Road Traffic Act 1961

Interpretation.

3

3. (1) In this Act, save where the context otherwise requires—

ancillary disqualification order” has the meaning specified in subsection (1) of section 27;

appointed stand” has the meaning specified in subsection (1) of section 84;

appointed weighbridge” has the meaning specified in subsection (1) of section 15;

approved guarantee” has the meaning specified in section 63;

approved policy of insurance” has the meaning specified in section 62;

built-up area speed limit” has the meaning specified in subsection (4) of section 45;

certificate of competency” has the meaning specified in subsection (4) of section 33;

certificate of fitness” has the meaning specified in subsection (4) of section 34;

certificate of exemption” has the meaning specified in section 68;

certificate of guarantee” has the meaning specified in subsection (2) of section 66;

certificate of insurance” has the meaning specified in subsection (1) of section 66;

combination of vehicles” means a mechanically propelled vehicle and a vehicle or vehicles drawn thereby;

the Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána;

consequential disqualification order” has the meaning specified in subsection (1) of section 26;

contravenes” includes refuses or fails to comply with, and “ contravention” shall be construed accordingly;

F1 [ ‘detachable disc’ means that part of a test certificate, for the time being in force in respect of a vehicle, which may be detached from the certificate to be affixed to the vehicle; ]

driving” includes managing and controlling and, in relation to a bicycle or tricycle, riding, and “ driver” and other cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

F2 [ driving licence means

( a ) an Irish driving licence, or

( b ) a foreign driving licence; ]

F1 [ ‘EU roadworthiness certificate’ in relation to a vehicle means a roadworthiness certificate within the meaning of the Roadworthiness Directive issued by a Member State competent authority or a Member State testing centre which has not expired or otherwise been cancelled or revoked and, insofar as the frequency intervals for vehicle testing are concerned, is still valid by reference to the frequency intervals prescribed by regulations made under section 18 for tests of mechanically propelled vehicles; ]

footway” means that portion of any road which is provided primarily for the use of pedestrians;

F3 [ foreign driving licence means a licence or permit to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle

( a ) in respect of a category of vehicle referred to in the European Communities (Recognition of Driving Licences of Other Member States) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 464 of 2008) issued by the competent authority of another Member State or a member state of the European Economic Area, but does not include a licence or permit so issued to a person to enable the person to learn to drive or provisionally to drive a vehicle, or

( b ) recognised by an order made under section 23A(1) ; ]

F4 [ general speed limit means a speed limit under section 44A of this Act; ]

hire-drive agreement” means, in relation to a mechanically propelled vehicle, an agreement under which the vehicle is hired from its registered owner, other than—

( a) a hire-purchase F5 [ or letting ] agreement,

( b) an agreement merely for the carriage of persons or goods, or

( c) an agreement under which the registered owner of the vehicle drives, or provides a driver for, the vehicle;

the insured” has the meaning assigned to it in paragraph ( a) of subsection (1) of section 62;

F6 [ Irish driving licence means a driving licence (within the meaning of section 22(1) ) granted by a licensing authority under section 23 ; ]

large public service vehicle” means a public service vehicle having seating passenger accommodation for more than eight persons exclusive of the driver;

mechanically propelled vehicle” means, subject to subsection (2) of this section, a vehicle intended or adapted for propulsion by mechanical means, including—

( a) a bicycle or tricycle with an attachment for propelling it by mechanical power, whether or not the attachment is being used,

( b) a vehicle the means of propulsion of which is electrical or partly electrical and partly mechanical,

but not including a tramcar or other vehicle running on permanent rails;

F1 [ ‘Member State competent authority’ means an authority or public body in a Member State, other than the State, with responsibility for managing the system of roadworthiness testing in that Member State, including, where appropriate, the carrying out of roadworthiness tests for the purposes of the Roadworthiness Directive;

‘Member State testing centre’ means a public or private body or establishment in a Member State, other than the State, authorised to carry out roadworthiness tests in that Member State for the purposes of the Roadworthiness Directive; ]

F7 [ Minister means Minister for Transport; ]

mobile weighbridge” has the meaning specified in subsection (7) of section 15;

F5 [ motorway has the meaning assigned to it by the Roads Act, 1993 ; ]

