Can you overtake on the nearside of another vehicle? (2024)

Can you overtake on the nearside of another vehicle?



Overtaking on the nearside (left) is legally acceptable if you are driving on a multi-lane carriageway in congested conditions, and the lane to the left is moving at a faster speed than lanes to the right. In these circumstances overtaking on the left is permissible although extra caution is needed for an awareness of other vehicles moving to the faster lane on the left.

It is also permissible to overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right. Overtaking on the left in these circumstances although permissible is subject to road markings and signs that may suggest otherwise.


A Green

22/10/2014 14:49:59

A topic that is never ever clearly explained - if I am driving in the left-hand lane, and catching up with a solitary slower vehicle in the middle lane. I have not changed lanes, but gone past him since it is slower. Does that qualify as overtaking/undertaking, or not? Is this discouraged by the HC? There is no traffic congestion, just a slower vehicle, and the HC completely fails to clarify what to do here.



22/6/2015 03:10:36

No one will ever give you a definitive answer. Surely there are traffic cops out there who should know?
Add to this towing a caravan in the nearside lane 1. Not allowed in the third lane to overtake a slower (under 60mph.) vehicle in lane 2. So just block two lanes? June 2015.



5/8/2021 10:38:36

Nope, you fall under the same restrictions as anyone else towing a proper trailer or your wobble-box and if anything that empty box of air is far more dangerous in the outside lane than a loaded trailer would be... If you want to go on caravan holidays then going nice and steady should be part of your enjoyable trip...


3/3/2016 06:56:45

If a middle lane hogger has a sudden mechanical issue, they may via to the hard shoulder wirhout looking. So you may put yourself in jeopardy be passing on the nearside.



30/3/2016 07:57:09

Veer, not via!

Luke Kelly

9/12/2016 13:49:25

You could say the same for someone after overtaking and moving back from lane 3 to 2, at the same time a car moves from 1 into 2.... or maybe ban driving through a green light as someone may break a red light coming from your left or right. When a bus or taxi after overtaking traffic comes to the end of the bus lane should they slow down and yield to traffic on right.... Anybody who doesn't check their mirrors and yield to traffic already in the lane they want to move into is 100% at fault in a collision and should do the decent thing and hand in their licence.


2/12/2017 08:25:10

Doesn't matter. They have a duty of care to look before swerving, so if they hit you as you pass on the left, it's their fault. But nogood being right if youre dead so pass swiftly to minimise the chance of it happening!

Andre Rafael

17/9/2020 14:09:43

Excellent. So, that is exactly why no one should drive other than on the left, unless overtaking.

R Creedy

20/5/2017 00:06:47

If you are not breaking any speed limits, and you use caution when passing on the left you are unlikely to be punished for dangerous driving in the above scenario.


Gary Brown

17/12/2017 10:18:55

Highway code 268. Do don't overtake on the left!


2/7/2018 14:09:14

Highway code introduction page - "Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words ‘MUST/MUST NOT’. In addition, the rule includes an abbreviated reference to the legislation which creates the offence". However, rules which use wording such as ‘should/should not’ or ‘do/do not’ are ADVISORY. ie. ignoring them is not a specific offence (although you may be caught by other offences such as careless or dangerous driving).

So your quote "Do not undertake on the left!" is just advisory, it is not an offence. For it to be an offence it would have to say, "Must not undertake on the left" and have the applicable abbreviated reference to the legislation which creates the offence. Which it does not, because it isn't.

Brian Young

5/8/2021 17:35:38

Rule 268 clearly states. That if traffic is moving faster in your lane you may pass traffic in the center lane or the lane to your right. You should not move to a lane to your left in order to overtake. I have been a driving instructor for many years and this has always been the case. Sadly pupils fail there tests for passing traffic on their right, this comes down to the examiners judgement. I wont comment on that as it varies from one to another. Please check the whole of rule 268 to end this argument.

David Holmes

26/5/2017 14:32:40

Technically speaking both drivers are committing an offence. The centre Lane hugger for careless driving by not returning to the nearside and the undertaking driver for that offence. I am aware of cases such as this being in court and successful prosecutions being the outcome


John grimley

23/8/2017 06:33:24

Wrong. Passing on the left is perfectly legal. Many drivers have no option if their vehicles aren't allowed in lane 3.
I have been reported twice for "dangerously undertaking". In both cases, police viewed my cam footage and said I had done nothing wrong. That was Thames Valley and West Yorkshire Police.

