What should your position on the road be?

Make sure you drive your vechicle far enough to the left to allow traffic to safely pass or overtake on the right, but not so far to the left that you are driving on a cycle lane or blocking or endangering cyclists or pedestrians

How much extra space should you give when overtaking a cyclist in speed zones of up to 50 kmh?

Keep a distance of at least 1 metre.

How much extra space should you give when overtaking a cyclist in speed zones of over 50 kmh?

Keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres.

Why is it so important to take extra care when overtaking a vechicle displaying a long vechicle sign?

This means that the vechicle is at least 13 metres long and you will need extra road length to pass it and safely return to the left hand side of the road.

You must normally overtake on the right. However, you are allowed to overtake on the left in certain situations. Name them?

You want to go straight ahead when the driver in front of you has moved out and signalled that they intend to turn right. You have signalled that you intend to turn left. Traffic in both lanes is moving slowly but traffic in the left hand lane is moving more quickly than the right hand lane - for example in slow-moving stop-start traffic.

When must you not overtake?

You are at or near a Pelican crossing, Zebra crossing or at Pedestrian signals. A traffic sign or road marking prohibits it. You are approaching a junction. You are on the approach to a corner, bend, dip in the road, hump-back bridge, brow of a hill or on a narrow road. You are in the left-hand lane of a dual carriageway or motorway when traffic is moving at normal speed. It would cause danger or inconvenience to another road user.

Where is it illegal to make a U-turn?

Where there is continous centre white line. In a one way road.

When should you use dipped headlights?

Just after the beginning (dusk) and before the end (dawn) of lighting-up hours; as long as they are needed to let you see clearly; when stopped in traffic; when meeting other traffic; in built-up areas where there is a good street lighting; on continously lit roads outside built-up areas; when following behind another vechicle; where there is dense fog, falling snow or heavy rain; when daylight is fading; generally to avoid in conveniencing other traffic.

When do you use fog lights?

Use your fog lights only during dense fog or falling snow. You must turn them off at all other times.

What should you do if dazzled by another vehicle's headlights?

Slow down and stop if necessary. Always watch for pedestrians or cyclists on your side of the road. If the dazzle is from on oncoming vechicle, avoid it by looking towards the verge (edge of your side of the road) until the vechicle has passed. If the dazzle is from vechicle behind you and reflected in your mirror, operate the night-driving mode on the mirror.

When shoud you use a horn?

Warn other road users of on-coming danger; make them aware of your presence for safety reasons when reasonably necessary.

When should you not use a horn?

Do not use a horn in a built-up area between 11.30 at night and 7 in the morning unless there is a traffic emergency.

What do single or double continous white lines along the centre of the road mean?

All traffic must keep to the left of the line (except in an emergency or for access).

What do longer white lines or shorter gaps between the lines along the centre of the road mean?

These warning lines alert drivers to hazards such as restricted vision, approach to a junction, approach to a roundabout, a hill crest, bends and continous white line ahead.

What do short broken white lines along the centre of the road indicate?

These divide two lanes of traffic travelling in opposite directions. You must not cross them unless it is safe to do so.

What do double broken white lines along the centre of the road mean?

These alert drivers to continous white lines a short distance ahead. As a driver, you must not cross them unless is safe to do so.

What does a broken white line with a single white along the centre of the road mean?

The driver must obey the line that is nearest to them.

What does a single broken yellow line along the side of the road mean?

This road contains a hard shoulder, which is normally only for pedestrians and cyclists. If a driver wants to allow a vechicle behind them to overtake, they may pull in to the hard shoulder briefly ( but do not continue driving in the hard shoulder) as long as no pedestrians or cyclists are already using it and no junctions or entrances are nearby.

What does a broken white yield line crossing the left hand lane mean?

The driver must give right-of-way to any traffic on a major road ahead. The yield line usually appears with an upright yield sign. A white triangular yield symbol may also be provided with the yield line.

What does a continous white stop line crossing the left-hand lane mean?

The word Stop may also be written near or at the stop line. The driver must come to a complete stop before entering a major road. The stop line sometimes appears with an upright Stop sign.

What does a red light mean?

