Making a pass...

One-wayIn normal driving you should only pass other moving vehicles on their right. There are, however, four exceptions to this rule.

  • If the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right and you can pass safely to the left without entering a bus lane during its period of operation
  • If you are turning left in a lane specifically designated for left turning traffic.
  • If traffic is moving slowly in queues and your queue is moving faster than the queue to your right - Note: you should not change lanes to the left simply to overtake in this situation
  • In one-way streets where vehicles may pass on either side

In all of these situations you must take special care. 

Vehicles turning right: The vehicle you are passing must be signalling to turn right, however, do not rely on a signal alone - some drivers are lost or change their mind at the last moment. Exercise caution and be ready to change your mind. If you are in any doubt at all wait until the situation develops and you have more information before reaching a decision.

Left turn lanes: Some roads have lanes set aside for left turning traffic - filter lanes. You should not use these lanes unless you are turning left and as above, exercise caution - drivers to the right may change lanes at the last moment or pull out of a traffic jam to find a different route.

Slow queues: Slow is open ti interpretation, however, it is almost certainly lower than 20 mph on fast roads such as dual-carriageways and on many roads lower than 10 mph. Studies have shown that changing lanes does not get you there any quicker! Do not change lanes simply to pass traffic to the left.

One-way streets: You may pass on either side in a one way street but this is not a licence for reckless overtaking. The driver that you are passing may not be aware of your presence. Always be ready to give way to drivers who may move to the left without warning!