Mark Edwards

28/9/2017 08:09:16

Undertaking is not an offence if you are travelling at the national speed limit of 70MPH or less

Nineteen Sixteen

12/12/2017 04:18:04

There is only one offence committed and that is by the hogger for driving without reasonable consideration for other road users. Undertaking is not an offence in UK.


4/6/2018 08:52:58

On many occasions (mainly on M25 or M1) I've been doing 70mph in the 2nd (Middle) lane, gradually closing on a vehicle maybe just 10yds ahead in the nearside lane.
I'm overtaken on the INside by a vehicle which then immediately pulls out in front of me to continue at its existing speed (often well in excess of 70mph) - despite the outer lane being quite clear for overtaking. WHY??
Clearly, there might be a few situations where overtaking on the inside becomes acceptable, but (nowadays) lane discipline is generally exceptionally poor (an arrogant attitude of "I want to, so I will", with no regard for other road users). I see undertaking as an exceptionally STUPID and DANGEROUS and increasingly common practice which should be made illegal (tho' they'd probably never be caught, due to lack of funds for policing it).
It sickens me that people automatically use the nearside lane as an overtaking lane, regardless - simply because it suits them. It really just comes down to arrogance, & disregard for others.


15/5/2019 21:50:39

The police are only obliged to do drivers traveling at less than 70 mph for a distance of 3 miles (no other vehicle in the left lane) driving in the middle lane, the law is very clear on the speed limits.

Sean Kinvarra

26/9/2017 03:33:40

Nothing complicated about undertaking.



28/7/2018 08:55:23


You were in the wrong lane. You should not have been in the middle lane to begin with.

You are the problem.

Stay out of the middle lane Bill

Sean Kinvarra

23/12/2017 01:39:47

Clearly explained here as I've previously said. on many occasions. and contradicted by "experts".



26/6/2018 23:36:50

Even more frustrating I recently drove on a 4 lane section of motorway. Very heavy traffic in lane 4, nose to tail doing 70. All driving too close. Solitary driver in lane 3 doing 55 with cars backed up behind him trying to turn right. Was I wrong to drive in lane 1 at 70?

Driving on autobahn in Germany seems so much safer. Everyone uses the overtaking lanes to overtake and then pulls over. If lane hogging was treated as an issue then undertaking would virtually disappear.



13/11/2018 12:04:48

Yes, you are fine undertaking in that circumstance. You are driving correctly in the driving lane, what all the other idiots are doing in the overtaking lanes is their problem. If there was a clear lane between you and the car you were undertaking even better. You were not committing any offence. The lane 3 hogger on the other hand was guilty of careless driving, specifically this bit, "If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, ***or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place***, he is guilty of an offence".


16/8/2019 22:48:51

Dont know what part of Germany you have drove in, the Autobahns are not safe due to the stupid speeds they drive and they do have lane huggers like us, but they dont get fined which is annoying, they dont use the outside lanes to overtake and pull in they stay there a tailgate other drivers, I speak from experience having lived there for 30 years and drove trucks for a living.


8/8/2018 08:19:16

Yes it’s illegal. Yes it’s frustrating. Yes the middle lane driver is failing to be aware of traffic or anticipating a lane instruction up ahead that you may not be aware of.
If you do under take, please be careful, some other driver may take your number or even attempt to remonstrate with you...Remain calm and carry on.



13/11/2018 12:32:51

Just to be clear, hogging the overtaking lane on a motorway while not in overtaking anything is an offence (careless driving), undertaking an idiot who is hogging the overtaking lane is NOT an offence. Unless you are weaving in and out of lanes to gain an advantage. If you're just cruising along in the driving lane, within the speed limit, and you happen to undertake someone then you are doing nothing wrong. But best not take too long about it, if they're stupid enough to hog the middle lane, they're probably stupid enough to change lanes without looking as well...


15/5/2019 21:58:06

Rules can be broken, laws can not, the law is very clear, i sit in the middle lane doing 75, speeding is one of the biggest killers on the highway,the impact from a speeding vehicle is a lot greater, you could say it is selfish to hog the middle lane, it is also selfish to break the speed limit (the limit is there for a reason. The police will take action is you are caught doing under 70 in the middle lane (no vehicles in the left lane) for a distance of 3 miles.


17/8/2019 07:55:16

@barrie. Your comment is so confusing an incoherent I'm not really sure what point it is that you are trying to make...? What rules are you talking about that you think it's ok to break, and what law do you think is very clear? You say speeding is one of the biggest killers and the limit is there for a reason then say that you drive at 75 while hogging the middle lane, which is 2 offences (speeding and careless driving)… then you say the police will take action if you're *not* speeding for 3 miles... what are you talking about???