It means "Stop". If the light is red as you approach it, you must not go beyond the stop line at that light or if there is no stop line you must not go beyond the light.

What does a green light mean?

It means you may go on if the way is clear. Take special care if you intend to turn left or right and give way to pedestrians who are crossing. A green light is not a right of way it is an indication that you can proceed with caution.

What does an amber light mean?

It means that you must not go beyond the stop line or if there is no stop line, you must not go beyond the light. However, you may go on if you are so close to the line or the light when the amber light first appears that stopping would be dangerous.

What does a green arrow (also known as a filter light) mean?

It means that you may move on in the direction of the arrow, assuming it is safe and the way is clear, even if a red light is showing.

What does a flashing amber arrow pointing left appearing at a junction with another road mean?

It means that you may move on past the traffic light, but only if you first give way to traffic already coming through the junction on the other road.

In traffic, what is "safe headway"?

The distance between your vechicle and the one in front.

What is the "two-second rule"?

On a dry road, choose a point like a lamp post or road sign. When the vechicle in front passes that point, say out loud "Only a fool breaks the two-second rule". Check your position in relation to your chosen point as you finish saying this. If you have already passed the point, you are driving too close to the vehicle in front and need to pull back. In wet weather, double the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you by saying "Only a fool breaks the two-second rule" twice. If travelling in more severe conditions such as snow, fog and ice, you may need to repeat "Only a fool breaks the two-second rule" 4 or 5 times.

What is "Aquaplaning"?

"Aquaplaning" occurs when a car is being driven on a wet road and a film of water builds up between the tyres and the road surface. When that happens, the car loses contact with the road, and braking and steering are affected.

If you are at a junction where the roads are of equal importance who has right of way?

The traffic on your right has right of way. You must let that traffic pass before you move on. It is important to understand that the right of way is not an absolute right. You must proceed with caution while showing regard for other users on the road.

What does a single yellow line usually with an upright information plate nearby mean?

Together, the road marking and information plate mean you must not park during the times shown.

Double yellow lines mean?

No parking at anytime.

You must not stop or park where?

In a designated disabled persons parking space unless you display a "reserved for a person with disablity" permit. Wheelchair users need to use the extra-wide, special parking bay to open their car door fully. This will allow a person to get from a wheelchair to a vehicle or from a vehicle to a wheelchair. Normal parking bays are too narrow to give the access needed by wheelchair users, so other road users must not park in the designated disabled persons parking spaces. It is an offence to do so; Where there are white or yellow zig-zag lines on either side of pedestrian lights or either side up pelican or zebra crossings; Wholly or partly on a zebra or pelican crossing or at pedestrian lights; 15 metres before or 5 metres after a pedestrian crossing or traffic lights; Near a school entrance where there are yellow zig-zag lines along the edge of the roadway enclosing the words "School keep clear"; Near an entrance or exit from a Fire, Ambulance or Garda Station; Within an area marked as a bus stop or taxi rank - white roadway markings line the areas and, in addition show the word "bus" at a bus stop and "Taxis" at a taxi rank; Where there is a single or double continous white line along the centre of the road; Wholly or partly on a footpath, a grass margin, a cycle lane or track or a median strip; Within 5 metres of a road junction unless parking spaces are clearly marked; On a part of a road reserved for casual trading during trading hours; In a contra-flow bus lane at anytime or in a with-flow bus lane during the hours the bus lane is in force; In a loading bay (reserved for goods vehicles to use while loading or unloading goods for a maximum period of 30 minutes) roadway markings show the word "loading" repeated across the entrance of the parking area; In an entrance or exit for vehicles to or from a premises, unless authorised by the occupier of the premises; In a tram lane during the period the tram lane is in force (tram lanes operate on a 24-hour basis unless an alternative period is shown on an information plate beside the lane); On the approach to a level crossing; Where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users.

You must never park:

At a corner, a bend, the brow of a hill or on a hump-back bridge; Where there is a sharp dip in the road; or anywhere that blocks the view of a school warden or Junior school warden service - this restriction does not apply to a vehicle displaying a disabled persons parking permit.

When can you stop or park on a motorway?

Your car breaks down, a garda signals you to do so, there is an emergency (such as crash), there are roadworks or you are at a toll plaza.

