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ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1991

UK Public General Acts

Version 01/10/1991

1991 CHAPTER 40

Default Geographical Extent: E+W+S


  • Part I. General
    • Driving offences (P)
    • Drink and drugs (P)
    • Motoring events (P)
    • Danger to road-users (P)
    • Cycling (P)
    • Construction and use (P)
    • Licensing of drivers (P)
    • Insurance (P)
    • Information (P)
    • Trial (P)
    • Penalties (P)
    • Miscellaneous
  • Part II. Traffic In London
    • Priority routes
    • Local plans and trunk road local plans
    • Parking in London
    • Miscellaneous
  • Part III. Supplementary
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  • Version 03/10/2016
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  • Version 25/07/1991

Introductory Text

Road Traffic Act 1991

1991 CHAPTER 40

An Act to amend the law about road traffic.

[25th July 1991]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Annotations:

Extent Information

E1 This Act does not extend to Northern Ireland except in so far as it amends any enactment extending there see s. 86

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1 Act applied (with modifications) (20.9.2000) by 2000 c. vii, s. 4(4)(5)

Commencement Information

I1 Act partly in force at Royal Assent see s. 84(1)(2)


Part I
General



Driving offences (PROSPECTIVE)


1 Offences of dangerous driving.

For sections 1 and 2 of the M1 Road Traffic Act 1988 there shall be substituted—

“1 Causing death by dangerous driving.
A person who causes the death of another person by driving a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place is guilty of an offence.
2 Dangerous driving.
A person who drives a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place is guilty of an offence.
2A Meaning of dangerous driving.
(1) For the purposes of sections 1 and 2 above a person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if (and, subject to subsection (2) below, only if) —
(a) the way he drives falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and
(b) it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.
(2) A person is also to be regarded as driving dangerously for the purposes of sections 1 and 2 above if it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state would be dangerous.
(3) In subsections (1) and (2) above “ dangerous ” refers to danger either of injury to any person or of serious damage to property; and in determining for the purposes of those subsections what would be expected of, or obvious to, a competent and careful driver in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.
(4) In determining for the purposes of subsection (2) above the state of a vehicle, regard may be had to anything attached to or carried on or in it and to the manner in which it is attached or carried.”
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I2 S. 1 wholly in force at 1.7.1992 see s. 84 and S.I. 1992/1286, art. 2, Sch.

Marginal Citations

M1 1988 c. 52.


2 Careless, and inconsiderate, driving.

For section 3 of the M2 Road Traffic Act 1988 there shall be substituted—

“3 Careless, and inconsiderate, driving.
If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence.”
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I3 S. 2 wholly in force at 1.7.1992 see s. 84 and S.I. 1992/1286, art. 2, Sch.

Marginal Citations

M2 1988 c. 52.


Drink and drugs (PROSPECTIVE)


3 Causing death by careless driving when under influence of drink or drugs.

Before section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 there shall be inserted—

“3A Causing death by careless driving when under influence of drink or drugs.
(1) If a person causes the death of another person by driving a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, and—
(a) he is, at the time when he is driving, unfit to drive through drink or drugs, or
(b) he has consumed so much alcohol that the proportion of it in his breath, blood or urine at that time exceeds the prescribed limit, or
(c) he is, within 18 hours after that time, required to provide a specimen in pursuance of section 7 of this Act, but without reasonable excuse fails to provide it,
he is guilty of an offence.
(2) For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to be unfit to drive at any time when his ability to drive properly is impaired.
(3) Subsection (1) (b) and (c) above shall not apply in relation to a person driving a mechanically propelled vehicle other than a motor vehicle.”
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I4 S. 3 wholly in force at 1.7.1992 see s. 84 and S.I. 1992/1286, art. 2, Sch.


4 Driving under influence of drink or drugs.

In section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, in subsections (1) , (2) and (3) for the words “motor vehicle” there shall be substituted the words “ mechanically propelled vehicle ”.

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I5 S. 4 wholly in force at 1.7.1992 see s. 84 and S.I. 1992/1286, art. 2, Sch.


Motoring events (PROSPECTIVE)


5 Disapplication of sections 1 to 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 for authorised motoring events.

After section 13 of the M3 Road Traffic Act 1988 there shall be inserted—

“13A Disapplication of sections 1 to 3 for authorised motoring events.
(1) A person shall not be guilty of an offence under sections 1, 2 or 3 of this Act by virtue of driving a vehicle in a public place other than a road if he shows that he was driving in accordance with an authorisation for a motoring event given under regulations made by the Secretary of State.
(2) Regulations under this section may in particular—
(a) prescribe the persons by whom, and limit the circumstances in which and the places in respect of which, authorisations may be given under the regulations;
(b) specify conditions which must be included among those incorporated i n authorisations;
(c) provide for authorisations to cease to have effect in prescribed circumstances;
(d) provide for the procedure to be followed, the particulars to be given, and the amount (or the persons who are to determine the amount) of any fees to be paid, in connection with applications for authorisations;
(e) make different provisions for different cases.”
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I6 S. 5 wholly in force at 1.7.1992 see s. 84 and S.I. 1992/1286, art. 2, Sch.

Marginal Citations

M3 1988 c. 52.


Danger to road-users (PROSPECTIVE)


6 Causing danger to road-users.

Before section 23 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 there shall be inserted—

“22A Causing danger to road-users.
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he intentionally and without lawful authority or reasonable cause—
(a) causes anything to be on or over a road, or
(b) interferes with a motor vehicle, trailer or cycle, or
(c) interferes (directly or indirectly) with traffic equipment,
in such circumstances that it would be obvious to a reasonable person that to do so would be dangerous.
(2) In subsection (1) above “ dangerous ” refers to danger either of injury to any person while on or near a road, or of serious damage to property on or near a road; and in determining for the purposes of that subsection what would be obvious to a reasonable person in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.
(3) In subsection (1) above “ traffic equipment ” means—
(a) anything lawfully placed on or near a road by a highway authority;
(b) a traffic sign lawfully placed on or near a road by a person other than a highway authority;
(c) any fence, barrier or light lawfully placed on or near a road—
(i) in pursuance of section 174 of the Highways Act 1980, section 8 of the Public Utilities Street Works Act 1950 or section 65 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (which provide for guarding, lighting and signing in streets where works are undertaken) , or
(ii) by a constable or a person acting under the instructions (whether general or specific) of a chief officer of police.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) above anything placed on or near a road shall unless the contrary is proved be deemed to have been lawfully placed there.
(5) In this section “ road ” does not include a footpath or bridleway.
(6) This section does not extend to Scotland.”
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I7 S. 6 wholly in force at 1.7.1992 see s. 84 and S.I. 1992/1286, art. 2, Sch.


Cycling (PROSPECTIVE)


7 Cycling offences.

For section 28 of the M4 Road Traffic Act 1988 there shall be substituted—

“28 Dangerous cycling.
(1) A person who rides a cycle on a road dangerously is guilty of an offence.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) above a person is to be regarded as riding dangerously if (and only if) —
(a) the way he rides falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful cyclist, and
(b) it would be obvious to a competent and careful cyclist that riding in that way would be dangerous.
(3) In subsection (2) above “ dangerous ” refers to danger either of injury to any person or of serious damage to property; and in determining for the purposes of that subsection what would be obvious to a competent and careful cyclist in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.”
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I8 S. 7 wholly in force at 1.7.1992 see s. 84 and S.I. 1992/1286, art. 2, Sch.

Marginal Citations

M4 1988 c. 52.


Construction and use (PROSPECTIVE)