8/11/2018 15:12:42

I enter on a three-lane roundabout,on the outside lane going for a left-hand exit at 3 o'clock. As I approach the exit, the roundabout is joined by a trunk road at 12 o'clock with an inside lane to the same exit as I am going to. If he thinks I am going too slowly, can a driver coming off the trunk road and in a marked lan, pass me on the inside in order to get to get to the exit before me? To me it looks as if he has not given way to oncoming traffic on his right.



12/11/2018 18:18:09

I think that is legal. You are not undertaking you are passing on the inside by maintaining your speed inline with the flow of traffic in your lane. The car in the middle is slowing, you are just maintaining your speed and assuming they are in a congested lane. If the lane they are in is not congested then why are they slow moving, why havent they returned to the left hand lane. I treat it like when cars in the city dont use the bus lanes when they are open, or cars which queue in the right leaving the left open. If you are in the left lane should you wait for them or move to the right because they are not using the correct lane? No. I think what is wrong is moving from the middle to the inside to pass a car in the middle then moving back to the middle.


michael davies

9/7/2020 16:44:51

I get frustrated when cars pass me on the near side on motorway whilst I am passing other vehicles my speed is around 65 mph the road is not congested is this legal.
Legal or not it is a stupid manoeuvre



10/7/2020 09:54:38

Well clearly you are not passing other vehicles if cars are passing YOU on the inside! What you are doing is hogging the middle lane which is both annoying and a motoring offence. As already established multiple times on this thread, undertaking is not illegal (but middle lane hogging is). If a vehicle travelling in the driving lane at 70mph passes you doing 65mph in the middle lane YOU are at fault. Stop being an idiot and move over. You can pull back out again once you are actually ready to overtake a slower vehicle, not that I can imagine there are that many vehicles travelling down the motorway so slowly that you could overtake them doing 65...


19/7/2020 11:04:46 ,,,,, (rules 264 to 266) ,,,,,, 264 ~~~~
"Rule 264
You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear.
If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past. ,,,"


Sean Kinvarra

30/1/2016 01:44:23

If you want clarification on the rule on motorway overtaking on left you should read the Introduction to the Highway Code. It clearly states that the words "Must/Must Not are used to state that a rule is law. Other words like do/do not, should /should not are only advisory. So in a nutshell it is NOT illegal to undertake on inside irrelevant of speed within the limit



30/3/2016 08:01:30

irrespective, not irrelevant!



27/1/2017 13:41:56


Mr. Merlin

9/3/2016 19:13:52

Assume you are driving along on non busy 3 Lane motorway. You approach a car doing 40mph in the 3rd Lane. Should you keep a safe distance and remain behind them, with traffic backing up behind you. This could go on for miles & miles, effectively causing a very long tailback.



8/11/2016 19:54:35

On a non busy motorway you would of course be in lane 1 and like everyone behind,
you could pass this idiot quite safely


graham tinley

8/11/2016 20:09:44

And on a 4 lane motorway that streches for over 20 miles, to have at least 4 cars in lane 3 overtaking nothing in lane 1 or lane 2 for at least a mile at 9pm... I am in lane 1 travelling at 65mph, lane 3 vehicles are travelling at 55-60mph. Am I in the wrong by staying in lane one or, should I move into lane 4 and then back to lane 1?


Luke Kelly

9/12/2016 13:24:22

Stay and pass in lane 1. It is NOT a motoring offence.


George Best

16/12/2016 12:39:06

Who are you to say


15/1/2017 10:24:21

Are you a police officer Luke?


14/2/2018 11:05:01

True it is not even classed as overtaking unless you were to pull back infront of the slow moving car afterwards

Luke Kelly

28/12/2016 23:20:55

He's the one who reads and understands the Highway Code. He wants to know who are you are?



5/1/2017 18:19:15

The legal offence would be dangerous/reckless/careless driving. There is no specific law to say undertaking is illegal - however, if your driving attracts the attention of a plod for one of those reasons your only defence would be that said plod had ignored an endorsable offence of lane hogging to stop you for filtering



12/3/2017 09:37:54

Absolutely. It's illegal IF it's dangerous. Otherwise not.

Bear in mind though that if it causes a distraction to other drivers that would qualify as an offence under those terms.

It's not even advised against if traffic is moving 'in lines', or if the other vehicle ids turning left (this wouldn't happen on a dual carriageway, obviously).



