Road Traffic Act 1988

The Road Traffic Act 1988 (c 52) is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom, concerning licensing of vehicles, insurance and road regulation.

Road Traffic Act 1988
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to road traffic with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission.
Citationc. 52
Territorial extentEngland, Wales and Scotland
Royal assent15 November 1988
Commencement15 May 1989
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Road Traffic Act 1988 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from


Part I 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.

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.

Part III sets out the law on driving tests, the requirements for issuing driving licences, and the process for disqualifying drivers.

Part IV deals with the licences required for driving large goods vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles (buses and coaches).

Part V concerns the registration, licensing and examination of driving instructors.

Part VI contains provisions concerning compulsory vehicle insurance against third-party risks.

Part VII contains miscellaneous provisions.

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