Rules of the Road
CAUTION UPDATING
To Road Traffic Laws as at 1 March 2013

Driving School Ireland,
Phone 071 9162311 or 087 6688797

Section 6 b:

Traffic signs and Road Markings

On this page

Special signs and markings for buses, bicycles, trams, rail and light rail

There are special regulatory signs and markings used to show the parts of a road that are reserved for particular vehicles, namely buses, bicycles, trams and light rail. The signs can be regulatory, warning and/or information signs. The design of the signs is consistent with the design of regulatory, warning and/or information signs.


This section deals with the more common signs that you will see as a road user. You should take care when you see any signs for buses, bicycles, trams, rail and light rail.



Bus


Bus lanes

Bus lanes are sections of road reserved for buses, whether public or private. Taxis and bicycles may also use some bus lanes.


Where there is a bus lane, you will see an upright blue and white sign on the side of the road on a pole and on the roadway there will be markings of a continuous white line and the words 'L.na Bus'. You must obey the road marking and the sign. The white plate shows when the section of road is meant only for the buses shown. Normally bus lanes operate from 7am to 7pm or during peak hours. Outside these times, all traffic may use them. You should check the information plate to confirm the time limits that apply.


Picture Bus Lane With Flow
Bus Lane

Image Bus Lane Contra Flow
Contra-Flow Bus Lane


There are two types of bus lane:

  • with-flow, and
  • contra-flow.

A with-flow near-side bus lane, shown below, runs in the same direction as the traffic beside it. It can be used by bicycles and taxis as well as buses and is normally reserved during the periods shown on information signs at the start of the lane.


Contra-flow bus lane

A contra-flow bus lane runs in the opposite direction to the traffic beside it. It is reserved only for buses, which means that no other traffic may use it, day or night.


 sign contra flow bus lane
Contra flow bus lane


If a 'yield' sign appears at the end of the bus lane, the bus must give way to other vehicles as it merges back into normal traffic.



Bus-only streets

As their name suggests, these streets are intended only for buses. Other traffic may use them only to get access to a building or side road.

 bus only street
Bus Only Street


Section 10 covers the rules on parking in bus lanes.



Trams/Light Rail


Road users must be familiar with signs for tram tracks for on-street trams (such as the Luas in Dublin city and suburbs)


luas


Regulatory signs for tram lanes

The blue signs below show that a tram lane is running beside a traffic lane ahead. A driver can only enter the tram lane to overtake another vehicle when it is safe to do so.

tram on left
Tram lane on left

Tram Lane on Right
Tram Lane on Right


The red and white sign below shows that a pedestrian may not walk beyond the point where the sign is placed.


No pedestrians
No entry for pedestrians to tramway


A 'No Entry' sign with the information plate 'Except Trams - Ach amhain Tramanna' means that the street is only for trams and no other traffic is allowed enter it.


Tram only street
Tram only street

Tram and access
only street
Tram and access only street



A 'No Entry' sign with the information plate 'Except Trams and Access - Ach amh.in Tramanna agus Rochtain' means that a driver or cyclist may enter the street if they need to enter or leave a building.


Remember, when approaching junctions where there is a tram line:

  • obey traffic lights, and
  • keep yellow junction boxes completely clear.

For more information on traffic lights. See Section 7. For more information on types of junctions. See Section 9.



Warning signs for tram lanes


Pedestrians should cross tram tracks only where they see the sign below. It displays a tram symbol and the words 'Feach gach treo - LOOK BOTH WAYS' to indicate a tramway crossing point.


The alternative text that may be shown on this warning is 'Feach ar dheis, LOOK RIGHT' or 'Feach ar chid, LOOK LEFT'.


When in the vicinity of tramways, pedestrians are advised to:

  • stop, look both ways, listen,
  • walk, do not run,
  • always use designated crossing points, and
  • obey signs and listen for warning horns and tram chimes.

Tram sign look both ways
Look Both Ways

sign look right
Look right

sign look left
Look left


Cyclists need to take special care because tram tracks can be slippery, especially during wet or icy weather. The Luas warning sign for cyclists is shown below.


Cyclist Warning Sign Tram Track
Slippery for cyclists


In particular, cyclists should avoid braking while on tram rails. They should always cross tram rails at a right angle or as close to it as possible.


They should take care to avoid getting their bicycle wheels caught in the groove of the tram rails.


Road users should be aware of the overhead wires used by trams. This is particularly important for drivers carrying loads and people carrying long items. All road users should be careful not to risk electrocution by touching overhead wires, even indirectly.


sign Overhead electric cable
Overhead electric cable

sign Tramway crossing ahead
Tramway crossing ahead

raod markings L.na tram road marking
Lana tram road marking


The LANA TRAM roadmarking sign may be used to draw attention to the presence of tram tracks. It is an information sign to tell you there is a section of road used by trams and vehicles. Drivers should exercise additional care.



Rail/Light Rail


Level crossings


It is important to know the traffic signs that indicate the different types of level crossings. The following table shows the different signs and what you must do when you see them.

Level crossing signs What you must do
sign level crossing guarded by gates Level crossing ahead, guarded by gates or lifting barriers

  1. Stop clear of the railway line so you have a good view along the track in both directions.
  2. Look for the approach of trains. In fog or at night, watch for the light of an approaching train.
  3. Listen for the horn or the sound of an approaching train.
  4. See that both gates are open before starting to cross or wait for all barriers to go back up before moving on.
  5. Close both gates after you cross.
  6. Obey any other instructions signposted at the crossing.
Level crossing
ahead, unguarded by gates or lifting
barriers Level crossing ahead, unguarded by gates or lifting barriers

As a train approaches, two red lights will start flashing.

