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Section 44 (Road Traffic Act 1988)

Section 44 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA) allows for an order to be made by the Secretary of State authorising the use on roads of certain vehicles which do not comply with the requirements of regulations made under section 41. The Secretary of State may attach restrictions and conditions to the use of the vehicle.

The Secretary of State may make an order under section 44 in two ways:

The first way may, for convenience, be described as a general order and the second as an individual order.

Vehicle special orders section 44 requirement
The Secretary of State may by order (Section 44 of the Road Traffic Act 1988) authorise, subject to such restrictions and conditions as may be specified by or under the order the use on roads of Special Vehicles not complying with Section 41 of the Act. The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (C&U) are made under Section 41 of the Act. Transport Technology and Standards (TTS) are the Secretary of States delegated division within the Road Safety Directorate responsible for the maintenance and issue of Section 44 orders.
Section 44 orders may be either:

No individual order is required for vehicles meeting and operating under the permissive requirements of STGO (1) above as the conditions to be met are contained in the subject Statutory Instrument and any subsequent amendments.

Individual VSO (2) are not issued simply because a vehicle cannot comply with C&U regulations. An order is issued only subject to suitable information being provided by the applicant which would ensure appropriate safety issues and requirements are met and when and if the reasons for non-compliance with C&U regulations are justified and supported.
The applicant must provide full detail as requested to enable the department to make a valued decision. Individual VSO are required to allow the use on roads of a small number of vehicles, which are special by type or purpose. Most orders are made to allow vehicles outside the scope of the general order types (1) Such vehicles may be for tests and trials, abnormal load movements or "one off" specials; etc.

Application for a Vehicle Special Order (VSO)
There are no application forms. The Department for Transport (Dft) ask for written applications giving the following initial information.

Key Information
Key Information
Contact details for orders are:
Department for Transport
TTS 7 Division, Zone 2/01,
Great Minster House,
76 Marsham St,
London SW1P 4DR.

Administrative and technical officers in TTS 7 (Dept for Tpt) will assess the information supplied and further information may be sought as necessary. The Police and Local Authorities may be consulted; sometimes other parties or parts of the Department are consulted, especially on the conditions to be imposed. Once all the information is received at least 5 working days will be required to prepare the order

Orders can be revoked. They are issued for varying periods of time usually no longer than 3 years though occasionally for 5 years. Please also note that Orders can take up to 10 working days to process.

Source - Department for Transport

Further Reading
For further information relating to the Road Traffic ACt (1988) C&U Regulations and Section 44 please use the link below:

Road Traffic Act Construction and Use Regs - Office of Public Service Information (OPSI)

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