Site logo

Cedric Stephens New road rules require public campaign

Today’s article will highlight elements of the 13-part, 299-section, and 367-page Road Traffic Regulations 2022 that complement the new Road Traffic Act.

The gestation period for the law spanned years. Many persons, including motor insurance practitioners who engage in the claims process, will not read these important pieces of legislation.

The rules or regulations were tabled in Parliament on February 1, 2022, for approval. It is still not clear when they or the law will take effect. Why is this information being kept as a state secret if, as the JIS says, they are meant to hold road users more accountable? Will the new rules be introduced on a phased basis? Either way, given the many changes they will cause, the authorities must urgently embark on a major public-education programme.

The compulsory wearing of seatbelts two decades ago was, I believe, preceded by a period of public education. The country is now travelling at a much faster speed along the Digital Highway. The engines of state, however, cannot increase their RPMs to meet the demands of the third decade of the 21st century. The new legal regime is designed to reduce the frequency and severity of motor accidents. This is an important task given the social and economic of these events. The remainder of this article will, therefore, be devoted to sharing with readers key parts of the new regulations.

Compliance: Every owner or operator of a motor vehicle shall ensure that the provisions of the regulations relating to the operation of that motor vehicle are complied with.

Hybrids and electric vehicles: Allowance is made for the registration of electric and hybrid vehicles.

30-day grace period: On the expiration of a licence, a further period of one calendar month shall be allowed for the obtaining of a new licence in place of the expired licence, without attracting a penalty, under Section 14 of the Road Traffic Act. The expired licence shall continue to be displayed until the new licence is substituted within the calendar month.

Certificate of fitness and evidence of insurance: The owner or driver of a motor vehicle shall keep the certificate of fitness, the licence certificate and the insurance certificate or cover note or certified copies of them available for inspection, upon request by a constable or official.

The rule is silent about the keeping of digital copies of the documents on a cell phone for inspection even though the central bank has introduced digital currency.

Emissions: Every motor vehicle shall be so constructed that it conforms with regulation 66 and that no smoke, visible emissions, grit, sparks, or oily substance is emitted.

The owner or driver of a motor vehicle shall conform with Regulation 66 and maintain the vehicle in a condition so that no smoke, visible emissions, grits, sparks, or oily substances are emitted from the vehicle in a manner that could endanger the safety of other users of the road or cause damage to property.

Non-motorised vehicles: A person shall not operate on a road, non-motorised vehicles, excluding pedal cycles, unless those vehicles are fitted on the front, at the same height, with two white reflectors, one on each side and equidistant from the longitudinal centre line of the vehicle and otherwise complying with the provisions of these regulations.

Pedal cycles: A pedal cycle should not be operated on a road unless a white reflector is fitted on the front of it. The pedals, pedal arms, or spokes of a pedal cycle shall also be fitted with white reflectors or other reflective material.

Night driving: Lights, which are called lamps in the regulations, reflectors, and the elimination of glare during night-time driving, are the subject of Sections 40 to 42 of the new Road Traffic Act. These are the parts of the law plus precise regulations that the police use to prosecute law-breaking motorists, as I explained in Bright-light epidemic on February 24, 2020.

I will not summarise specific lighting regulations except to provide an idea of their intent as shown below.

Operation of high beam: A person operating a motor vehicle on a road shall extinguish the high beam of the light emitted by the headlamp of the motor vehicle, where the high beam could cause a glare that presents a danger to oncoming traffic or traffic driving in front of the person in the same direction.

Diseases and disabilities: The following medical conditions render persons ineligible to be granted a driver’s licence: epilepsy; insanity; defective vision to a degree corresponding to a standard of vision of less than 6/12 with glasses; aneurysm; angina pectoris; and diseases of the nervous system giving rise to muscular incoordination.

However, hearing-impaired persons will be allowed to drive.

Older drivers: A person who applies for the renewal of a driver’s licence and who is 70 years old or older shall submit a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner, which indicates that the applicant is fit to drive a motor vehicle, or which otherwise sets out the conditions under which the applicant can safely drive a motor vehicle.

More to come.

– Cedric E. Stephens provides independent information and advice about the management of risks and insurance. For free information or counsel, write to: or

Read More


  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment