Public Highway Driving Regulations

Highway driving regulations are used universally. There are, however, wide variations in from country to country in the type of regulations, their scope and detail. Each country has a different set of road markings and road signs (or none at all in a few cases).

Specific Rules for Truck Drivers

Most regions have universal regulations for all drivers and extra rules for specific types of driver, such as truck drivers.

For example, in Austria, truck drivers (pulling over 3.5 tons) are required to attach a device called a “Go-Box” to their windshield. This device tracks the vehicle’s route so that tolls can be tallied and levied correctly.


The penalties and the way they are administered can also vary widely from virtually none to steep fines and even imprisonment for dangerous driving. Fines can be collected on the spot by police or designated traffic officers, through a court, magistrate or council or automatically when using speed cameras.


There is a wide variation in the level of enforcement and the amount of discretion given to enforcement officers. In some regions, the way traffic laws are enforced is very disciplined. In others, there may be a gap between the written laws and the way they are interpreted by officers.

Driver Responsibility

Truck drivers, especially those operating internationally, need to be aware of all the official regulations. This is a major responsibility and a daunting prospect especially as they are often the ones who are personally charged with offences and who are required to pay fines.

Automated Vehicles (“Driverless”)

The regulations for the use of automated vehicles are at different stages in different localities. The United Nations is attempting to develop international regulations/guidelines.

Some draft regulations assume that the vehicle will still have all the controls available to allow a human to take back control of the vehicle. In these proposal, at least one passenger would need to be designated to drive the vehicle if circumstances required it and would therefore still need to monitor the performance of the vehicle even when it is being operated automatically.

However, regulators will also take account of vehicles where there are no manual controls. In these cases, proposed or drafted regulations tend to absolve the vehicle passengers of all driver responsibilities. In these cases, there will presumably be more reliance on obtaining guarantees of vehicle operation from manufacturers.