Driving School Ireland,
Phone 071 9162311 or 087 6688797

Section 20

Other Road Users

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Emergency Services Vehicles

In the course of their duty, Garda, fire brigade vehicles or ambulances and other emergency vehicles can be exempt from some of the road traffic law as long as this does not put other road users in danger. As a user of the road, if you hear or see a Garda or emergency vehicle approaching under emergency conditions and/or using a siren or flashing lights, you should exercise caution, and give way if it is safe to do so. Never 'tailgate' an emergency vehicle.

People using agricultural machinery


Tractors are governed by normal road traffic laws on driver licensing, insurance, motor tax and vehicle lighting.

All tractors used in a public place must be fitted with safety frames. The purpose of the frame is to protect the driver from being crushed underneath if the tractor overturns. The frame must comply with approved standards.

It is up to the owner or driver to fit a safety cab.

Tractors must carefully transport loose material such as silage, slurry, sand or gravel, so that the material does not spill onto a public road and cause a crash. Loads of lime or other dusty materials, offal or other offensive material must be fully covered with a tarpaulin.

Farmers using agricultural tractors and trailers to haul agricultural produce must not:

  • use exceptionally high frames on trailers which could endanger the stability, steering and braking of an agricultural tractor and trailer combination, or
  • exceed the maximum legally permissible combination weight or the design gross vehicle weight

For more information contact the RSA on Lo-Call 1890 50 60 80.

Irish  farmers tractor

Tractors on the road

A tractor used in a public place must obey the laws governing road traffic.

If you are driving a tractor, you should keep left to let faster traffic pass. Your driving mirror must provide an adequate view of the road to the back.

Do not carry a passenger unless the tractor is equipped to carry one.

People in charge of animals

Horse-drawn vehicles

The normal rules apply, including the general rule to keep left. The hand signals to be given by the driver are the same as those given by a cyclist (see Section 7). A horse-drawn vehicle must be equipped with two red rear reflectors and at night must also carry on the right-hand side of the vehicle a lamp showing a white light to the front and a red light to the back.

You must not drive a horse-drawn vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Riding or leading horses

If you are riding or leading a horse, you must keep to the left-hand edge of the road. You should wear a high visibility vest and an approved riding helmet.

Warning sign for horse and rider
Accompanied horses and ponies

Drivers should take special care when:

  • approaching riding schools or places where horses are likely to appear, and
  • overtaking horses, especially loose horses or horse-drawn vehicles.
  • approaching a horse and rider and if appropriate a driver must stop a vehicle and allow them to pass.

Driving Animals on the Road

If you are in charge of animals on a roadway, you must take reasonable steps to make sure the animals do not block other traffic or pedestrians.

If you are in charge of animals on the road at night, you should carry a lamp showing a white light to the front and a red light to the back. You should also wear a reflective armband.

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