Regulations for vehicles & trailers in service

It is a key basic road safety requirement that all vehicles and trailers on our roads, and all components of those vehicles, conform to a minimum standard of construction. It is the legal responsibility of the owner and driver of a vehicle or combination of vehicles to ensure that, when it is used in a public place, it is in such a condition that it is not liable to endanger other road users.

What the law says

Every vehicle owner must ensure that his or her vehicle or combination of vehicles complies with all applicable Regulations. These are outlined in three main pieces of legislation as follows:

  • Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use of Vehicles) Regulations as amended
  • Road Traffic (Construction and Use of Vehicles) Regulations as amended
  • Road Traffic (Lighting of Vehicles) Regulations as amended

Individuals engaged in the supply of mechanically propelled vehicles also have a legal responsibility to ensure that vehicles and their components comply with all applicable requirements set out in Road Traffic legislation.

Make a complaint

If you have concerns that an owner or operator may be acting illegally in relation to their Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Requirements you can submit a complaint to the RSA by any of the following means:

  • Online - fill out our Complaint form online
  • In Person – Call into our office, Clonfert House, Bride Street, Loughrea, Co Galway.  Where you can speak to one of our staff in the strictest confidence
  • In Writing – Post your complaint to Road Safety Authority, Clonfert House, Bride Street, Loughrea, Co Galway
  • By email – Complete a complaint form (DOC) and submit to enforcement@rsa.ie
  • By  fax – You can fax complaint form (DOC) to 091 872660
  • By phone – You can speak to one of our staff on 091 872600 (enforcement section) or lo-call on 1890 253 163.

Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use of Vehicles) Regulations

The Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and use of Vehicles) Regulations 1963 as amended, also known as the ‘CE&U’ Regulations, prescribe the requirements for all vehicles and trailers in use on a public road and includes provisions for but is not limited to the following:

• Brake systems
• Exhaust systems
• Mirrors
• Safety Belts
• Side and rear underrun protection etc.
 
These Regulations also prescribe the requirements as to the construction, equipment and use of Large Public Service Vehicles (i.e. vehicles used for the carriage of more than eight passengers for hire and reward) while being used in a public place.

Conditions as to the use of vehicles and their equipment and the duties of drivers and passengers are also specified.

These Regulations have been substantially amended since 1963 and a full list of the amendments to date is available on the index of amendments to the CE&U regulations

Road Traffic (Construction and Use of Vehicles) Regulations

The Road Traffic (Construction and Use of Vehicles) Regulations 2003 as amended, also known as the ‘C&U’ Regulations, prescribe the maximum authorised weights and dimensions for mechanically propelled vehicles and trailers operating on the public road in Ireland.

These Regulations have been amended several times since 2003 and a full list of the amendments to date is available on the index of amendments to the C&U Regulations (PDF)

Road Traffic (Lighting of Vehicles) Regulations

These Regulations prescribe the lamps and reflectors with which vehicles and trailers are required to be fitted while being used in public places, and the circumstances and the manner in which lamps are to be used.
  
The Regulations prescribe that, with certain exceptions, mechanically propelled vehicles be fitted with the obligatory lamps and reflectors during the day time as well as during lighting-up hours. Vehicles other than mechanically propelled vehicles need be fitted with the obligatory lamps only during lighting-up hours but with certain exceptions will require to be fitted with obligatory reflectors at all times. Requirements as to the position and characteristics of obligatory and optional lamps and reflectors are laid down.

These Regulations have been amended several times since 1963 and a full list of the amendments to date is available on the index of amendments to the Lighting Regulations – S.I. No. 189 of 1963

Regulations for new vehicles entering into service

European Member States have decided (for safety, environmental, and trade reasons) to set harmonised construction standards for motor vehicles and trailers. Any vehicle or trailer that has been approved to these standards can be registered and used in any country within the European Union. This is known as European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval or, in short ECWVTA.

Since 1998 all new passenger cars have been required to have ECWVTA in order to be registered and this requirement will extend to other vehicle types from various implementation dates in the future.

Further details on the vehicle type approval standards required for entry into service & registration of new motor vehicles in Ireland are available in our vehicle type approval section.

Post registration, vehicles in use on the public roads must meet the requirements laid out in the ‘CE&U’, ‘C&U’ and ‘Lighting Regulations’ as outlined above. However, vehicles or components which comply with the provisions of type approval are deemed to comply with their respective construction and equipment elements of ‘CE&U’, ‘C&U’ and ‘Lighting Regulations’ (see S.I. No. 34 of 1991).  
 

Should you have any further queries please contact us:

Vehicle Standards
Road Safety Authority
Moy Valley Business Park
Primrose Hill
Ballina
Co. Mayo

Tel: 096 25014
Email: vehiclestandards@rsa.ie