Purple car overtakes grey car. A car passes a truck.

Porsche Symmetry - 997 GT3 Cup
Battle for position between Kuba Giermaziak, Norbert Siedler and Nicki Thiim during the 2012 Porsche Supercup race at Silverstone

Overtaking or passing is the act of one vehicle going past another slower moving vehicle, travelling in the same direction, on a road. The lane used for overtaking another vehicle is almost always a passing lane further from the road shoulder which is to the left in places that drive on the right and to the right in places that drive on the left.

Rules of overtaking

In English-speaking countries

On a single-carriageway/undivided-carriageway road, the lane used for overtaking is often the same lane that is used by oncoming traffic, and it is often only advisable to overtake on long straightaways with plenty of visibility. In some jurisdictions, the "overtaking zone" is indicated by a single broken centerline (yellow or white in most countries) if overtaking is allowed in either direction, or paired with a single solid line beside it to indicate there is no overtaking from the solid side. In the UK, the format of the centerline is not used to regulate overtaking, only to indicate whether crossing of the line is prohibited or permitted.

In the Republic of Ireland, many national primary roads were upgraded in the 1990s and 2000s to wide two-lane road (two-lane road with space for three lanes, in addition to hard shoulders) to allow more space for overtaking (a very common manoeuvre in a country that had little dual carriageway until the early 2000s). However, due to the deceptive perception of safety given by such roads, future upgrade projects are likely to be 2+1 road where traffic volume suits (a successful pilot installation was used on the N20 near Mallow, County Cork). This form of road is of similar profile to wide two-lane, but includes a central crash barrier, and has three lanes, with an overtaking lane on one side or the other, alternating every 2 km. It has been used in Denmark and Sweden since the 1990s.

On a dual-carriageway/divided-carriageway highway/motorway or arterial road, any lane can be an overtaking lane though in many places (including Germany) undertaking (overtaking on the side furthest from the road centre line) is prohibited. Lanes are normally separated by broken lines (usually white) but may be a single solid white to indicate lane-changing is allowed but discouraged. Double lines indicate that lane-changing (for example to overtake) is prohibited, such as in tunnels or sometimes for HOV lanes and HOT lanes.

Overtaking in an HOV or HOT lane is usually illegal for cars that do not meet the HOV/HOT criteria, except when directed by the police.

A few places also use the one-broken/one-solid marking at slip roads/entrance ramps, to indicate to highway drivers that the new lane merges and does not continue, so they do not attempt to overtake in a lane that ends shortly. This is also used at other points where lanes merge.

Vienna Convention on Road Traffic

In countries bounded by Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, article 11[1] states that:

  • Drivers overtaking shall do so on the side opposite to that appropriate to the direction of traffic.
  • Drivers should check the following driver is not overtaking them, drivers ahead have not warned of their intention to overtake, the lane is clear far enough ahead, and the lane is available to continue driving once the overtaking manoeuver is completed.
  • overtaking on two-way carriageways might be forbidden according to the nearness of the crest of a hill or the longitudinal road markings
  • the width of the road should be sufficient
  • Overtaking is usually forbidden in crossing
  • Overtaking is usually forbidden where a pedestrian crossing is marked on the carriageway
  • The one who is overtaken should refrain from accelerating.

Local governments may introduce variations to the Convention.

Overtaking on the inside

Overtaking on the inside or undertaking[2][3][4] refers to the practice of overtaking a slower vehicle on a road using the lane that is curb side of the vehicle being passed; that is to say, a lane to the left of the vehicle in countries where driving is on the left, or a lane to the right of the vehicle in countries where driving is on the right. The practice of passing on the inside, therefore, usually only occurs on a motorway or other road where there is more than one lane in the same direction or when the width of the roads makes this possible (although there may be exceptions in the cases of contraflow bus lanes).

Many countries consider overtaking on the inside dangerous and therefore designate it a driving offence, however, most countries make the distinction between involuntary undertaking (passing centre side vehicles in heavy traffic) as opposed to the deliberate attempt to pass a slower moving vehicle for one's own benefit.