12/3/2017 14:07:44

Sorry, I meant if turning RIGHT …

Ronnie girl

13/1/2017 18:16:17

In East London I acquired a fine (yet to arrive) due to buses flying down the bus lane then cutting in to turn right, massive problem with Bow flyover so traffic was horrendous, I waited through 6 traffic light changes saw at least 15 buses cutting up all other drivers, eventually we got going at speed for about five seconds yet again bus driver cut in we all got stopped another driver and I were stuck on the yellow money trap, this is the second time at the same place for me but the buses are completely monopolising the situation to their advantage with out regard for other road users does anyone think I can appeal ???


Steve Miller

21/3/2017 10:19:03

The same thing happened to me in Richmond, on arriving home I emailed the bus company with the index number of the vehicle that had cut me up, explaining that his actions had caused me to block a YBJ. The bus company apologised for the incident (To my mind an admission of guilt) and informed me the driver would be referred for retraining.
Whether that happened or not, I was ok, the offence is entering a YBJ when your exit is not clear, when I entered it was clear, therefore despite stopping or being forced to stop within the yellow box, I had not committed an offence.

If the exit was clear when you entered the YBJ, and the bus entered after you, yes, you certainly have grounds to appeal.


Clive Dunbar

13/3/2017 17:24:08

The speed limit on a Duel Carriageway is 70mph
There is a car in the right hand lane doing 50mph
I pass on the left doing 70mph
Who is at fault
I have not exceeded the 70mph limit


R Creedy

20/5/2017 00:12:11

you have not committed an offence, unless a police officer considers the speed at which you passed to be dangerous, in which case you would be charged with dangerous/careless driving



28/3/2017 14:04:45

I can understand the temptation but if the middle lane hogger is so unaware of their poor skills they may well side slam you - because you were undertaking I reckon legally its your fault



25/10/2017 17:23:37

Nope. If you remain in the inside lane and the middle-lane hogger side swipes you, he is definitely at fault. It is the person changing lanes causing a collision that is at fault here.



13/12/2017 08:22:51

Nothing is as simple as that. Speed is obviously a relevant factor. Some middle lane hoggers travel at 70mph, drivers who overtake on the left can make it very difficult to return to the left lane


4/5/2019 13:18:38


Sean Kinvarra

18/4/2017 01:51:43

If the driver in lane 2 changed into 1 and a collision occurred then he/she is 100% at fault for committing two motoring offenses. 1 Lane hogging... 2 Driving without due care and attention... Undertaking is legal in UK.. Weaving in and out of traffic is a different matter.



29/5/2017 22:23:45

So if the multi lane road is NOT congested,it wouldn't be allowed if someone overtook on the inside lane.Because there was only 3 cars where i was on a multi lane.Black cab driver on the inside lane,me on the outside and a f**k**g idiot sped up behind me,wizzed on the inside lane and got infront without indicating and forced me into colision when he stopped.It was that idiots' fault for giving me no chance of stopping as i skidded.


Sean Kinvarra

7/6/2017 03:36:45

Nowhere in the UK Highway Code does it say it's illegal to undertake. Congested or not


Richard lowndes

24/2/2018 08:37:44

Read rule 267. I think the Highway Code is unacceptably ambiguous on this matter, and I read it to mean that ‘undertaking’ is allowed if the traffic in the left hand lane is faster than a lane to their left.

Simon Davey

24/7/2017 10:54:01

I was in a collision at the weekend, I indicated to park, passed into the oncoming lane then turned back into original lane slightly, to get a better angle to reverse park, as I did so a woman undercut me on the left and the front end of my car hit her side. Who's to blame? I checked my mirrors and she was about 10m behind before I manoeuvred. Also when we both got out of our cars, it came to light that she was rushing, because her passenger jumped out and shout "well im definitely going to be late for work now".
I believe she should have waited for me to finish my manoeuvre.



28/7/2017 15:47:37

A friend was driving (legally) in a bus lane at a time when it was not operative and got pulled over by the police for passing vehicles on the inside. He had a verbal warning I gather. Had they read the signs correctly, the other cars should have been in the bus lane also. Interesting point.


Jeremy H Pritchard

1/8/2017 15:18:39

In addition to regulation per above, we here in Australia have a sign "KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING" (white background and black text). Its used to reinforce lane discipline on motorway class roads typically.

Like you lot, we do get middle lane hoggers; partly systematic - due to outdated lane markings at traffic lane drops (say three back to two), where we end the left-lane instead!

More recent years we've caught up with smarter jurisdictions, and when adding a third traffic lane, we start it afresh off to the right (median) with marked dashes.


