Vienna Convention on Road Traffic

The Convention on Road Traffic, commonly known as the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, is an international treaty designed to facilitate international road traffic and to increase road safety by establishing standard traffic rules among the contracting parties. The convention was agreed upon at the United Nations Economic and Social Council's Conference on Road Traffic (7 October – 8 November 1968) and concluded in Vienna on 8 November 1968. It came into force on 21 May 1977. The convention has been ratified by 78 countries, but those who have not ratified the convention may still be parties to the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic. This conference also produced the Convention on Road Signs and Signals.

Convention on Road Traffic
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Participation in the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic
Signed8 November 1968
LocationVienna
Effective21 May 1977
Signatories36
Parties
DepositaryUN Secretary-General
LanguagesEnglish, French, Chinese, Russian and Spanish
Vienna Convention on Road Traffic at Wikisource

Contracting parties

The Vienna Convention on Road Traffic was concluded at Vienna on 8 November 1968. Since its entry into force on 21 May 1977, in signatory countries ("Contracting Parties") it replaces previous road traffic conventions, notably the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, in accordance with Article 48 of the Convention.

The United States and China are the most notable examples of non-signatory countries. Short-term tourists are not permitted to bring cars into China. All foreign-registered vehicles in China must display a Chinese vehicle registration plate.

Another non-signatory country is Malaysia. In Malaysia, foreign registered vehicles are required to adhere to Malaysian window tint limit regulations or will be denied entry into Malaysia.[2]

Cross-border vehicles

One of the main benefits of the convention for motorists is the obligation on signatory countries to recognize the legality of vehicles from other signatory countries. The following requirements must be met when driving outside the country of registration:

  • Cars must display their registration number at the front and rear, even if legislation in the jurisdiction of registration does not require a front vehicle registration plate on cars. Motorcycles need to display their registration number only at the rear. Registration numbers must be composed either of numerals or of numerals and letters. They must be displayed in capital Latin characters and Arabic numerals. In addition to this, the registration number may optionally be displayed in a different alphabet.
  • A distinguishing sign of the country of registration must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. This sign may either be placed separately from the registration plate or may be incorporated into the vehicle registration plate. When the distinguishing sign is incorporated into the registration plate, it must also appear on the front registration plate of the vehicle. The physical requirements for the separate sign are defined in Annex 3 of the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which states that the letters shall be in black on a white background having the shape of an ellipse with the major axis horizontal. The distinguishing sign should not be affixed in such a way that it could be confused with the registration number or impair its legibility. When the distinguishing sign is incorporated into the registration plate, it must also appear on the front registration plate of the vehicle, and may be supplemented with the flag or emblem of the national state, or the emblem of the regional economic integration organization to which the country belongs. The distinguishing sign should be displayed on the far left or far right on the registration plate. When a symbol/flag/emblem is also displayed, the distinguishing sign shall obligatory be placed on the far left on the plate. The distinguishing sign shall be positioned so to be easy identifiable and so that it cannot be confused with the registration number or impair its legibility. The distinguishing sign shall therefore be at least a different color from the registration number, or have a different background color to that reserved for the registration number, or be clearly separated from the registration number, preferably with a line.[3]
  • In practice, the requirement to display a distinguishing sign, as defined in the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, is mutually waived between some countries, for example within the European Economic Area, for vehicles with license plates in the common EU format (which satisfies the requirements of the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, and hence are also valid in non-EU countries signatory to the convention) issued in EU member states,[4] and between Canada, the United States, and Mexico (where the province, state, or district of registration is usually embossed or surface-printed on the vehicle registration plate).
  • The vehicle must meet all technical requirements to be legal for road use in the country of registration. Any conflicting technical requirements (e.g., right-hand-drive or left-hand-drive) in the signatory country where the vehicle is being driven do not apply.
  • The driver must carry the vehicle's registration certificate, and if the vehicle is not registered in the name of an occupant of the vehicle (e.g., a hire car), proof of the driver's right to be in possession of the vehicle.

The convention also addresses minimum mechanical and safety equipment needed to be on board and defines an identification mark (Annex 4) to identify the origin of the vehicle.

