from roads
    1. Control of use of footpaths , bridleways and restricted byways for motor vehicle trials.
    2. Prohibition of driving mechanically propelled vehicles elsewhere than on roads.
  10. Directions to traffic and to pedestrians and traffic signs
    1. Drivers to comply with traffic directions.
    2. Drivers to comply with traffic signs.
    3. Directions to pedestrians.
  11. Promotion of road safety
    1. The Highway Code.
    2. Powers of Secretary of State and local authorities as to giving road safety information and training.
    3. Road safety grants

Read Also: List of health and safety legislation

PART 2 (Road Traffic Act 1988) – Construction and Use of Vehicles and Equipment

Part II is concerned with regulating the construction and use of motor vehicles, and includes powers to test, inspect and prohibit vehicles that do not meet standards. Below is what the part covers:

    1. Using vehicle in dangerous condition
      1. Using vehicle in dangerous condition etc.
    2. General regulation of construction, use etc.
      1. Regulation of construction, weight, equipment and use of vehicles.
      2. Breach of requirement as to brakes, steering-gear or tyres.
      3. Breach of requirement as to weight: goods and passenger vehicles.
      4. Breach of requirement as to speed assessment equipment detection devices
      5. Breach of requirements as to control of vehicle, mobile telephones etc.
      6. Breach of other construction and use requirements.
      7. Temporary exemption from application of regulations under section 41.
      8. Authorisation of use on roads of special vehicles not complying with regulations under section 41.
    3. Tests of vehicles other than goods vehicles to which section 49 applies
      1. Tests of satisfactory condition of vehicles.
      2. Regulations under section 45.
      3. Use of records of vehicle examinations, etc.
      4. Evidence from records of vehicle examinations.
      5. Obligatory test certificates.
      6. Supplementary provisions about test certificates.
    4. Tests of certain classes of goods vehicles
      1. Tests of satisfactory condition of goods vehicles and determination of plated weights, etc.
      2. Use of records of goods vehicle examinations, etc.
      3. Appeals against determinations.
      4. Particular aspects of regulations under section 49.
      5. Supplementary provisions about tests, etc., of goods vehicles.
      6. Obligatory goods vehicle test certificates.
    5. Approval of design, construction, equipment and marking of vehicles
      1. Type approval requirements.
      2. Type approval certificates.
      3. Conditions of, and cancellation or suspension of, type approval certificates.
      4. Certificates of conformity.
      5. Minister’s approval certificates.
      6. Supplementary provisions as to certificates of conformity and Minister’s approval certificates.
      7. Appeals.
      8. Regulations for the purposes of sections 54 to 60.
      9. Other supplementary provisions.
      10. Obligatory type approval certificates, certificates of conformity and Minister’s approval certificates.
      11. Alteration of plated weights for goods vehicles without examination.
      12. Using goods vehicle with unauthorised weights as well as authorised weights marked on it.
      13. Failure to hold EC certificate of conformity for unregistered motor cycle or tractor
      14. Vehicles and parts not to be sold without required certificate of conformity or Minister’s approval certificate.
      15. Motor cycles not to be sold without EC certificate of conformity
    6. Conditions for grant of excise licence
      1. Regulations prohibiting the grant of excise licences for certain vehicles except on compliance with certain conditions.
    7. Vehicle examiners
      1. Appointment of examiners.
    8. Stopping officers
      1. Appointment of stopping officers
      2. Stopping officers: offences
    9. Testing vehicles on roads
      1. Testing of condition of vehicles on roads.
      2. Remedying defects discovered on roadside test.
      3. Tests to check whether defects have been remedied.
    10. Inspection of public passenger vehicles and goods vehicles
      1. Inspection of public passenger vehicles and goods vehicles.
    11. Prohibition of unfit vehicles
      1. Power to prohibit driving of unfit vehicles.
      2. Prohibitions conditional on inspection etc.
      3. Power to prohibit driving of overloaded goods vehicles.
      4. Unfit and overloaded vehicles: offences.
      5. Removal of prohibitions.
      6. Official testing stations.
      7. Provisions supplementary to sections 69 to 72.
    12. Miscellaneous provisions about vehicles and vehicle parts
      1. Operator’s duty to inspect, and keep records of inspections of, goods vehicles.
      2. Vehicles not to be sold in unroadworthy condition or altered so as to be unroadworthy.
      3. Fitting and supply of defective or unsuitable vehicle parts.
      4. Testing condition of used vehicles at sale rooms, etc.
      5. Weighing of motor vehicles.
      6. Further provisions relating to weighing of motor vehicles.
      7. Approval marks.
    13. Pedal cycles and horse-drawn vehicles
      1. Regulation of brakes, bells etc., on pedal cycles.
      2. Regulation of brakes on horse-drawn vehicles.
    14. Miscellaneous
      1. Offences to do with reflectors and tail lamps.
      2. Appointment of officials and destination of fees.
      3. Interpretation of Part II.
      4. Index to Part II.