John grimley

23/8/2017 06:45:37

Just to be clear.
The act of undertaking involves weaving in and out of lane. Approach in lane behind the lane hog, move left, pass then move back over to the right.
What is perfectly legal is if you are already in lane 1, pass in lane 1 and continue on in lane 1 - providing you stay within the speed limit.


Sean Kinvarra

26/11/2017 13:56:43

Undertaking is overtaking on the left. If I pass multiple vehicles to my left then I have overtaken them. It's got nothing to do with moving out, overtake, then move back in, then out to overtake the next vehicle. It's the exact same to do it on the left. The only time where you would have to come from directly behind and finish in front is when you're confined to one lane on your side of the road.



5/3/2022 13:08:29

You are mixing very different terms and trying to define passing as overtaking.

John explains that it is not illegal to pass on the left of a vehicle which is incorrectly driving in an overtaking lane.

Passing is to drive past.

Overtaking is a complete manoeuvre which starts with being behind a vehicle in the same lane, checking your mirrors and blind spot, signalling to move into the overtaking lane, moving over, passing the said vehicle, checking your mirrors and blind spot to assure that you have passed with enough distance, signalling your intention to return, then returning to the same lane but now in front of the other vehicle.

Undertaking would be the equivalent process.

Again, to pass is just to drive past the other vehicle that’s (incorrectly, in the instance of a middle lane hogger) driving in a different lane.

So to pass on the right of the lane higher is committing no offence.


30/8/2017 19:02:18

Highway Code 268 - overtaking on a motorway.
Do not overtake on the left or move to a lane on your left to overtake. In congested conditions, where adjacent lanes of traffic are moving at similar speeds, traffic in left-hand lanes may sometimes be moving faster than traffic to the right. In these conditions you may keep up with the traffic in your lane even if this means passing traffic in the lane to your right. Do not weave in and out of lanes to overtake.



13/11/2018 15:37:49

Highway code introduction page - "Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words ‘MUST/MUST NOT’. In addition, the rule includes an abbreviated reference to the legislation which creates the offence". However, rules which use wording such as ‘should/should not’ or ‘do/do not’ are ADVISORY. ie. ignoring them is not a specific offence (although you may be caught by other offences such as careless or dangerous driving).

So your quote "Do not undertake on the left" is just advisory, it is not an offence. For it to be an offence it would have to say, "Must not undertake on the left" and have the applicable abbreviated reference to the legislation which creates the offence. Which it does not, because it isn't.



30/7/2020 12:21:53

Further to this it looks like the highway code has been updated. The introduction now states:

"Many of the rules in The Highway Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words ‘MUST/MUST NOT’. In addition, the rule includes an abbreviated reference to the legislation which creates the offence. See an explanation of the

"Although failure to comply with the other rules of The Highway Code will not, in itself, cause a person to be prosecuted, The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under the Traffic Acts to establish liability. This includes rules which use advisory wording such as ‘should/should not’ or ‘do/do not’."

So the first bit that was there previously says, "some stuff is just advisory and not legally binding", the 2nd new bit would appear to indicate that in the event of (presumably) an accident the fact that you were ignoring the "advisory" guidance may be taken into account when determining fault.

Soooo... still not illegal, but just make sure the idiot you're undertaking doesn't change lanes into you otherwise you may be deemed partly to blame.

Though I'm not a lawyer, that's just how it looks to me.


30/8/2017 19:23:11

Overtaking on the nearside (left) is legally acceptable if you are driving on a multi-lane carriageway in congested conditions, and the lane to the left is moving at a faster speed than lanes to the right. In these circumstances overtaking on the left is permissible although extra caution is needed for an awareness of other vehicles moving to the faster lane on the left.

It is also permissible to overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right. Overtaking on the left in these circumstances although permissible is subject to road markings and signs that may suggest otherwise.


15/9/2017 21:12:01

If a vechicle was indicating to turn right but unable to do so
And the bus lane was free
Could I use it to undertake the car in front


Sean Kinvarra

26/11/2017 12:32:35

When a bus lane is free it becomes the inside lane, and that is the lane you should be in if going straight. It is quite legal to pass on left, whether the vehicle ahead has indicated to turn right or not.



10/11/2017 12:40:11

Basically it seems you can pass on the inside in lane 1 during the normal course of traffic. You cannot _overtake_ in lane 1 you were previously in lane 2, and go back to lane 2. However if lane 3 is free and you are in lane 1, it is safer to overtake someone in lane 2 via lane 3, and then return safely to lane 1.