Vienna Convention and autonomous driving

One of the fundamental principles of the Convention has been the concept that a driver is always fully in control and responsible for the behavior of a vehicle in traffic.[5] This requirement is challenged by the development of technology for collision avoidance systems and autonomous driving. Countries that have subscribed to the convention will need to agree on a new convention, or find other ways of accommodating the concept that a programmed machine may take over some or all of the functions of the driver.

International conventions on transit transport

The broad objective of these international conventions and agreements, the depositary of which is the Secretary-General of the United Nations, is to facilitate international transport while providing for a high level of safety, security, and environmental protection in transport:[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Status of 19. Convention on Road Traffic". United Nations. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  2. ^ https://paultan.org/2017/12/19/foreign-cars-with-dark-window-tints-cannot-enter-msia/
  3. ^ http://www.international-driving-permit.com/Convention-on-Road-Traffic/8-November-1968/EN/Annexex/Annex-3-Distinguishing-Sign-of-Motor-Vehicles-and-Trailers-to-International-Traffic.aspx
  4. ^ "Council Regulation (EC) No 2411/98". Council of the European Union. 3 November 1998.
  5. ^ Global Automotive Regulation page related to automated driving
  6. ^ "Treaty Seminar Issues Note" (PDF). United Nations. 8 July 2004.

External links

Bicycle law

Bicycle law is the parts of law that apply to the riding of bicycles.

Bicycle law varies from country to country, but in general, cyclists' right to the road has been enshrined in international law since 1968, with the accession of the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. Under that treaty, bicycles have the legal status of vehicles, and cyclists enjoy the legal status of vehicle operators. There are over 150 contracting parties to the treaty, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Ireland, almost all of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and China. In countries that are contracting parties, the treaty has the force of law, and its provisions have been incorporated into national law.

The position of British cyclists was first established by the Local Government Act in August, 1888. It removed the right of local councils to treat cyclists among the "nuisances" it could ban and defined them as "carriages"."

Driving licence in Russia

The Russian Empire was one of the first countries to create a driving licence. Russia's first licences were issued in 1900 by Saint Petersburg authorities, and Russia joined an international convention in 1909. However, due to relatively small number of cars, the attempts to create a standardised Russian licence were rather sporadic and limited to major urban areas. No comprehensive system of driver licensing was present until 1936, when the Soviet government organised and standardised traffic and driving regulations, with the state-wide system regulated by specialised police authorities.

Since March 2011 there are 9 categories that require a driving licence:

A: any type of motorbike

B: motorised vehicle under 3.5 tons (optionally with light trailer)

C: motorised vehicle over 3.5 tons (optionally with light trailer, up to 750 kg)

D: bus (has more than 8 passenger seats) (optionally with light trailer, up to 750 kg)

BE: motorised vehicle under 3.5 tons with heavy trailer

CE: motorised vehicle over 3.5 tons with heavy trailer

DE: bus with heavy trailer

M: moped, assigned automatically if you have any other category open

Tram: tram

Trolleybus: trolleybusCurrently Russia employs a system of driver's licences very similar to the EU standard with two additional categories:

A1 similar to European A limited, as A does not limit the specs of motorbikes

Bikes with engine displacements lower than 50 cc and speeds lower than 50 km/h are considered mopeds and require M licence to drive

B1 for tricycles and quadracycles.The current licence style, introduced in 2011, is a laminated plastic card similar to the European driving licence card in dimensions and outward appearance, with the bearer's photo and name (in Latin and Cyrillic scripts), place/date of issue, allowed categories, and signature. The reverse of the card features a detailed list of allowed categories. This new style is fully compliant with the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, and therefore is acceptable in all its signatory states and countries. Older credit-card-style and booklet-style licenses are also occasionally seen although they are no longer issued and are increasingly rare as a result. The Russian driving licence is also sometimes supplemented by a special card called "временное разрешение" (temporary permission), which serves for registering offense points and as a temporary licence if the primary licence has been seized by the authorities for serious traffic offences. This supplement has been abolished and reinstated a countless number of times as the views of the traffic police change.