F5 [ motorway speed limit has the meaning assigned to it by section 44B (inserted by the Road Traffic Act, 1994) of this Act; ]

omnibus” means a large public service vehicle which is for the time being used on a definite route for the carriage of passengers who are carried at separate fares and are picked up and set down along such route whether on request or at fixed stopping places;

ordinary speed limit” has the meaning specified in subsection (3) of section 44;

F8 [ owner , when used in relation to a mechanically propelled vehicle, trailer or semi-trailer which is the subject of a hire-purchase agreement or letting agreement, means the person in possession of the vehicle under the agreement; ]

park”, in relation to a vehicle, means keep or leave stationary, and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

parking place” has the meaning specified in paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section 90;

pedal bicycle” means a bicycle which is intended or adapted for propulsion solely by the physical exertions of a person or persons seated thereon;

pedal cycle” means a vehicle which is a pedal bicycle or pedal tricycle;

pedal cyclist” means a person driving a pedal cycle;

pedal tricycle” means a tricycle which is intended or adapted for propulsion solely by the physical exertions of a person or persons seated thereon;

F9 [ pedestrian controlled vehicle ] means a mechanically propelled vehicle—

( a) which is neither intended nor adapted for use for carrying the driver or a passenger, or

( b) which is intended or adapted so that there are alternative methods of driving it, namely, by a person carried on it or by a pedestrian,

except during a period during which it is driven while carrying the driver or a passenger

period of cover” has the meaning assigned to it in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 62 or paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 63 (as may be appropriate);

prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under this Act;

principal debtor” has the meaning assigned to it in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section 63;

F8 [ public place means

( a ) any public road, and

( b ) any street, road or other place to which the public have access with vehicles whether as of right or by permission and whether subject to or free of charge; ]

public road” means a road the responsibility for the maintenance of which lies on a road authority;

public service vehicle” means a mechanically propelled vehicle F10 [ or combination of vehicles ] used for the carriage of persons for reward;

F11 [ registered owner has the meaning assigned to it by the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 1992 ( S.I. No. 385 of 1992 ) (as amended by the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 ( S.I. No. 213 of 2004 )), but, if those regulations should be revoked, it shall have the meaning assigned to it by such regulations corresponding to those regulations as may for the time being be in force; ]

the repealed Act” means the Road Traffic Act, 1933 (repealed by this Act);

road” includes any bridge, pipe, arch, gully, footway, pavement, fence, railing or wall forming part thereof;

F7 [ road authority means

( a ) a county council, referred to in Part 1 of Schedule 5,

( b ) a city council, referred to in Part 2 of Schedule 5,

( c ) a borough council, referred to in Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 6, or

( d ) a town council, referred to in Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 6,

to the Local Government Act 2001 ; ]

road traffic weighbridge” has the meaning specified in subsection (4) of section 15;

roadway” means that portion of a road which is provided primarily for the use of vehicles;

F1 [ ‘Roadworthiness Directive’ means Directive 2014/45/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 1 ; ]

small public service vehicle” means a public service vehicle which is not a large public service vehicle;

special disqualification order” has the meaning specified in subsection (5) of section 28;

F8 [ special speed limit has the meaning assigned to it by section 46 (inserted by the Road Traffic Act, 1994) of this Act; ]

street service vehicle” means a small public service vehicle the driver of which offers F12 [ in a public place ] himself and the vehicle for hire and for that purpose stands or drives the vehicle F12 [ in a public place ] ;

F13 [ ‘test certificate’ means -

( a ) a certificate issued under section 18, or

( b ) an EU roadworthiness certificate; ]

use”, in relation to a vehicle, includes park, and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;

F14 [ F15 [ vehicle means a mechanically propelled vehicle, a trailer or semi-trailer, an animal-drawn vehicle or a pedal cycle; ] ]

vehicle guarantor” has the meaning specified in section 59;

vehicle insurer” has the meaning specified in section 58.

F16 [ (2) Where a vehicle, which, apart from this subsection, would be a mechanically propelled vehicle, stands so substantially disabled (either through collision, breakdown or the removal of the engine or other such vital part) as to be no longer capable of being propelled mechanically, it shall be regarded

( a ) for the purposes of the Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2010 , if it is disabled through collision, as continuing to be a mechanically propelled vehicle, and

( b ) for all other purposes of this Act as not being a mechanically propelled vehicle. ]

(3) Save in relation to animal-drawn vehicles, any reference in this Act to a drawn vehicle is to a vehicle attached to another (including attached by way of partial superimposition) for the purpose of being drawn thereby, or actually drawn thereby.