Nothing else protects this crossing.

  1. If the lights are flashing as you approach the crossing, you must stay behind the stop line or, if there is no stop line, stay behind the flashing red lights.
  2. Wait to see if a second train is coming. You will know this if the sign 'SECOND TRAIN COMING' (below the light board) is lit up.
sign level crossing guarded by lights and barrier Level crossing ahead with lights and barriers

  1. The light at this crossing is usually steady and amber. As a train approaches, two red lights start to flash in turn and warning bells sound.
  2. Stop clear of the railway crossing.
  3. Never try to zigzag around the barriers.
  4. Wait for all barriers to go back up before moving on.

Other types of level crossings include:

  • attended gated crossings, and
  • unattended crossings with barriers that extend over the full width of the road.

Road vehicles risk hitting level crossing gates, barriers and trains, so you must approach level crossings with care and be able to come to a stop in front of the gates or barriers.


If your vehicle breaks down or gets stuck on a level crossing:

  • make sure that everybody gets out and gets clear of the railway line, and
  • use the phone provided by Iarnread Ireann or warn of the danger immediately as best you can.

REMEMBER
You must not trespass onto a railway line. It is highly dangerous.


rail crossing



Railway bridges

Warning signs


As you approach a bridge, you will see a warning sign, such as the sign below, showing the highest vehicle that will be able to pass under the bridge. The height is called the maximum headroom and is written first in feet and inches and then in metres.


sign max headroom bridge
Low bridge ahead
(height restriction show)


If your vehicle, including any load being carried, is higher than the height shown on the warning sign, you will not fit under the bridge ahead. It is very important to know the height of your vehicle and of any load being carried before you start your journey - know your height, know your route.


Information signs


You must report all incidents of striking any railway structure whether or not damage is obvious. The information signs shown below appear on bridges and give the code for the bridge and a local Iarnrod Eireann contact phone number.


advanced information sign   for low bridge
Advance information sign for low clearance



Regulatory signs


The sign below is a regulatory height restriction sign, which may appear on a railway bridge. You must not pass one of these if your vehicle is higher than the height shown on the sign.

regulator sign height restriction
Height restriction


In the case of arch bridges, the signposted height is available only over a certain width of the arch. This width is shown by 'goalposts'.


regulator sign height restriction
Height restriction


Where the rail line is located under a bridge and vehicles can cross a roadway on top of the bridge there can be restrictions on vehicles entitled to use the bridge.


Overhead structures


You must report any striking of any overhead structure by your vehicle or by any load wherever the above regulatory sign has been provided. Structures include any bridge, viaduct, subway, underpass, overpass, flyover or tunnel.



REMEMBER
Know your Height, Know your Route.



Road tunnel signs

These lane control signs will be found above each traffic lane at, or on, the approach to the entrance to a road tunnel and at regular intervals inside a road tunnel. When the signs are operational, the amber lights at the top, and at the bottom, will flash in turn.


A green arrow pointing down means the lane is open and it is permitted to proceed in that lane.

tunnel sign, lane open
Go (lane open)


A red X means the lane is closed. You must stop. You must not pass this sign. It has the same effect as a stop sign.


tunnel sign, lane closed
Stop (lane closed)


A green arrow pointing to the left means you must move into the left-hand lane. In doing so you must observe the general rules of the road relating to safely changing lanes.


tunnel sign, Move into the
left-hand lane
Move into the left-hand lane


A green arrow pointing to the right means you must move into the right-hand lane. In doing so you must observe the general rules of the road relating to safely changing lanes.


tunnel sign, Move into the
right-hand lane
Move into the right-hand lane


The following sign means that goods vehicles and large non-passenger vehicles with three or more axles cannot use the right-hand lane of the carriageway. You must travel in the left-hand lane of the carriageways in a road tunnel.


tunnel sign, axle limits
In a tunnel goods vehicles cannot use right-hand lane (by reference to number of axles)


The regulation does not apply when:

  • a red X is displayed over the left-hand lane, which means the lane must not be used
  • a green arrow is displayed over the left-hand lane, which directs all vehicles to use the left-hand lane, or
  • the left-hand lane is blocked.

There are two forms of speed limit signs in tunnels.

  • A standard speed limit sign applies where there is a fixed speed limit in a tunnel. You must obey the speed limit and remember this is the maximum permitted speed, not the required speed.

tunnel speed limit 30 km/h
30km/h


tunnel speed limit 50 km/h
50km/h


tunnel speed limit 60 km/h
60km/h


tunnel speed limit 80 km/h
80km/h



  • Where the speed limit can vary in a tunnel, you will see a variable message sign, which is a black square with a red circle and figures in white or yellow. The speed limit is shown by the numbers and will vary according to traffic conditions and road safety considerations. You must obey the speed limit and remember this is the maximum permitted speed, not the required speed.

tunnel variable speed limit 30 km/h
30km/h

tunnel variable speed limit 50 km/h
50km/h

tunnel variable speed limit 60 km/h
60km/h

tunnel variable speed limit 80 km/h
80km/h



Section 6A

















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