The legal driving age within the Russian Federation is 18 years (16 for motorcycles and 20 for buses) and to obtain a licence one must be physically fit to drive (including certificates of mental fitness and no record of substance abuse). One must also pass a test administered at a local traffic police authority and pay a fee. Tests are divided into theory and practice. The theory test is usually a computerized multiple-choice test on various traffic rules. Twenty multiple-choice questions are asked, only one incorrect answer allowed in two different test topics (for a total of two incorrect answers) for a passing grade, after the main part of the test is finished, five additional questions are added for every incorrect answer, bringing a total maximum of questions to 30. Practice part of the test is divided into two parts: basic skills test conducted in an isolated area (steering, slope starting, backing-up, parallel parking and an obstacle course) and a road test conducted on public roads. Four minor errors are allowed for the road driving examination. The number of retries is virtually unlimited, but there is a mandatory grace period of one week for the first three tries and a month for any subsequent ones.

Hong Kong mainland China driving scheme

The Hong Kong mainland China driving scheme (Chinese: 自駕遊計畫) is a cross-border driving scheme which allows drivers of cars with primary registration in mainland China to drive directly to Hong Kong. Currently, mainland cars have the driver seat on the left, while HK cars have driver seat on the right. Historically HK was a British colony before 1997, and adapted driving on the same side of the road as the United Kingdom.

While Hong Kong is a party to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, the PRC is not a party to the convention. As a result, prior to the introduction of this pilot scheme, Hong Kong vehicles have to apply for PRC's registration number plates to cross the border, and vice versa.

International vehicle registration code

The country in which a motor vehicle's vehicle registration plate was issued may be indicated by an international licence plate country code, formerly known as an International Registration Letter or International Circulation Mark.add all countries code hpThe sign must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. The sign may either be placed separately from the registration plate, or be incorporated into the vehicle registration plate.

The allocation of codes is maintained by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe as the Distinguishing Signs Used on Vehicles in International Traffic (sometimes abbreviated to DSIT), authorised by the UN's Geneva Convention on Road Traffic of 1949 and the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic of 1968. Many vehicle codes created since the adoption of ISO 3166 coincide with ISO two- or three-letter codes.

The 2004 South-East Asian Agreement ... for the Facilitation of Cross-Border Transport of Goods and People uses a mixture of ISO and DSIT codes: Myanmar uses MYA, China CHN, and Cambodia KH (ISO codes), Thailand uses T (DSIT code), Laos LAO, and Vietnam VN (coincident ISO and DSIT codes).The Vienna Convention on Road Traffic was concluded in Vienna on 8 November 1968. Since its entry into force on 21 May 1977, in signatory countries it replaces previous road traffic conventions, notably the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, in accordance with its Article 48. One of the main benefits of the convention for motorists is the obligation on signatory countries to recognize the legality of vehicles from other signatory countries. When driving in other signatory countries, the distinguishing sign of the country of registration must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle. The sign may either be placed separately from the registration plate as a white oval plate or sticker, or be incorporated in the vehicle registration plate. When the distinguishing sign is incorporated in the registration plate, it must also appear on the front registration plate of the vehicle.

The physical requirements for the separate sign are defined in Annex 3 of the Vienna Convention, which states that the letters shall be in black on a white background having the shape of an ellipse with the major axis horizontal. The distinguishing sign should not be affixed in such a way that it could be confused with the registration number or impair its legibility.

When the distinguishing sign is incorporated into the registration plate, it must also appear on the front registration plate of the vehicle, and may be supplemented with the flag or emblem of the national state, or the emblem of the regional economic integration organization to which the country belongs. The distinguishing sign should be displayed on the far left or far right of the registration plate. When a symbol, flag or emblem is also displayed, the distinguishing sign shall be placed on the far left of the plate. The distinguishing sign shall be positioned so as to be easily identifiable and so that it cannot be confused with the registration number or impair its legibility. The distinguishing sign shall therefore be at least a different colour from the registration number, or have a different background colour from that reserved for the registration number, or be clearly separated from the registration number, preferably with a line.The requirement to display a separate distinguishing sign is not necessary within the European Economic Area, for vehicles with license plates in the common EU format which satisfy the requirements of the Vienna Convention, and so are also valid in non-EU countries signatory to the convention. Separate signs are also not needed for Canada, Mexico and the United States, where the province, state or district of registration is usually embossed or surface-printed on the vehicle registration plate.