Gary Brown

17/12/2017 10:09:51

If you undertake in the nearside lane and the middle lane driver moves left. Both at fault as you will find out when you claim your insurance.


Sean Kinvarrs

23/12/2017 01:56:22

Absolute nonsense.. This question is like a disease the a will never have a cure.. People make their own decisions and won't take advise from those who know what their talking about



16/1/2018 14:59:10

I just failed my driving test for undertaking a gritter that was driving along in the middle lane. I hadn't changed lanes just kept to my own lane. They said its highly illegal to do it


Sean McAvinue

18/5/2018 12:32:37

Either you carried it out dangerously or your driving tester doesn't know the law on passing on inside.


Brian Young

19/4/2021 14:04:02

You have my sympathies, read my comment and then as the civil service inadvertently has said to you suck it up and pay more money for their service. Hopefully you have since had justice served and passed the test.



17/3/2018 08:51:33

Watch this and tell me what you think,



12/5/2018 08:11:58

I was on a intensive police driving course, a NVQ level 3 in advanced driving - basically a condensed version of the Police Class 1 Certificate - and I asked my police instructor this question.

He said that if you move to a lane and undertake to gain the advantage, then you will be seen as committing an offence. If you basically come across a car that is dawdling in the inside and just move past in the inside lane, then you are not gaining an advantage and would likely not attract unwanted police attention.



12/5/2018 08:12:55

*Dawdling in the middle, that ought to be



2/7/2018 09:04:14

It is. Since 2013 tailgaters and middle lane hoggers can be charged with careless driving ("If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence"). lane hogging falls under the "without reasonable consideration for other persons".


4/8/2018 09:47:57

due to HGV's in lane one, a high percentage of motorway are not up to standard and giving a rougher ride, this can explain lane 2 hoggers. the blame lies with the goverment in not resurfacing lane 1 to a higher standard so the lane lasts longer. Also It's lazy driving on the part of the hoggers and cruise control.


Ryan Konecny

25/9/2018 15:28:05

I've just failed my driving test, purely due to "overtaking in the left lane". A lorry ahead decided to pull into the right lane of a dual carriageway to allow another lorry on, the lorry now in the right lane, considerably slower than other traffic, congested traffic in the right lane, slowing cars behind it down. I was in the left lane, maintaining a speed of just below 60, a car pulled back beside me on the right and when the instructor advised me to I slowed down.
Should this be a fail?



26/9/2018 16:47:04

If you were undertaking the lorry then yes, probably. Not because of undertaking, but because it was probably a dangerous thing to do. If the lorry pulled out to let another onto the dual carriage way then there is a high likelihood that it would want to merge back into the slow lane at the earliest opportunity, especially if it was unable to keep up with the traffic in the overtaking lane and was obstructing other vehicles. If you drove up the inside, which it sounds like you're saying, then either a) the driver sees you and can't move back in thus blocking the overtaking lane, or b) the driver doesn't see you (because lorries have poor visibility and he wouldn't be expecting you to be there) and he merges into you causing an accident. If the instructor actually interrupted the test to advise you to slow down it's probable he/she thought it was a potentially dangerous situation.



30/9/2018 11:37:28

By instructor you mean examiner ?
I agree with Jim, you should have slowed down to allow the lorry to merge back in.


Billy Porter

12/11/2018 19:40:09

But why would the lorry driver move into the overtaking lane if he already knew it was moving faster and he couldn't keep up with it. If he stayed in the driving lane and keeping a safe.
I distance from the vehicle in front there would be no danger for the vehicle coming on to join the motorway. If the vehicle that was behind him was obstructing him getting back into the driving lane then all he has to do is ease off on the accelerator and move in when it's safe to do so. Unintentionally blocking a vehicle from moving back in is not illegal, but just inexperience.



2/1/2019 10:12:14

As per the OP, the lorry moved out to let another one join, a fairly common thing to see on busy motorways if the slow lane is nose to tail. As previously stated the failed test was most likely because the instructor thought that the situation was dangerous, and "inexperience" isn't an excuse when it comes to taking your driving test. Hovering around on the inside of a large vehicle with poor rear visibility is dangerous and stupid. There are plenty of clips online of cars getting wiped out by lorries changing lanes. Even if the lorry driver is technically at fault in many of those cases, that doesn't mean that the car driver isn't driving dangerously.