(4) Any reference in this Act to the Rules of the Road is to the publication issued (whether before or after the commencement of this section) under that title by the Minister, being the edition thereof which, at the relevant time, is the latest edition.

(5) Any reference in this Act to use of a vehicle with the consent of a person includes a reference to use with his implied consent and to use on his order.

Annotations

Amendments:

F1

Inserted (27.11.2020) by European Union (National Car Test - EU Roadworthiness Certificates) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 554 of 2020), reg. 2(a)(i).

F2

Substituted (1.06.2011) by Road Traffic Act 2010 (25/2010), s. 56(a), S.I. No. 255 of 2011.

F3

Inserted (1.06.2011) by Road Traffic Act 2010 (25/2010), s. 56(b), S.I. No. 255 of 2011.

F4

Inserted (1.09.1968) by Road Traffic Act 1968 (25/1968), s. 6 and sch., S.I. No. 169 of 1968.

F5

Inserted (22.07.1994) by Road Traffic Act 1994 (7/1994), s. 49(1)(a)(i) and (ii), S.I. No. 222 of 1994.

F6

Inserted (1.06.2011) by Road Traffic Act 2010 (25/2010), s. 56(c), S.I. No. 255 of 2011.

F7

Substituted (1.06.2011) by Road Traffic Act 2010 (25/2010), s. 71(a) and (b), S.I. No. 255 of 2011.

F8

Substituted (22.07.1994) by Road Traffic Act 1994 (7/1994), s. 49(1)(a)(iii), (iv) and (v), S.I. No. 222 of 1994.

F9

Substituted (1.09.1968) by Road Traffic Act 1968 (25/1968), s. 6 and sch., S.I. No. 169 of 1968.

F10

Inserted (20.03.2014) by Road Traffic Act 2014 (3/2014), s. 15, S.I. No. 147 of 2014.

F11

Substituted (20.01.2005) by Road Traffic Act 2004 (44/2004), s. 32, S.I. No. 8 of 2005.

F12

Substituted (1.09.1968) by Road Traffic Act 1968 (25/1968), s. 6 and sch., S.I. No. 169 of 1968.

F13

Substituted (27.11.2020) by European Union (National Car Test - EU Roadworthiness Certificates) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 554 of 2020), reg. 2(a)(ii).

F14

Inserted (1.06.2011) by Road Traffic Act 2010 (25/2010), s. 71(c), S.I. No. 255 of 2011.

F15

Substituted (25.07.2012) by Road Safety Authority (Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness) Act 2012 (16/2012), s. 46(a), S.I. No. 314 of 2012.

F16

Substituted (1.06.2011) by Road Traffic Act 2010 (25/2010), s. 72, S.I. No. 255 of 2011.

Modifications (not altering text):

C14

Terms “county council” and “city council” construed (1.06.2014) by Local Government Reform Act 2014 (1/2014), s. 9(2), S.I. No. 214 of 2014.

Cesser and amalgamation of certain local government areas

9. ...

(2) Except where otherwise provided for by this Act, a reference, however expressed, in any enactment—

(a) to a county council or a city council (including a reference construed by section 3(2) of, and Schedule 2 to, the Principal Act as a reference to a county council or to a city council, as the case may be) shall, if the context permits, be read as a reference to a county council, a city council or a city and county council, and

(b) to a county council and a city council (including a reference so construed) shall, if the context permits, be read as a reference to a county council, a city council and a city and county council.

...

C15

Term “town council” construed (1.06.2014) by Local Government Reform Act 2014 (1/2014), s. 25(2), S.I. No. 214 of 2014.

Dissolution of town councils — consequential provisions

25. ...

(2) A function of a town council (including a reference construed by section 3(2) of, and Schedule 2 to, the Principal Act as a reference to a town council and whether of general application to town councils or otherwise under an enactment) that—

(a) has not been repealed or otherwise provided for by this Act, or

(b) is neither spent nor obsolete,

shall, if the context permits in respect of one or more than one town council concerned, be read as a reference to a function of the local authority in whose administrative area the town council so dissolved is situated.

...

Editorial Notes:

E52

A number of statutory instruments made pursuant to s. 123 of this Act were also made pursuant to this section. Where this occurred the relevant E-note in the annotations of s. 123 notes that the statutory instrument is also made pursuant to s. 3.