Read Also: CP12  (Gas Safety certificate)

PART 3 (Road Traffic Act 1988) – Licensing of drivers of vehicles

Part III sets out the law on driving tests, the requirements for issuing driving licenses, and the process for disqualifying drivers. Below is what the part covers:

    1. Requirement to hold license
      1. Drivers of motor vehicles to have driving licenses.
      2. Exceptions.
    2. Tests
      1. Tests of competence to drive.
      2. The alternative requirements to those in section 89.
      3. Review of conduct of test.
      4. Repayment of test fees.
    3. Physical fitness
      1. Requirements as to physical fitness of drivers.
      2. Revocation of licence because of disability or prospective disability.
      3. Provision of information, etc. relating to disabilities.
      4. Driving after refusal or revocation of licence.
      5. Notification of refusal of insurance on grounds of health.
      6. Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight.
    4. Granting of licences, their form and duration
      1. Grant of licences.
      2. Residence requirement
      3. Form of licence.
      4. Compulsory surrender of old-form licences
      5. Duration of licences.
    5. Driver training
      1. Compulsory driver training courses.
      2. Requirements to complete training courses.
      3. Driver training courses: supplementary.
    6. EU licence holders
      1. Authorisation to drive in Great Britain.
      2. Information about resident EU licence holders.
      3. Revocation of authorisation conferred by EU licence because of disability or prospective disability.
      4. Information relating to disabilities etc.
      5. Return of EU licences delivered to Secretary of State.
    7. Appeals
      1. Appeals relating to licences.
    8. Disqualification (otherwise than on conviction)
      1. Disqualification of persons under age.
      2. Disqualification to prevent duplication of licences.
    9. Disqualification if disqualified in Northern Ireland etc.
      1. Disqualification while disqualified in Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Channel Islands or Gibraltar
    10. Effects of disqualification
      1. Obtaining licence, or driving, while disqualified.
    11. Miscellaneous
      1. Conduct of proceedings in certain courts by or against the Secretary of State.
      2. Regulations.
      3. Destination of fees for licences, etc.
      4. Service of notices.
      5. Interpretation.
      6. Provisions as to Northern Ireland drivers’ licences.
      7. Information about Northern Ireland licence holders
      8. Revocation of authorisation conferred by Northern Ireland licence because of disability or prospective disability
      9. Information relating to disabilities etc

PART 4 – Licensing of drivers of large goods vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles.

Part IV deals with the licenses required for driving large goods vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles (buses and coaches). Below is what the part covers:

Read Also: RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995)

  1. Licensing of drivers of large goods vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles.
    1. (1) Licences under Part III of this Act to drive…
    2. Functions of traffic commissioners.
    3. Grants of licences: fitness as regards conduct.
    4. Grant of licences: referral of matters of conduct to traffic commissioners.
    5. Conditions of certain licences.
    6. Revocation or suspension of licences.
    7. EU licence holders: cessation of authorisation, etc.
    8. Revocation or suspension of licences: referral of matters of conduct to traffic commissioners.
    9. Disqualification on revocation of licence.
    10. EU licences: disqualification etc.
    11. Revoked or suspended licences: surrender, return and endorsement.
    12. Appeals to magistrates’ court or sheriff
    13. Regulations.
    14. Interpretation.
    15. Provisions as to Northern Ireland licences.


PART 5 – Driving Instruction

Part V concerns the registration, licensing and examination of driving instructors. Below is what the part covers:

    1. Instructors to be registered or licensed
      1. Driving instruction for payment to be given only by registered or licensed persons.
      2. Exemption of police instructors from prohibition imposed by section 123.
    2. Registration
      1. The register of approved instructors.
      2. Registration of disabled persons.
      3. Provisions supplementary to section 125A.
      4. Duration of registration.
      5. Extension of duration of registration.
      6. Removal of names from register.
    3. Licences
      1. Licences for giving instruction so as to obtain practical experience.
      2. Revocation of licences.
    4. Appeals
      1. Appeals.
    5. Compensation
      1. Compensation in respect of suspension
    6. Examinations and tests
      1. Examinations and tests of ability to give driving instruction.
      2. Review of examinations.
    7. Disabled persons: emergency control certificates, etc
      1. Assessment of disabled person’s ability to control a motor car in an emergency.
      2. Further assessments.
      3. Duty to disclose further disability.
      4. Offences relating to giving by disabled person of paid driving instruction.
      5. Direction to disregard emergency control assessment requirement
    8. General and supplemental
      1. Power to alter conditions for entry or retention in, and removal from, register and for grant or revocation of licences.
      2. Power to prescribe form of certificate of registration, etc.
      3. Surrender of certificates and licences.
      4. Production of certificates and licences to constables and authorised persons.
      5. Offences by corporations.
      6. Service of notices.
      7. Receipts.
      8. Regulations.
      9. Meaning of “motor car”.
      10. Index to Part V.