What is a "blind spot"?

An area that a driver or the other road user cannot see directly with their mirrors. This requires them to turn or look sideways to see other road users.

What do you understand by build outs?

Kerbing which extends from the side of the road to reduce traffic speed.

What is a central median island?

An area in the centre of the road which separates approaching flows of traffic or a pedestrian crossing.

What is a chicane?

A traffic-calming measure to make vechicles slow down and weave between traffic lanes.

What is a chevron board?

Traffic warning signs with hatched markings indicating a sudden change in direction.

What is a ghost island?

A marked area on the road that shows where a motorway and a slip road meet.

What is hatched marking

Chevron markings on the road which help separate traffic lanes.


What is the maximum legal speed limit on Irish Motorways?


How would you check your brake lights on your car if you were alone?

Reverse your car towards a window and look at the reflection.

What should you do if blinded by oncoming lights at night?

Slow down,look to the left,be aware of pedestrians,cyclists and obstructions on the left. If still blinded slow down more and stop if necessary.

When should you not drive?

While under the influence of alcohol,drugs,or when fatigued.

What does a flashing amber light mean at a pelican crossing?

Proceed with caution giving right of way to pedestrians crossing.

What does the rules of the road say about sounding your horn?

You should not sound your horn between the hours of 11.30pm and 7.00am in a built up area except in an emergency.

What is the hard shoulder used for?

Emergencies,breakdowns,pedestrians,and cyclists.

What is a contra flow bus lane?

It is a bus lane that flows in the opposite direction to the traffic,for buses only and operates 24hours a day.

What is the rule on entering a roundabout?

Give way to traffic on your immediate right,keeping the rear wheels of the vehicle in front in view at all times.

When should you use your hazard lights?

When your car is broken down,being towed or at the scene of an accident.

What does a double yellow line mean?

No parking at anytime.

What does a broken white line mean?

A broken white line means overtake if safe to do so.

What are the road markings for a no entry street?

Full white line followed by a broken white line.

What does a single yellow line mean?

Parking prohibited during business hours.

What shape and colour is a warning sign?

Diamond shape,yellow and black.

When can you overtake on the left?

When the driver in front of you is turning right,when you intend to turn left,when the vehicles in the lane on your right are moving slower than the vehicles in your lane queueing traffic.

At a stop sign which has no white line where would you stop?

At the stop sign.

What position would you take up for a right turn at the end of a one way street?

The extreme right hand lane.

How would you know a zebra crossing at night?

Yellow flashing beacons.

What does a broken yellow line mean?

A broken yellow line marks the edge of the roadway (hard shoulder)

How close to a junction can you park?

5 metres.

Where should you not overtake?

At a bend,a junction,the brow of a hill,a humpback bridge,at a continuous white line or anywhere your view of oncoming traffic is restricted.

If you saw a red triangle on the road what would it mean?

That there is an obstruction on the road ahead or a breakdown.

What does a green traffic light mean?

Go,providing the junction is clear.

Name 4 people in authority for whom you must stop?

A garda, school warden,flagman,and a person in charge of animals.

When can you cross a continuous white line?

To avoid an obstruction,for access,or if there is a broken white line on your side of the continuous white line.

What rules apply to a yellow box junction?

You must not enter unless your way ahead is clear with the exception of turning right,when you can enter and wait in the box if you are not obstructing other traffic.

What do 2 broken parallel lines in the centre of the road mean?

There will be one or two continuous white lines ahead.

What do white diagonal lines in the centre of the road mean?

You treat them like a traffic island,you do not enter(ghost island)

At a junction with roads of equal importance,to whom should you give way?

Traffic on the right and traffic already turning.

What does the island in the centre of the pedestrian crossing mean?

Each side of the island is a separate crossing.

When driving at night when should you dip your headlights?

a) When meeting oncoming traffic. b) When following close behind another vehicle. c) On continuously lit roads. d) At the beginning and end of lighting up hours. e) In fog or snow.

What is a clearway?

Stopping and parking prohibited(except by buses or taxis)for a period indicated on the sign.

What is the legal parking distance from the kerb?

Half a meter.

Where should you not park?