Overtaking

Overtaking or passing is the act of one vehicle going past another slower moving vehicle, travelling in the same direction, on a road. The lane used for overtaking another vehicle is almost always a passing lane further from the road shoulder which is to the left in places that drive on the right and to the right in places that drive on the left.

Priority to the right

Priority to the right is a right-of-way system, in which the driver of a vehicle is required to give way to vehicles approaching from the right at intersections. The system is stipulated in Article 18.4.a of the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic for countries where traffic keeps to the right and applies to all intersections where it is not overridden by priority signs (uncontrolled intersections), including side roads and roundabouts (but not paths or earth-tracks).

Road signs in Armenia

Road signs in Armenia are similar to the Russian road sign system that ensure that transport vehicles move safely and orderly, as well as to inform the participants of traffic built-in graphic icons. These icons are governed by the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.

Road signs in Azerbaijan

Road signs in Azerbaijan are similar to the Russian road sign system that ensure that transport vehicles move safely and orderly, as well as to inform the participants of traffic built-in graphic icons. These icons are governed by the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.

Road signs in Georgia (country)

Road signs in Georgia are similar to the Russian road sign system that ensure that transport vehicles move safely and orderly, as well as to inform the participants of traffic built-in graphic icons. These icons are governed by the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.

Road signs in Kazakhstan

Road signs in Kazakhstan are similar to the Russian road sign system that ensure that transport vehicles move safely and orderly, as well as to inform the participants of traffic built-in graphic icons. These icons are governed by the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.

Road signs in Kyrgyzstan

Road signs in Kyrgyzstan are similar to the Russian road sign system that ensure that transport vehicles move safely and orderly, as well as to inform the participants of traffic built-in graphic icons. These icons are governed by the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.

Road signs in Lithuania

Road signs in Lithuania are similar to the Russian road sign system that ensure that transport vehicles move safely and orderly, as well as to inform the participants of traffic built-in graphic icons. These icons are governed by the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.

Road signs in Mongolia

Road signs in Mongolia are similar to the Russian road sign system. They ensure that transport vehicles move safely and in an orderly manner, and inform the participants of traffic built-in graphic icons. These icons are governed by the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.

Road signs in Uzbekistan

Road signs in Uzbekistan are similar to the Russian road sign system that ensure that transport vehicles move safely and orderly, as well as to inform the participants of traffic built-in graphic icons. These icons are governed by the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.

Vehicle registration plates of Europe

A metal or plastic plate or plates attached to a motor vehicle or trailer for official identification purposes. The registration identifier is a numeric or alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies the vehicle within the issuing authority's database. In Europe most countries have adopted a common format for number plates, such as the common EU format issued in EU member states. This format satisfies the requirements in the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which states that cross-border vehicles must display a distinguishing code for the country of registration on the rear of the vehicle. This sign may be an oval sticker placed separately from the registration plate, or may be incorporated into the vehicle registration plate. When the distinguishing sign is incorporated into the registration plate, it must also appear on the front registration plate of the vehicle, and may be supplemented with the flag or emblem of the national state, or the emblem of the regional economic integration organisation to which the country belongs.

Vehicle registration plates of Greece

Greek vehicle registration plates are composed of three letters and four digits per plate (e.g. ΑΑΑ-1000) printed in black on a white background. The letters represent the district (prefecture) that issues the plates while the numbers range from 1000 to 9999. As of 2004 a blue strip was added on the left showing the country code of Greece (GR) in white text and the Flag of Europe in yellow. Similar plates but of square size with numbers ranging from 1 to 999 are issued for motorcycles which exceed 50 cc in engine size.

