Which one is correct, "traffic rules" or "traffic regulations"?

If both are correct, what is the difference between them?

  • Neither is correct, at least in America. We obey traffic laws here. Or we don't.
    – Robusto
    Jan 3 '15 at 10:59
  • Rules, laws, regulations ... comprise a set of synonyms. This does not mean that they are interchangeable at will in every context. Sadly, usage is inconsistent; one state's law may be another state's regulation. Please show some evidence of research you yourself have attempted when asking. Jan 3 '15 at 11:22

Rules and regulations are often confused to mean same however there is thin line of difference between them.

Rules are standards and guidelines being restrictive in nature to control the actions and regulations are to control the procedures. By ‘traffic regulations’ it is understood that the traffic is controlled by certain procedures. Whereas by ‘traffic rules’ certain restrictions are to be followed when it comes to moving in a traffic.

In legal context Rules are framed under the provisions of the parent Act by the concerned authority to whom the power is delegated under the Act, which authority shall be under the parent act as well as the constitution and Rules must be in the spirit of the Law and should not contravene or ultra-vires the law. The guideline or principles for governing, how the government to carry out its designated responsibility are spelt out in the Rules. Regulations are also born out of the parent act, sub-delegated to the concerned administrators, at the end user level.

A Rule is an established and authoritative standard or principle to mandate or guide actions in any given situations, Regulations are whereas the details of the procedures, procedures for monitoring.

In Indian context in law, Constitution is supreme, under which Act comes, Rules are framed under the provisions of the Act and the Regulations are framed under the Rules to define the procedures. However, Rules can also be Regulations to imply the legal connotations and they often overlap.

The basic difference is however clear that Rules are the general or standard or basic principles to guide the actions, manner of behaviour, whereas the Regulations are more to deal with the procedures and monitoring.

Sources- http://www.answers.com/Q/Difference_between_rules_and_regulations; https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130505055239AAnCtea; http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-rules-and-regulation


One could argue that "traffic rules" would encompass statutory traffic laws as well as any unwritten conventions local to that particular area. "Traffic regulations" would refer to any statutes that are "on the books." I'm having trouble thinking of an example that doesn't seem ridiculous, though.

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