Steve Hickin

28/7/2020 20:49:35

The lorry driver would have moved out to the middle lane to allow the other lorry to emerge safely with the flow of traffic and also to continue his/her own momentum. A lorry can weigh anything up to 44 tons (equivalent to around 27 average size cars) so the acceleration is much less than that of a car, hence the attempt to avoid slowing down if possible. For the car following the lorry it would have been advisable to follow the lorry and also move out into the overtaking lane and definitely NOT encroach up the inside of the lorry. Also most HGV's are limited to a max speed of 56 mph and some even less.


25/12/2018 00:28:59

Sorry to highjack the thread but seems appropriate to ask a question of my own, on a single file street lane, car infront of me moved to right hand box on the road meant for people who wishes to turn right, at this stage i over took him on the left as the gentleman was moving into the right turning box, as i became parallel to him, he started to go straight and resulted in colliding with my car at an angle/ driver side wheel arch. in my defense, the car infront moved out of the lane and then re-joined/ collided with my car should be at fault, but he is claiming that he moved out of the lane because of the stationary car up ahead of the road parked on the left, i am just trying to gain from people feedback who would have the right of way,



2/1/2019 10:17:07

Best just to explain it to the insurers and they will sort out who is to blame.


Tuesday Jester

18/3/2019 16:37:21

Well here's to starting a new debate!!
HC states 'in congested conditions' when referring to passing on the left on a multi-lane highway.
Define 'congested'? One of the dictionary definitions is 'Overcrowded'.
So if lane 1 is empty and a single vehicle is lane hogging lane 2, by extrapolation does lane have too many vehicles in it.....making it overcrowded?



19/3/2019 14:20:52

There's no need to start a new debate. As mentioned several times above overtaking on the inside is not illegal. The stuff about congestion and cars turning right is just a red herring. You can pass on the inside and it is not forbidden in anyway by the highway code.


Sean Kinvarra

5/5/2019 17:50:44

Spot on. I wouldn't even bother looking for the legal definition of "congested traffic". Rule 268 uses those words but nowhere in that rule does it say you Must/Must Not. Many people don't understand the wording of the HC because they skip the introduction and go straight onto a rule thinking it's law.


Peter Neil

11/7/2019 20:33:55

Rule 267 and 268 state to overtake only on the right and not on the left. Tule 268 states that if you're in the left lane that's moving faster than the right lane reman in your lane and keep up with the cars in your lane; it's ok to remain in traffic flowing faster than the traffic in the lane tho your right.



12/7/2019 16:09:20

Do you see rule 269 directly underneath? Do you see how that one says "you MUST NOT"? You see how it's in capital letters and bold? And how underneath the rule there is a reference to the specific laws and regulations that apply to that rule?

And do you see that rules 267 and 268 DO NOT say MUST? and DO NOT have capitals? and DO NOT have bold? and DO NOT have references to specific law underneath?

That's because rules 267 and 268 and for GUIDENCE ONLY. They are SUGGESTIONS. They are not legally binding. There is no law or regulation to back them up. Therefore, there is no offence committed if you simply ignore the guidance.

Please stop adding to this thread with your misunderstandings of the highway code without reading the other comments that clearly explain this (repeatedly).

Then please read the highway code introduction that explains the difference between do/do not and must/must not.



16/5/2020 10:46:28

Saw this telating to New Zealand


Larry H

29/1/2021 13:12:01

Good Point JM - thanks.


Billy Porter

16/5/2020 12:32:44

Jim, Some people just cannot grasp it. Reading the HC to them it's like a starting to learn foreign language!


Steve Hickin

28/7/2020 20:27:42

Overtaking or Undertaking would constitute a manovoure. A manovoure requires a change of direction and possibly a change of speed. Also the highway code states that you may pass on the nearside when traffic in the offside lane to you is moving slower in a queue. Therefore what is the definition of a queue? How many vehicles are required and at what separation distance? I believe this is not defined, so therefore difficult to enforce.


Billy Porter

29/7/2020 00:33:50

Changing lanes could be done before and after the overtaking. Completely different manoeuvres. You can over-undertake multiple vehicles without having to move in and out every time. Both are legal whether slow moving, congested or queueing.


Brian Young

19/4/2021 14:00:16

According to rule 268, one of the accepted times you are allowed to undertake is if you are on a "congested" multi lane road. I appreciate that you should not move to a lane on the left to do so. I have been an instructor for many years and my colleagues and I have had several pupils who have failed their test when they are travelling in the left lane at a sensible speed and a car in the middle or overtaking lane slows down sometimes for no foreseeable reason, our pupils continue at the same speed they have been traveling at but this causes them to pass on the nearside of the cars in the other lane. THEY HAVE THEN BEEN FAILED BY THE EXAMINER FOR THAT. I guess it is up to their infinite wisdom to decide, what qualifies as "congested". Had the pupil slowed down and travelled alongside the other car, I am sure they would have for that instead. Bless the civil service.



