Part A: the public road

Lesson 1: The public road and the carriageway

This first lesson is freely accessible to everyone.

With your BANK code (not an SMS nor BOOK code) you also have access to the other theory lessons, our practice questions with voice and mock exams during 10 days.

The difference between a public road, a public area and a non-public area

A public road

A public road is a public place such as a street, a bridge, a tunnel, a path, a dirt track, a square, a motorway etc. where we are allowed to come without any problems with all or with some vehicles.

Pedestrians, people with pack or draught animals or herding livestock and cattle are also allowed on some public roads or parts of the public road.

We do not have to explain to anyone why we want to ride there.

A public area

A public area is a public place such as a parking of a restaurant or a petrol station where we only go to when we really need to be there for something.

A Non-public area

It is a private property such as a practice ground of a driving school or a factory parking. We are only allowed to drive there if we have a special permit or a licence.

Where traffic regulations (wegcode) apply

The traffic regulations only bind on the public road. For traffic rules violations committed on the public road, you get a fine.

But you cannot do what you want on a public area or a non-public area. For certain violations you commit regarding alcohol abuse, an accident with casualties or driving without driving licence etc. you can be fined or be prosecuted.

A private road (private weg)

Roads with a 'Private property' sign are not public roads.

The traffic regulations do not apply here (except when the owner gives permission for his property to be used by everyone).

Tram drivers

Tram drivers do not have to follow the traffic regulations, except:

  • the orders of an authorized person;
  • the traffic lights.

Different parts of the public road

Some people think that the public road is only the hardened surface where the cars ride. But that is incorrect.

Also the cycle lane, the soft or hard verge, the raised verge, the central reservation and the pavement (or a footpath) are parts of the public road.

Usually the boundaries of a public road are a canal or a private property.

The carriageway

What the carriageway is

The carriageway is the hardened surface of the public road designed for the use of vehicular traffic where vehicles such as a car, a bus, a moped and an agricultural vehicle are allowed to drive.

Cyclists and moped class A riders may use the carriageway when there is no cycle lane.

A public road may have two or more carriageways separated by a grass verge, a raised verge or guard rails, e.g. along motorways.

A continuous white line along the edge of the carriageway

Sometimes there is a white line painted along the edge of the carriageway.

This line marks the edge of the carriageway and has no other meaning.

Where you have to drive

Drivers should drive as far as possible on the right of the carriageway.

You are not allowed to drive in the middle or to the left of the carriageway for no reason. This is a traffic offence.

A public road may have two or more carriageways separated from each other.

If the public road comprises of two or more carriageways that are clearly separated from each other, in particular with a solid ground, a space inaccessible for vehicles, a difference in levels, drivers may not follow the carriageway which is left in relation to their driving direction (except when a pliceman or a traffic sign says you must).

Normal maximum speed on a carriageway

The maximum speed limit on a regular carriageway is:

  • In the Flanders: 70kph.
  • In Wallonia: 90kph.
  • In Brussels region: 70kph.

Some important issues concerning driving and the driving licence

When you are not allowed to drive on the public road with a temporary driving licence

How to hold the steering wheel while driving




While driving, you have to hold your both hands on the steering wheel clockwise 'ten to two' or 'a quarter to three'.

Keep your arms slightly bent. This way you can make the necessary small movements at the steering wheel to the left or to the right without removing your hands from the steering wheel.

Medically unfit to drive

When a doctor claims that you are not healthy physically and/or mentally, you have to bring your driving licence to the local authorities within four working days after you heard it.

You can get your driving licence back when you get a certificate from the doctor that says you can drive again.

Traffic signs concerning this lesson

Warning (or danger sign)Dangerous bend to the right.
Warning (or danger sign)Dangerous bend to the left.
Warning (or danger sign)Two or more bends, the first to the left.
Warning (or danger sign)Two or more bends, the first to the right.
Warning (or danger sign)Steep hill downwards.
Warning (or danger sign)Steep hill upwards.
Warning (or danger sign)Falling rocks.
Warning (or danger sign)Loose gravel.
Warning (or danger sign)Road narrows on both sides.
Warning (or danger sign)Road narrows on the left.
Warning (or danger sign)Road narrows on the right.
Warning (or danger sign)Uneven road.
Warning (or danger sign)Speed hump(s).
Warning (or danger sign)Opening or swing bridge ahead.
Warning (or danger sign)Way out on a quay or a riverbank.
Warning (or danger sign)Slippery road.

Warning (or danger sign)Slippery road due to ice or snow.
Warning (or danger sign)Road works.
Warning (or danger sign)Passage of cattle.
Warning (or danger sign)Big game crossing.
Warning (or danger sign)Danger. A plate indicates the nature of the hazard.
Warning (or danger sign)Crossing of a public road by one or more tracks in the carriageway.
Warning (or danger sign)Traffic jam
Information (or informative or indication sign)No through road to all road users.
Information (or informative or indication sign)No through road except for cyclists and pedestrians.
Information (or informative or indication sign)Road number

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