Near a bend,the brow of a hill,a humpback bridge,at a continuous white line,where your vehicle would obstruct a sign,at an entrance,at a bus stop,opposite another vehicle on a narrow road or at a taxi rank.

What is the safe distance to drive from the car in the front?

Allow 1 meter for each MPH and double if the surface is wet or observe the ‘two second rule’

At a junction when traffic lights are not working,to whom should you give way?

Traffic on the right and traffic already turning.

What does an amber traffic light mean?

Stop unless you are too close to stop safely behind the white lines.

What is the national speed limit?

100KMPH for cars.

What is the correct tyre thread depth?


If there are two parallel white lines in the centre of the road,one continuous ,one broken,which would you obey?

You obey the line on your side of the road.

Why is a stop sign octagonal and a yield sign triangular (inverted)?

To recognise them in snow conditions.

What should always be kept clean on your vehicle?

Lights-reflectors-windows-mirrors-registration plate

What shape is the sign that regulates?

Regulatory signs are round with red on white background with the exception of two stop and yield.

What is the rule about passing animals on the road?

Slow down,give plenty of room,do not sound your horn or rev your engine.be patient.

Can you reverse from a minor road on to a major road?

No you should only reverse from a major road to a minor.

What is aquaplaning?

It is where a film of water builds up between the road and the tyre,and will affect the steering and braking.

When are you allowed to stop on the shoulder of a motorway?

a) In the event of a breakdown. b) In an emergency. c) When indicated by a garda to do so.

What does a flashing amber arrow at traffic lights mean?

You may turn in the direction of the amber arrow but must first give way to traffic on the road you are entering.

What are the rules for zig zag lines?

Zig zag lines are found at pedestrian crossings,and mean no overtaking,no parking.

What is the speed limit on a local or regional road?


Give examples of when it would be unsafe to stop?

a) When you are already in the junction and stopping would block the junction. b) When a vehicle behind you is too close to you where they could crash into you from behind if you were to stop suddenly. c) When you’re already anticipated that if the lights turn amber but you’ve now accelerated to commit to driving through the junction.

What vehicles are not allowed on the motorway?

Drivers who do not have a full license ,horse drawn carriages,motorbikes under 50 c.c i.e mopeds vehicles who cannot reach to 50kph.

When should you use your parking or side lights?

When daylight begins to fade "overcast" dull days or in light rain. What lights should you have on in a tunnel? Dipped headlights unless visibility is good.

What signs would you expect to see when you are approaching a major road?

Warning sign-major road ahead,regulatory sign-stop or yield.

What is the minimum legal thread depth on a tyre for vintage cars?

1mm for vintage cars.

Where is the only place you will see a flashing red light?

At a level crossing(trains)

What is the sequence of traffic lights?

Green-steady amber-red-amber-Green

What is the two second rule?

In dry conditions ,stay two seconds behind the car in front,use a stationary object on the road, start counting when the car in front passes the object and you should pass after counting two seconds.

The sequence of traffic lights?

Green amber red.

What is the difference between a zebra crossing the road and a pelican crossing?

A zebra crossing has the black and white stripes on the ground and flashing amber beacons,whilst a pelican crossing is controlled by traffic lights.

What does a green arrow (filter light) at traffic lights mean?

You may turn in the direction of the green arrow if it is safe and clear.

On a three lane motorway which is the correct lane for normal driving?

The left hand lane.

Where would you see two red flashing lights?

At a level crossing with barriers and lights,and means stop,as a train is approaching.

On a dual carriageway, should you drive in the left or right lane?

You should drive in the left lane or the lane closest to the left.

What should you do if you feel tired while driving?

Pull in at a safe place on the side of the road or if on a motorway, exit at the next slip road and pull in somewhere safely i.e. a garage. Walk up and down and breathe in slowly and stretch your arms and legs,drink coffee or take a nap for a minimum of 15 minutes if required.

At an uncontrolled junction of equal importance to whom should you give way?

Traffic on the right, traffic already turning, if turning right to oncoming traffic coming straight through or turning to their left.

What is a median space?

A gap provided in the centre of a dual carriageway to allow vehicles to cross through or turn onto another road.


RSA Signs & FAQ