5/8/2021 22:09:15

As their instructor, it is down to you to put in a complaint about the examiner.
You can then point out the obvious flaw in their "infinite wisdom" by asking "what if you are in lane 1 driving any one of a number of vehicles not allowed in lane 3, you come across a lane hog doing 55mph in lane 2. Your lane is clear ahead as far as the eye can see. Since you are not allowed in lane 3, what would you, in your "infinite wisdom" do?"
You then list their options.
1. Carry on at the same speed and drive past in lane 1.
2. As you approach, stay in lane 1 but slow to match their speed.
3. Move into lane 2 and slow to match their speed.
4. As number 3 but flash your lights in order to try to encourage the idiot to move over.
I would be VERY interested to hear what these Gods of the road have to say given that options 2 & 3 simply make the motorway more congested than it should be and option 4 would land you in trouble for harassing other motorists.

It could (and certainly should) open up a huge can of worms because this idea of simply passing on the inside being illegal is just a load of tosh. It is an archaic ruling left over from the days when drivers weren't so bloody minded/obstinate/stupid.
If you are able to pass someone on the inside whilst staying within the legal speed limit then they are the ones who should be brought to book.


Brian Young

5/8/2021 22:24:19

Hi John. It is pointless complaining about a driving examiner, they are above any reproach. The best result if they admitted that the test was not conducted correctly and the candidate would be given a re test, the process is very long and involved. Over the years there has not been ONE test were the result has been overturned, considering that millions have been carried out, I find that arrogant beyond belief. I have to remind myself that these examiners are supposed civil servants, a name I find insulting as they are anything but civil and servants. I have to say there are many decent examiners but there have been are still many very bad apples in the system. I have been instructing for over 40 years and the truth about the examiners is a scandal but is not of any interest to drivers as most drivers are pretty apathetic about learning to drive and certainly about the testing process. Take care.

9/7/2022 11:15:43

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Can you overtake on the nearside of another vehicle? (2024)


What gear is best for overtaking? ›

Always select the right gear before starting to overtake. With a five-speed gearbox this is usually fourth or third, but second may be better if the vehicle ahead of you is travelling quite slowly (many cars can exceed 60mph in this gear).

What is the overtaking law in Texas? ›

(A) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

What is the safest procedure for overtaking a vehicle? ›

Check rear view, side mirror and blindspots. Show what you intend to do. Accelerate smoothly using the correct gear being prepared to take evasive action should the situation require it, wait until you see the passed vehicle and see it in your rear view mirror before moving back in.

How fast can you go in 1st gear? ›

Remember each car will be geared slightly differently, but a good rule of thumb for changing gears is that first gear is for speeds up to 10 mph, second gear is for speeds up to 15 mph, third gear is for speeds up to 35 mph, fourth gear is for speeds up to 55 mph, fifth gear is for speeds up to 65 mph, and sixth gear ...

Under what conditions are overtaking and passing to the right not permitted? ›

The laws in most states prohibit passing on the right except when the vehicle to be passed is about to turn left or the roadway is wide enough to accommodate two lanes of traffic. Even if passing on the right is allowed under one of these exceptions, the driver must do so in a safe manner.

Is it legal to go above the speed limit in Texas? ›

Speeding Is Illegal in Texas

Going even one mile per hour over the speed limit could result in hundreds of dollars of fines and costs assessed against you.

How many mph can you go over in Texas? ›

According to Stephens Law, it doesn't matter what you've heard about the great state of Texas - you will never find yourself being able to legally exceed any speed limit on any Texas road.

Do you have to downshift to overtake? ›

It's not exact, but it's useful. Downshifting – You need to accelerate quickly past the car you're overtaking. To do that you'll need to change down maybe one to three gears.

What is 4th gear used for? ›

4th Gear: This gear ratio is used when the car is moving at its fastest and needs the most power from the engine. 5th Gear: This gear ratio is sometimes used in automatic transmissions. It is similar to 4th gear but with a taller gear ratio that helps the car conserve fuel when cruising at high speeds on the highway.

What is 5th gear used for? ›

The lower gears of the transmission are used for normal acceleration of the vehicle to the desired cruising speed. The highest gear of the transmission is used to maintain the desired speed. The fifth gear is recommended for use in maintaining highway cruising speeds.

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