Legal status by country

  • Australia and New Zealand – Undertaking is legal on multi-lane roads, or where a car is indicating to turn right.[3][5]
  • Canada – Varies by province.
  • Denmark – Undertaking is specifically prohibited, unless passing a vehicle clearly turning left or riding a bicycle or small moped.[6] However, drivers may pass other vehicles to the right in certain circumstances; these include heavy traffic where the speed is determined by the next vehicle and vehicles in reserved lanes.[7]
  • Finland – Undertaking is specifically prohibited, except for inner-city traffic and vehicle waiting to turn left or on the motorway if the vehicles in the lane to the left are queueing and slow moving.
  • France – Undertaking is specifically prohibited, except for vehicle waiting to turn left or if the vehicles in the lane to the left are queueing and slow moving.
  • Germany – Undertaking is specifically prohibited, exceptions exist for inner-city traffic and overtaking trams and vehicles waiting to turn left.
  • Hungary – Undertaking is prohibited outside built-up areas. Inside built-up areas, passing on the right is permitted, but only if there are road markings. The undertaking manoeuvre in built-up areas is referred to as "driving in parallel traffic" instead of "passing on the right" as it is used outside built-up areas.
  • Ireland – Undertaking permitted in three prescribed cases: 1) You want to go straight ahead when the driver in front of you has moved out and signalled that they intend to turn right. 2) You have signalled that you intend to turn left, 3) Traffic in both lanes is moving slowly but traffic in the left-hand lane is moving more quickly than the right-hand lane – for example, in slow moving stop/start traffic conditions.
  • Netherlands – Undertaking is specifically prohibited, exceptions include vehicles waiting to turn left, traffic congestion and on roundabouts.
  • Poland – Undertaking is legal on 4-lane roads in built-up areas, 6-lane roads outside built-up areas and on one-way roads with marked lanes (this definition includes motorways). (article 24 of Law on Road Traffic) However, similar to the UK it is considered a dangerous practice and is discouraged.
  • Spain – Undertaking is specifically prohibited, except for inner-city traffic, passing a vehicle clearly turning left or in congested conditions.
  • United Kingdom – The Highway Code discourages undertaking on motorways with some exceptions (rule 268): "Do not overtake on the left or move to a lane on your left to overtake". Undertaking is permitted in congested conditions when frequent lane changing is not recommended.[8] On other roads, the Code advises drivers "should only overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right" (rule 163).[9] Rule 163 uses advisory wording and "will not, in itself, cause a person to be prosecuted", but may be used in evidence to establishing liability in any court proceedings.[10] On all roads, undertaking is permitted if the vehicles in the lane to the right are queueing and slow moving. Undertaking in an aggressive or reckless manner could be considered Careless Driving or more seriously Dangerous Driving, both of which are legally enforceable offences.
  • United States – Undertaking is typically allowed on multi-lane roadways or to pass left-turning vehicles.[11][12][13][14][15] State laws can vary as to the situations that permit undertaking.

Overtaking road signs

Andorra traffic signal II.A.4a

Andorra (no overtaking)

Andorra traffic signal II.A.4b

Andorra (no overtaking by trucks)

Argentina road sign R6

Argentina (no overtaking)

Argentina road sign R31

Argentina (end of overtaking prohibition)

Australia R6-1


3.20.3 (Road sign)

Belarus (no overtaking and speed limit)

Ontario Rb-31

Canada (no overtaking)

Ontario Rb-35

Canada (overtaking permitted)

Chile road sign RPO-3

Chile (no overtaking)

Chile road sign RR-9

Chile (end of overtaking prohibition)

SpeedLimit NoOvertake PRC


Colombia road sign SR-26


Finland road sign 351

Finland (no overtaking)

Finland road sign 353

Finland (no overtaking by trucks)

Finland road sign 352

Finland (end of overtaking prohibition)

Finland road sign 354

Finland (end of trucks' overtaking prohibition)


Greece (no overtaking)


Greece (no overtaking by trucks)

Ireland road sign RUS 014


Japan road sign 314


Nepal road sign A16


Peru P-60


Puerto Rico W14-3

Puerto Rico

Singapore road sign - Prohibitory - No overtaking


South Korea road sign 217

South Korea

Sweden road sign C27

Sweden (no overtaking)

Sweden road sign C29

Sweden (no overtaking by trucks)

Taiwan road sign Art076


UK traffic sign 632

United Kingdom


United States


United States

Uruguay - No Overtaking


Overtaking in racing

In racing, the rules allow overtaking from either side. Generally, the sides are classified as inside and outside overtaking, depending on the position of the overtaking car at the next curve since start of overtaking. The defending car usually blocks inside overtaking, because outside overtaking is riskier than inside overtaking.

