What is the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984?

Sarah Woody

The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 is a parliamentary Act in the United Kingdom that regulates traffic laws for road safety. There are 10 parts to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, which include general provisions for traffic regulation, traffic regulation in special cases, crossings and playgrounds, and parking places. Other parts deal with traffic signs, speed limits, bollards and other obstructions, and control and enforcement. There are also sections for further provisions as to enforcement and general and supplementary provisions.

Part III of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 deals with pedestrian crossings.
Part III of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 deals with pedestrian crossings.

Part I deals with general provisions for traffic regulation. This includes regulation for both inside and outside of Greater London, experimental traffic schemes, and temporary suspension. Part II of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 references traffic regulation in special cases, such as temporary prohibitions or restrictions on roads, and the duration of or provisions to orders and notices of those prohibitions or restrictions. It also deals with traffic regulation on special roads, the use of highways by public service vehicles, and vehicles on roads of certain classes. Trailer permits; traffic regulation for special areas in the countryside or on certain roads, long-distance routes or byways; and even terrorism are also covered in Part II.

Part III of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 deals with crossings and playgrounds, including pedestrian crossings, school crossings, and street playgrounds. This includes outlining the powers of local authorities, arrangements for patrols, the stopping of vehicles, and the power to prohibit traffic on roads to be used as playgrounds. Part IV references parking places, including off-street parking; parking on roads without pavement; access to places via off-street parking places; and what constitutes parking violations and what is to be done about them. It also deals with provisions for authorizing parking places, bus and coach parking places, and parking on highways for payment. Provision of parking places by parish or community councils, special parking provisions, and parking attendants are also included.

Park V deals with traffic signs, including general provisions, provisions pertaining to Greater London, and supplementary provisions. This includes powers and duties of highway authorities when it comes to placing traffic signs, emergencies and temporary obstructions, and removing signs. Park VI of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 references speed limits, including general speed limits, traffic signs for speed limits, exemptions, and general offenses.

Part VII deals with bollards and other obstructions. Bollards are wooden or metal posts along traffic routes. Part VIII references the control and enforcement of traffic laws. This includes regulations pertaining to traffic wardens; the removal or immobilization of vehicles and rights, charges, and exemptions; and enforcement of excess parking charges.

Part IX of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 deals with further provisions as to enforcement. This includes information as to the identity of a driver or rider, mishandling of parking documents or other offense, and wrongful use of a disabled person's badge. Part X references general and supplementary provisions, including traffic authorities; provisions as to certain orders; boundary roads; information about royal roads; hovercraft, tramcars, and trolleys; general interpretation of the Act; and amendments and repeals.

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Discussion Comments


@raynbow- I have relatives in the United Kingdom, and they told me that the Road Traffic Regulation Act of 1984 has certainly had a positive effect on the country's road safety. Since it covers so many different aspects of road travel in the United Kingdom, it has become a broad piece of legislation that has corrected many aspects of travel that were once unsafe.

I think that this is a good topic for your friend's research paper, and that this article is a good place to start. There are also many online resources available with valuable information about the act.


I have a friend who is studying politics in the United Kingdom and has to write a paper about a specific law. This sounds like a good topic for her assignment. I'm wondering if the Road Traffic Regulation Act of 1984 has been effective in improving traffic safety in the United Kingdom, because my friend's paper has to focus on a law that has created positive results.

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