With the exception of Athens and Thessaloniki which are represented by just the first letter of the three, all other districts are represented by the first 2 letters. The final one or two letters in the sequence changes in Greek alphabetical order after 9,000 issued plates. For example, Patras plates are ΑΧΑ-1000, where ΑΧ represents the Achaia prefecture of which Patras is the capital. When ΑΧΑ-9999 is reached the plates turn to ΑΧΒ-1000 and this continues until ΑΧΧ is finished. Only letters from the intersection of the Latin and Greek alphabets are used, specifically Α, Β, Ε, Ζ, Η, Ι, Κ, Μ, Ν, Ο, Ρ, Τ, Υ, Χ (in Greek alphabetical order). This is because Greece is a contracting party to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which in Annex 2 requires registration numbers to be displayed in capital Latin characters and Arabic numerals. The rule applies in a similar way in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria.

Combinations used for overseas residents are L-NNNN (where L = letter and N = number) and are limited. Until 2003, taxis used L-NNNN; the plate was aligned with the prefecture and the letters were colored red.

Vehicle registration plates of Ukraine

Since Ukraine's independence in 1991, the country has used four main systems of vehicle registration plates.

The first system was introduced in 1992 and was based on the last Soviet license plate conception, regulated by the 1977 standard, but with the addition of a new regional suffix corresponding to a Ukrainian province.

In 1993, the left-hand side of the plate was modified with the addition of the national flag over the country code "UA".

1995 saw the introduction of a completely new system consisting of five digits, with a dash between the third and fourth digit, combined with a two letter suffix. It also included a two-digit region code, situated under the National Flag on the left-hand side of the plate.

In order to enable drivers using their vehicle abroad, and in order to adhere to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, Ukrainian regular license plates use only those Cyrillic characters where the glyph resembles a letter from the Roman alphabet; a total of 12 characters: A, B, E, I, K, M, H, O, P, C, T, X). Before 1995, the "Я" character was also used. For some types of black-background plates can be used completely Cyrillic characters.

Some vehicles, like trolleybuses, are not required to have license plates, because they can not leave the network they operate on and can be identified by a number painted on the vehicle and assigned to it by the local public transport authority.

Vienna Convention

Vienna Convention can mean any of a number of treaties signed in Vienna:

several treaties and conventions resulted from the Congress of Vienna (1814–15) which redrew the map of Europe, only partially restoring the pre-Napoleonic situation, and drafted new rules for international relations

Vienna Convention on Money (1857)

Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961)

Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (1963)

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963)

Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (1968)

Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals (1968)

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969)

Convention on the Issue of Multilingual Extracts from Civil Status Records (1976)

Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of Treaties (1978)

United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (1980), a uniform international sales law

Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (1985)

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations (1986)

United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988)

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, on the Nuclear Program of Iran (2015)

Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals

The Convention on Road Signs and Signals, commonly known as the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals, is a multilateral treaty designed to increase road safety and aid international road traffic by standardising the signing system for road traffic (road signs, traffic lights and road markings) in use internationally.

This convention was agreed upon by the United Nations Economic and Social Council at its Conference on Road Traffic in Vienna 7 October to 8 November 1968, was concluded in Vienna on 8 November 1968, and entered into force on 6 June 1978. This conference also produced the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which complements this legislation by standardising international traffic laws.

The convention revised and substantially extended the earlier 1949 Geneva Protocol on Road Signs and Signals, itself based in turn on the 1931 Geneva Convention concerning the Unification of Road Signals.Amendments, including new provisions regarding the legibility of signs, priority at roundabouts, and new signs to improve safety in tunnels were adopted in 2003.

Both the Vienna Convention and the Geneva Protocol formed according to consensus on road traffic signs that evolved primarily in 20th century Europe. In order to make it as universal as possible, the convention allows some variations, for example danger warning signs can be triangular or square diamond in shape and road markings can be white or yellow.

Though most UN members haven't ratified the full treaty, the signs and legal principals enshrined in it form the basis of traffic law in a majority of places.

An alternative convention called the SADC-RTSM, provided by the Southern African Development Community, is used by 10 countries in southern Africa. Many of the rules and principles of the SADC-RTSM are similar to those of the Vienna Convention.

In the United States, signs are based on the US Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. This is the main competing standard to the UN convention. Signs in the MUTCD are more text oriented, though a few pictograms in the MUTCD are from the Vienna protocol. Canada and Australia have road signs based substantially on the MUTCD. In South America, road signage is influenced by both systems.

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