illustration

Do not overtake unless you are sure you can do so without danger to others as well as yourself. Before you start to overtake make sure the road is clear far enough ahead and behind. Use your mirror and signal before you start to move out. Be particularly careful at dusk, at dawn, in the dark and in mist, when it is more difficult to judge speed and distance.

On faster roads, vehicles may be approaching much more quickly than you think. Make sure that the road is clear for a long way ahead.

Once you have started to overtake, move quickly past the vehicle you are overtaking and leave it plenty of room. Then move back to the left side of the road as soon as you can, but without cutting in.

Overtaking only on the right.

If the vehicle you are overtaking increases speed, drop back if necessary and return to your normal lane behind it. Ensure that the road behind is still clear, use your mirror.

On a normal two lane road, give way to vehicles coming towards you before you pass parked vehicles or other obstructions on the left-hand side of the road.

Do not increase your speed while being overtaken. Slow down, if necessary, to let the overtaking vehicle pass.

Overtaking a large vehicle

illustration

illustration

Getting too close behind a large vehicle makes it impossible to see far enough ahead. The 'A' car is too close. The driver of the 'B' car, who is keeping much farther back, has a much better view.

Overtaking on dual carriageways

Overtake only on the right, unless traffic is moving in queues and the traffic queue on the right is moving more slowly than you are. Never move to a lane on the left to overtake. You must not use a hard shoulder for overtaking.

Do not overtake unless it is safe for yourself and others. Many accidents on dual carriageways are rear-end collisions. Before you start to overtake make sure that the lane you will be joining is clear far enough ahead and behind. Traffic may be coming up behind much more quickly than you think. Signal before you move out. Be particularly careful at dusk, in the dark and in fog or mist, when it is more difficult to judge speed and distance.

Get back to the left-hand lane or, if this is occupied, the middle lane as soon as possible after overtaking, but do not cut in on the vehicle you have just overtaken.

You must not overtake

Road Sign

Sign marking the beginning of 'No overtaking'

You must not overtake

  • If you would have to cross or drive on 'Double white' lines with the solid line nearer to you.
  • If you are within the zigzag area on the approach to a 'Zebra' crossing.
  • After a 'No overtaking' sign and until the end of the ban.

You must not overtake

  • Where you cannot see far enough ahead to be sure that it is safe to do so, for example, when at or coming to a corner or a bend or the brow of a hill.
  • Where you might come into conflict with other road users, for example, at a junction, where the road narrows or on the approach to any type of pedestrian crossing.
  • Where it would involve driving over an area marked with hatched white lines.
  • On the approach to a tram stop.
  • When to do so would force another vehicle to swerve or slow down.
  • When to do so would force a pedestrian crossing the road to stop or run.

If in doubt -- do not overtake.

You may overtake on the left

  • When the driver in front has signalled that he intends to turn right and you can overtake him on the left without getting in the way of others and without entering a bus lane during its period of operation.
  • When you want to turn left at a junction.
  • In one-way streets ( but not dual carriageways ) where vehicles may pass on either side.
  • Where there are 'Double white' lines along the road between you and the lane to the right, the line nearer to you is solid and both traffic streams are moving in the same direction.
  • When using marked traffic lanes and wishing to pass a tram -- but not a stationary tram at a tram stop where there is no tram stop island.
  • When traffic is moving slowly in queues, and vehicles in a lane on the right are moving more slowly than you are.
  • When traffic is moving slowly in queues, you may move to a lane on your left only in order to turn left or to park. Do not change lanes to the left in order to overtake.