On our roads, the Rules of the Road are designed to prevent injuries and save lives. Every road user must follow the rules, including drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, horse riders, cyclists, and those in charge of animals. As a result of following the rules, we become better, safer, and more socially responsible road users. In plain English, the Rules of the Road book is designed in an easy-to-read format. You are responsible for reading and understanding the rules. The glossary of terms we use can be found on page 256. You will benefit from these. Irish rules are also available. As of 1 June 2021, the rules comply with and reflect the Road Traffic Law. We have included a comment in the appropriate section when we are aware of changes to the law. For updates, visit the Road Safety Authority website at www.rsa.ie. By changing our behavior, we can save lives and prevent injuries. This goal can be achieved by reading and applying these rules. We are responsible for it. It's up to us.

Road rules apply to all road users, including drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, horse riders, cyclists, and people who care for animals, such as dog walkers. In order to get a driving license, you must have a satisfactory understanding of these rules. You don't stop learning about road safety once you pass your driving test. The process is ongoing. In general, this book aims to promote safe driving, good driving practices, and courtesy on the road. This is an interpretation of the law from a road safety perspective; it is not the law. You should check the original legislation or ask a Garda if you have a question. It is important that you stay up-to-date on road traffic laws and update your skills and knowledge. If you are learning to drive or have been driving for a long time, you should understand and obey these rules. There are many manoeuvres that have been identified as factors in road crashes that are covered in this book using a 'how to' approach. Three methods are used to explain how the law applies to all road users clearly and concisely. By using must and must not, it draws attention to behavior the law clearly demands or prohibits. In situations without legal rules, it tells you how to act using terms such as should and shouldn't. Traffic lights, road markings, and signs used to regulate traffic are illustrated and described. A crash can be prevented by you. It will be more effective for road safety policies if road users learn the rules of the road, practice good driving skills, and take care on the road. As policies become more effective, they will have a greater positive impact on you and your family. A 5km/h difference in speed could mean the difference between life and death for a pedestrian, for instance. According to research, when:

Hit by a car at 60kmh, 9 out of 10 pedestrians will die; hit by a car at 50kmh, 5 out of 10 pedestrians will die; hit by a car at 30kmh, 1 out of 10 pedestrians will die. All road users, and drivers in particular, are expected to possess a number of skills. It is expected that drivers have the ability to act responsibly, to anticipate and react to hazards, to have good concentration, and to possess a good level of driving control and expertise. Road safety requires you to gain a good understanding of this book and put that knowledge into practice. New laws will be added regularly to the book, which covers the current road traffic laws. Failure to obey the rules of the road does not automatically result in prosecution. When you are involved in a civil or criminal case, your failure to obey the rules may be taken into account when determining whether or not you are liable. Road laws have changed over the years, and they continue to do so. Three basic rules govern how the law on the use of the road protects road users. One of the most important rules is that you should always be able to stop within a distance that you can see to be clear.

To ensure that you can stop your vehicle without causing a problem for anyone else on the road, you must be able to control the vehicle you are driving. At all times, you must be alert and exercise due care and attention. The second rule is to always consider the prevailing road conditions. Common sense dictates that you must consider all factors that will affect your ability to drive safely and securely. There are many factors to consider, such as the weather, the type of road, the condition of the road, the time of day, and the type of lighting. During any journey, you need to consider all the things that might change. Traffic volume and speed, for example. Do you see pedestrians, cyclists, or animals? Who are they and what are they doing? You can't predict what others will do, and you shouldn't assume you have priority. All road users must be given due consideration. If you ignore the basic rules of the road, you do so at your own risk. It is dangerous to ignore the rules and put yourself, your passengers, and other road users at risk. You may be prosecuted if you break the law. A judge can hold you responsible for a civil claim. When you are on the road, you should follow the basic principles of road safety. Keep yourself, your family, friends, and other road users safe by following these three basic rules. A violation of road traffic law can result in a fine, penalty points, and a court conviction. Additionally, you may be disqualified from driving and, in some cases, imprisoned. All road users will support road safety policies and laws in the country.