Chapter 6: Transport of People and Goods

6.1 Transporting people

It is forbidden to exceed the maximum number of authorized seats of a vehicle. The driver is required to make passengers maintain the proper position.

Minors who are less than 1.35 m tall cannot travel in the front seat of the vehicle. In addition to this, as the law requires, they must be seated in a child restraint seat appropriate to their size and weight.
There are 3 exceptions whereby a child may occupy the front seats. If the vehicle has no rear seats, or if they are already occupied by others with the same characteristics, and when it is not possible to install a child restraint system on them.

If the vehicle is very old and does not have seat belts, children under 3 years may not ride in it.

It is forbidden to carry passengers over 7 years old on bicycle.

6.2 Transporting goods

You must never exceed the authorized MAM (total weight including load).

As a general rule, load cannot extend out of the vehicle, except:

1. Passenger cars

Load may only extend out through the rear of the vehicle taking into account the following:

  • If DIVISIBLE (can be taken apart), 10% of the vehicle length. E.g. a bicycle, because the wheel can be removed.
  • If INDIVISIBLE (cannot be taken apart), 15% of the vehicle length. E.g. an iron beam.

In both cases, a red and white striped panel must be placed both during the day and at night, as well as a red light at night (or in environmental conditions of low visibility).

2. Vehicles used for the transport of goods

In vehicles designed for the transport of goods, the transport of persons in the area designed for load is prohibited unless with authorization.

Length:

  • If the vehicle measures 5 metres or less, load may extend 1/3 of the length of the vehicle in front and behind.
  • If over 5 metres, load may extend up to 2 metres in front and 3 metres behind, but not exceeding a total of 12 metres.
  • If the vehicle is LESS than one metre wide (motorcycles), load may not extend out in front, but can extend 0.25 metres behind.
5 metres or less over 5 metres Less than one metre
5 metres or less over 5 metres LESS than one metre

Width:

  • If the vehicle is more than 1 metre wide, load may extend 0.40 metres on each side, without exceeding a total width of 2.55 metres.
  • LESS than one metre wideIf the vehicle is LESS than one metre wide (motorcycles), load may extend 0.50 metres on each side of the vehicle axis.

6.3 Signalling of the load

If it extends out in front:

  • Not signalled during the day
  • At night or in conditions that significantly reduce visibility, it is signalled with a white light

If it extends behind:

  • By day, it is signalled by a red and white striped panel
  • At night it is signalled by a red and white striped panel with a red light

The maximum dimensions including load are: 2.55 metres wide, 4 metres high and 12 metres long.

The maximum dimensions including load

6.4 Rules on load

1. The load cannot fall to the ground, drag, obscure lights, or be deposited on public roads.

2. Loading and unloading operations will be carried out off the road, avoiding noise.

3. The load in passenger cars should be carried in the boot (UK) / trunk (USA), trailer or on the roof, or in the back seat provided it is securely fastened.

4. Motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles can tow trailers, but:

  • They must not exceed 50% of the weight of the vehicle
  • They must not transport people
  • They must not be ridden at night
  • When towing a trailer, speed must be reduced by 10%

Special vehicles:

  • Must signal their position with an automatic rotating yellow light
  • If performing work on the road they will not be obliged to follow the regulations
  • If the transported materials produce dust or may fall, they must be covered effectively
  • Vehicle signs, see table below:

Speed limit

Speed limit

Slow vehicle: runs less than 40km/h

Slow vehicle: runs less than 40km/h

Long vehicle: more than 12 metres

Long vehicle: more than 12 metres

Reduced mobility and disability sign

Reduced mobility and disability sign

Testing or research: may exceed the speed at 30km/h

Testing or research

Overhanging load behind (protruding load)

Overhanging load behind

Dangerous goods

Dangerous goods

Danger triangles: 2 required

Danger triangles

School transport

School transport

Driver education vehicle

Driver education vehicle

New qualified driver

New qualified driver

MOT (ITV) sticker

MOT (ITV) sticker

Unit test