Drivers warned over illegal overtaking

Drivers warned over illegal overtaking
Dangerous overtaking could lead to penalty points and an unlimited fine, drivers are being reminded.

Motorists caught overtaking recklessly face an on-the-spot fine of £100 and three penalty points but if police deem the offence to be serious you could receive a much larger fine, nine penalty points, and even a driving ban should your case go to court.

Road safety charity IAM Roadsmart is reminding motorists that overtaking can be dangerous, and they should ask themselves whether it’s safe and legal to do so before passing another vehicle. 

READ MORE: Driving offences and their punishments

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The Highway Code states that if the road has a single solid white line down the middle, or a double white line with a solid line closest to you, then you should never overtake.

The Code also states drivers should not overtake if it means entering into a lane reserved for other road users such as buses, trams or bicycles.

Drivers should also not overtake in an area marked with “no overtaking” signs, or if the car in front has stopped at a pedestrian crossing, as there could be unsighted people on the road.

Even if it’s legal to overtake, it still might not be safe and motorists should make sure they can pass and re-enter the traffic flow safely without cutting in or causing others to brake suddenly.

SEE ALSO: Undertaking — have you been breaking the law?

Rebecca Ashton, IAM RoadSmart Head of Driver Behaviour, said drivers carrying out irresponsible overtaking manoeuvres endanger their own lives and the lives of other road users.

She said: "Double white lines are there to separate the traffic, but you should always be aware of the possibility of someone not obeying them and putting you at risk – remember they are not walls, just paint.

"You can cross them if you need to pass a cyclist, horse or road maintenance vehicle travelling at 10 mph or less – however you need to ensure you give them enough room and only carry out the manoeuvre if you are able to do this safely and not cause another road user to take avoiding action.

"Whenever you think about overtaking you should consider the primary hazard, secondary hazards and any possible dynamic hazards before and during the manoeuvre."

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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