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Road Users

Frontal protection systems (Bull bars)

Laws on frontal protection systems such as bull bars, type-approved bull bars, and retrofitting bull bars to the front of a vehicle.

This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.


Frequently asked questions

No, however vehicles approved for the European marketplace may only be fitted with a type approved frontal protection system or bull bar and this includes any modification after manufacture. There may be cases where older vehicles are fitted with non-approved bull bars however under Irish road traffic regulations the fitment of non-essential projections is illegal, and so too is any modification to a vehicle which is liable to cause danger.

  • Regulation (EU) 661/2009 lays down the requirements for the type-approval of motor vehicles relating to the protection of pedestrians and vulnerable road users. It is important to note that all frontal protection systems fitted or made available for fitting to new vehicles at registration or before entry into service since 21 May 2007 must bear an e-mark. If not, then the vehicle would not be registered or allowed entry into service.
  • Once vehicles are in service they must adhere to the requirements set out in the Road Traffic Construction, Equipment & Use of Vehicles regulations  S.I. No. 190 of 1963. Article 32 states that vehicles ‘shall not have any inessential object in a position where it is likely to strike any person involved in a collision with the vehicle, unless injury is not likely to be caused by reason of the projection of the object’.

     

  • Article 96 states that ‘every vehicle while used in a public place shall be such, and so maintained and used, that no danger is likely to be caused to any person’.

    Owners or drivers of vehicles breaching these regulations may be found guilty of an offence under Section 11 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 as amended.

An approved bull bar bears an ‘E’ or ‘e’ mark, and the original manufacturer has declared that it can be fitted to your particular make and model of vehicle.

If your bull bar is found to be safe, secure, and not worn or damaged as to be likely to cause danger it will pass. The Reasons for Failure for exterior fittings or cab and bodywork are outlined in CVRT Manuals.

If you retrofit a bull bar to your vehicle it is considered a modification and as such you may need to present a modifications report at your vehicle’s next roadworthiness test. This modifications report should be certified by the original manufacturer or authorised distributor or a suitably qualified person i.e., a mechanical engineer.

You can download the following modifications reports:

  • for a private or passenger vehicle tested at a NCT centre.
  • for commercial vehicles tested at a CVRT centre

Yes, but only if it was approved for fitment to your vehicle by the original manufacturer. You may be asked to present written proof of this in order to pass the roadworthiness test.

No. Under Article 32 of S.I. No. 190 of 1963 Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use of Vehicles) Regulations, 1963 “a vehicle first registered on or after the 1st day of July, 1964 shall not have any inessential object in a position where it is likely to strike any person involved in a collision with the vehicle, unless injury is not likely to be caused by reason of the projection of the object”.