The Rules of the Road Book - Ireland

Staying safe with the Rules of the Road book

Traffic van enforcing rules of the road

The Rules of the Road is a book that should be at the top of your reading list, if you haven’t yet read it. This useful document outlines rules and regulations for all road users in Ireland, including drivers and pedestrians. Below, you can find out more about the Rules of the Road book, as well as where you can get a free copy today.

Rules of The Road Book

What is the “Rules of the Road” book?

The Rules of the Road is a standardised set of regulations that outline how to stay safe when you’re driving a vehicle. It also contains safety information for other road users, like cyclists and pedestrians. The rules are important as they provide a framework that everyone can follow to keep the roads as safe as possible and reduce the risk of an accident occurring.

So where do the rules in the book come from? They reflect the regulations in the Road Traffic Law from March 2015. Should any changes to this law come in, the book is updated to reflect the alteration, and this will be applied in real-time should you own a digital copy.

The book is quite long, at around 250 pages, but it should be read in preparation for your Road Safety Authority (RSA) driving theory test. Doing this will ensure you know as much as possible ahead of your test and could give you a better chance of passing first time.

It is split into 25 sections, making it easy to find the information you’re looking for should you ever need to refer back to it. The sections are as follows:

  • Section 1: Driving licences and categories of vehicles
  • Section 2: The learner driver
  • Section 3: The driving test
  • Section 4: Vehicle safety
  • Section 5: Good driving practice
  • Section 6: Traffic signs and road markings
  • Section 7: Traffic lights and signals
  • Section 8: Speed limits
  • Section 9: Junctions and roundabouts
  • Section 10: Parking
  • Section 11: Motorways and tunnels
  • Section 12: Assisting Gardai
  • Section 13: Factors that affect safe driving (alcohol, drugs, etc.)
  • Section 14: Correct behaviour at the scene of an accident
  • Section 15: Penalty points
  • Section 16: Rules for motorcyclists
  • Section 17: Rules of cyclists
  • Section 18: Rules for pedestrians
  • Section 19: Respecting other road users
  • Section 20: Other road users (emergency service vehicles, farmers, etc.)
  • Section 21: Regulatory traffic signs
  • Section 22: Warning traffic signs
  • Section 23: Warning signs for roadworks
  • Section 24: Information signs
  • Section 25: Motorway signs

At the back of the book, there is a useful glossary that explains some of the terms used throughout. If you find a word or phrase you don’t understand, you can use the glossary (or even perform a Google search) so that you know what it means in the future.

The rules are available in Irish as well.

The purpose of the “Rules of the Road”

The Rules of the Road has been created for safety purposes. By laying out a clear set of rules and regulations that explain how to react in certain situations, lives could be saved and injuries prevented, which is only a positive thing. It encourages road users to be socially responsible and aware of what’s going on around them to stay safe.

Not only is it about safety, but knowledge, too. Knowing what to do in certain situations (such as how to use a roundabout, understanding road signs or behaving correctly at the scene of an accident) isn’t just for safety but is good general know-how. These things are all important when you’re using the roads regularly, whether as a driver, pedestrian, cyclist or other.

Who should use the “Rules of the Road”?

Anyone who uses public roads should read Rules of the Road to understand how to be safe, but also to educate themselves on other important information, such as who has right of way and the meaning of certain road signs.

Which types of road users does the “Rules of the Road” apply to?

The rules can be applied in every-day situations and are for everyone, no matter whether you’ve been driving for a few months or a few decades. This, therefore, includes:

  • Drivers (of cars, vans, motorbikes, caravans, lorries and more)
  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Horseriders
  • People in charge of animals, like dog-walkers.
  • While many people only read the book in preparation for their driving theory test, it’s important to understand that the rules can change and be updated. Re-reading them occasionally will maintain your existing knowledge but could also teach you something new.

    Where to find the “Rules of the Road” book

    You can either purchase a physical copy of the Rules of the Road, but actually, having a digital version may be more beneficial. Should any changes come in, you don’t need to purchase a new copy, as the alterations will be made almost immediately and you will be able to view them in your existing online version.

    You can download a copy of Rules of the Road for free here and start reading it today. Once downloaded, you can read it on a tablet, print it or even send it to an e-reader to peruse on there.

    Rules of The Road Book