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Thread: Using the left lane of motorway to overtake!!

  1. #11
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    Default Undertaking?

    " Rule 267 - Overtaking
    Overtake only on the right.

    Rule 268
    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 the left-hand lanes may be moving faster than traffic to the right.
    In these conditions you may keep up with traffic in your lane, even if it means passing traffic to your right.
    Do not weave in and out of lanes to overtake."

    Agreed, BUT this does not make "undertaking an offence" The HC may be used in evidence where an offence is alleged but, as it says in the book, you commit an offence only where the rule in question says "You MUST NOT...". "Do not..." is not the same.

    Presumably people have taken to "undertaking" because more and more have experienced it in the US, where it IS allowed, and it is a perfectly understandable response to the idiot driving slowly in lane three - or worse still a lifetime member of the Middle Lane Owners Club (who should be banned from driving).

  2. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Watcher View Post
    " Rule 267 - Overtaking
    Overtake only on the right.

    Rule 268
    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 the left-hand lanes may be moving faster than traffic to the right.
    In these conditions you may keep up with traffic in your lane, even if it means passing traffic to your right.
    Do not weave in and out of lanes to overtake."

    Agreed, BUT this does not make "undertaking an offence" The HC may be used in evidence where an offence is alleged but, as it says in the book, you commit an offence only where the rule in question says "You MUST NOT...". "Do not..." is not the same.

    Presumably people have taken to "undertaking" because more and more have experienced it in the US, where it IS allowed, and it is a perfectly understandable response to the idiot driving slowly in lane three - or worse still a lifetime member of the Middle Lane Owners Club (who should be banned from driving).
    To say it is not an offence, you have to be able to say, with certainty, that you could not be prosecuted by the police. I err on the side of caution because I believe, if it suited them, the police could prosecute.
    Quite apart from that, if the centre lane traffic is properly spaced, a car from the outside lane could (and it does happen)suddenly cut across in preparation for the next exit.

    What is, or isn't, permissible on USA roads has no bearing on what can be done on UK roads. It's a different country, with different laws.

    On busy roads, it is difficult to maintain an absolutely rigid approach to the Highway code in every aspect. Some common, minor relaxations are tolersted by drivers in the interests of traffic flow.

    But, the further a driver drifts from the Code, the more likely he/she is to be involved in an RTC.

  3. #13
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    Default Undertaking

    Quite! I didn't say I agreed with undertaking, just that I understand why people do it!

    Any enterprising constable could probably find an offence to fit, but breaking the HC rules 267 & 8 are not enough (otherwise the conditional aspect of 268 could not apply).

  4. #14
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    Default

    I thought that the USA allowed undertaking, to speed up the flow of traffic. I'm sure I heard that from some bloke on Top Gear a while ago?

  5. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smudger879n View Post
    I thought that the USA allowed undertaking, to speed up the flow of traffic. I'm sure I heard that from some bloke on Top Gear a while ago?
    With multi lane highways in the states undertaking has to be the norm, keeping left on say eight lanes would just cause chaos. As more lanes are added to motorways here, undertaking will become the norm.

  6. #16
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    Default

    I believe that Rule 268 is meant to infer slow moving traffic, but has been badly written. I also think that, where the HC says "DO NOT" it also means "MUST NOT". How that would stand up in court may depend on someone with Mr Loophole's abilities.

    Whilst on the subject of undertaking, last night, in wet and dark conditions, I was in the nearside lane of a dual carriageway with two lanes in each direction and a 50 mph speed limit.

    I was travelling at the limit, but a small Transit-type wagon was overtaking me in lane 2, and I would guess this vehicle to be doing about 60 mph.
    Another car was coming up behind me, and that driver pulled out close behind this wagon. As soon as he was a couple of metres or so past the front of my car, he cut across my front, then accelerated and passed the wagon on the inside, travelling even faster than the wagon.

    Some distance ahead of the wagon there was a car in the outside lane, which indicated left to go to the nearside lane (possibly because the wagon was catching up?). This car that had cut across me then cut across the front of the wagon, and back into the outside lane to pass that car.

    By this time I had reduced my speed to drop well back from the situation in case of an RTC resulting from several infringements of the law by both drivers.

    This type of bad behaviour is now commonplace; with some drivers determined to exceed the limit, and yet other drivers determined to pass them. And poor weather conditions don't deter them from this insane practice.

  7. #17
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    Default HC

    Hi Snowball

    Agreed also that there are plenty of "collisions looking for somewhere to happen" on the roads - see them every day these days, but don't forget they havent all learnt to drive! Just watch some of those "Police, camera, doughnuts" type programs - amazing how many they pull with no licence, tax, insurance, MOT - in fact all the stuff that you and I and (hopefully) the rest of us pay through the nose for!

    And BTW, the HC quite clearly says that where it uses the words MUST NOT it is an offence to do (whatever) - it doesn't need a clever/expensive solicitor - it is not the same as rules that say "do not" or "should not"!

  8. #18
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    Default

    Hi, I am a new boy here, so I will try and not upset too many or try and open up a can or worms, but I have worked in the legal profession for over 30 years both enforcement and now in the private sector, amongst other professional driving qualifications, and this type of thing is something I am required to investigate on a regular basis.

    The specific offence of nearside overtake was removed from the statute book with the introduction of the 1972 Road Traffic Act.

    The Highway Code provides advice, and whilst it advises that the nearside overtake may be carried out on certain occasions, it is not law.

    To this end the prosecution would have to go for careless driving under section 3 of the act, but to convict the prosecution would have to show that the standard of driving fell well below of that of a reasonably competent driver, and the simple act of undertaking on a motorway would not in itself be sufficient to convict.

    Civil law also accepts that undertaking is legal, and I have been involved in numerous cases where the undertaking driver/rider has been found 100% blameless in crash situations, but as with any aspect of law it has to be judged on its merits and the evidence, not simply on the act, particularly an act and section that does not exist.

  9. #19
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    Default

    Well, that seems to have cleared that problem up

  10. #20
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    Default

    TC1474 certainly gives clarification of the situation.
    However, I am extremely cautious and never undertake on M-ways, or even dual carriageways, except in multi-lane crawling conditions.
    For me, one example is when I was towing our caravan on the M5, so driving at the limited 60 mph and in the nearside lane. Because of my limit, the road ahead was quite clear. Then, as i was passing a slip road, at the last minute a car came out of the centre lane and crossed to the slip road immediately in front of me.
    Two thoughts occurred to me.
    (1) I was thankful that I had not intended to go up that slip road.
    (2) What if, just prior to reaching the slip road, another car, having passed me, had moved quite legitimately into the nearside lane and then accelerated to the permissible 70 mph, or even more?

    My approach to using the roads is not based on what I am allowed to do, but whether or not it is safe to do it.

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