PART 6 – Third-Party Liabilities

Part VI contains provisions concerning compulsory vehicle insurance against third-party risks. Below is what the part covers:

  1. Compulsory insurance or security against third
    1. Users of motor vehicles to be insured … .
    2. Exceptions from requirement of third-party insurance … .
    3. Offence of keeping vehicle which does not meet insurance requirements
    4. Exceptions to section 144A offence
    5. Fixed penalty notices
    6. Section 144A offence: supplementary
    7. Requirements in respect of policies of insurance.
    8. Requirements in respect of securities.
    9. Issue … of certificates of insurance … .
    10. Avoidance of certain exceptions to policies … .
    11. Avoidance of certain agreements as to liability towards passengers.
    12. Insurance … in respect of private use of vehicle to cover use under car-sharing arrangements.
    13. Duty of insurers … to satisfy judgment against persons insured … .
    14. Exceptions to section 151.
    15. Bankruptcy, etc., of insured … persons not to affect claims by third parties.
    16. Duty to give information as to insurance … where claim made.
    17. Deposits.
    18. Power to require evidence of insurance … on application for vehicle excise licence.
  2. Payments for treatment of traffic casualties
    1. Payment for hospital treatment of traffic casualties.
    2. Payment for emergency treatment of traffic casualties.
    3. Supplementary provisions as to payments for treatment.
  3. General
    1. Disclosure of information
    2. Regulations.
    3. Interpretation.
    4. Index to Part VI.

PART 7 – Miscellaneous and General

Part VII contains miscellaneous provisions. Below is what the part covers:

    1. Requirement for approval of persons to assist at tests
      1. Approved test assistants
    2. Powers of constables and other authorised persons
      1. Power of police to stop vehicles.
      2. Power of constables to require production of driving licence and in certain cases statement of date of birth.
      3. Power of constables to obtain names and addresses of drivers and others, and to require production of evidence of insurance … and test certificates.
      4. Power to seize vehicles driven without licence or insurance
      5. Retention etc. of vehicles seized under section 165A
      6. Powers of certain officers as respects goods vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles.
      7. Power of arrest in Scotland for reckless or careless driving or cycling.
    3. Duty to give name and address
      1. Failure to give, or giving false, name and address in case of reckless or careless or inconsiderate driving or cycling.
      2. Pedestrian contravening constable’s direction to stop to give name and address.
    4. Duties in case of accident
      1. Duty of driver to stop, report accident and give information or documents.
    5. Other duties to give information or documents
      1. Duty of owner of motor vehicle to give information for verifying compliance with requirement of compulsory insurance … .
      2. Duty to give information as to identity of driver etc in certain circumstances.
    6. Forgery, false statements, etc.
      1. Forgery of documents, etc.
      2. False statements and withholding material information.
      3. Issue of false documents.
      4. Power to seize articles in respect of which offences under sections 173 to 175 may have been committed.
      5. Impersonation of authorised examiner, etc.
    7. Offences in Scotland
      1. Taking motor vehicle without authority, etc.
    8. Inquiries
      1. General power to hold enquiries.
      2. General provisions as to inquiries.
      3. General provisions as to accident inquiries.
      4. Special provisions as to accident inquiries in Greater London.
    9. Application to the Crown
      1. Application to the Crown.
      2. Application of sections 5 to 10 to persons subject to service discipline.
    10. Interpretation
      1. Meaning of “motor vehicle” and other expressions relating to vehicles.
      2. Supplementary provisions about those expressions.
      3. Articulated vehicles.
      4. Hover vehicles.
      5. Certain vehicles not to be treated as motor vehicles.
      6. Method of calculating weight of motor vehicles and trailers.
      7. Interpretation of statutory references to carriages.
      8. General interpretation of Act.
      9. Tramcars and other guided vehicles: drink and drugs.
      10. Exemptions for tramcars, trolley vehicles, railway locomotives, carriages and trucks.
      11. Tramcars and trolley vehicles.
      12. General index.
    11. Supplementary
      1. Provisions as to regulations.
      2. Provision, etc., of weighbridges.
      3. Short title, commencement and extent.



By Ubong Edet

A passionate Health and Safety professional with a good level of field experience and relevant certifications including NEBOSH, OSHA, ISO, etc certifications. An Health and Safety activist who believes in the growth and continual improvement of the profession. He is going all out to create awareness and safe precious lives.

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