See also


  1. ^ "Convention on Road Traffic" (PDF).
  2. ^ Inside refers to the edge of the road closest to the kerb and outside closest to the centre.
  3. ^ a b Drive Safe Handbook page 75
  4. ^ Never undertake a Heavy Goods Vehicle
  5. ^ "Passing on the left".
  6. ^ "Færdselsloven". Article 21, LBK No. 1386 of 12 November 2013 (in Danish).
  7. ^ "Færdselsloven". Article 24, LBK No. 1386 of 12 November 2013 (in Danish).
  8. ^ The Highway Code - Motorways
  9. ^ The Highway Code - Overtaking
  10. ^ The Highway Code - Introduction
  11. ^ California Vehicle Code § 21754
  12. ^ Code of Virginia § 46.2-841
  13. ^ Utah Code § 41-6a-705
  14. ^ New York State Law Title VII Article 25 Section 1123
  15. ^ South Dakota Code § 32-26-27

External links

1925 English cricket season

1925 was the 32nd season of County Championship cricket in England. There was no Test series and the focus was ostensibly upon the County Championship (won by Yorkshire), except that the season was dominated by Jack Hobbs who scored a then-record 16 centuries and 3,024 runs. Along the way, he equaled and then surpassed the career record for most centuries, previously held by W. G. Grace. Wisden decided to honour Hobbs thus: "the Five Cricketers of the Year are dropped in favour of one player, this time Jack Hobbs, in recognition of his overtaking W. G. Grace as the most prolific century-maker of all time".

2006 Norwich City Council election

The 2006 Norwich City Council election took place on 6 May 2006 to elect members of Norwich City Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections. One third of the conuicil seats were up for election. The council remained under no overall control, with the Labour Party overtaking the Liberal Democrats as the largest party.

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (Catalan pronunciation: [siɾˈkujd də bəɾsəˈlonə kətəˈluɲə]) is a motorsport race track in Montmeló, Catalonia, Spain. With long straights and a variety of corners, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is seen as an all-rounder circuit. The track has stands with a capacity of 140,700. The circuit has FIA Grade 1 license.Until 2013 the track was known only as the Circuit de Catalunya, before a sponsorship deal with Barcelona City Council added Barcelona to the track's title.

Drag reduction system

The drag reduction system (or DRS) is a form of driver-adjustable bodywork aimed at reducing aerodynamic drag in order to increase top speed and promote overtaking in motor racing. It is an adjustable rear wing of the car, which moves in response to driver commands. DRS often comes with conditions, such as the pursuing car must be within a second (when both cars cross the detection point) for DRS to be activated.

DRS was introduced in Formula One in 2011. The use of DRS is an exception to the rule banning any moving parts whose primary purpose is to affect the aerodynamics of the car.

The system is also used in the Formula Renault 3.5 since 2012, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters since 2013, FIA Formula 2 Championship since 2015, GP3 Series since 2017 and FIA Formula 3 Championship. An adjustable wing was also used by the Nissan DeltaWing at the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans, although with free usage.

European route E772

European route E772 is a class B road, part of the International E-road network in Bulgaria. It connects the two sections of the Hemus motorway (A2) constructed so far, and is part of one of the most important transport corridors in the country: from the capital Sofia in the west to Varna and the northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast in the east.

The road starts near Yablanitsa and ends near Shumen. It serves as a connection between the provincial capitals Shumen, Targovishte, Veliko Tarnovo and Lovech with Sofia and the port of Varna. It is a two-lane road (one lane in each direction). There are few three-lane parts for overtaking. The road surface is in a comparatively good condition since it is one of the main roads in northern Bulgaria and will remain so until the completion of the Hemus motorway.

Folk theorem (game theory)

In game theory, folk theorems are a class of theorems about possible Nash equilibrium payoff profiles in repeated games (Friedman 1971). The original Folk Theorem concerned the payoffs of all the Nash equilibria of an infinitely repeated game. This result was called the Folk Theorem because it was widely known among game theorists in the 1950s, even though no one had published it. Friedman's (1971) Theorem concerns the payoffs of certain subgame-perfect Nash equilibria (SPE) of an infinitely repeated game, and so strengthens the original Folk Theorem by using a stronger equilibrium concept subgame-perfect Nash equilibria rather than Nash equilibrium.

The Folk Theorem suggests that if the player is patient enough and far-sighted (i.e. if discount factor ) then not only can repeated interaction allow many SPE outcomes, but actually SPE can allow virtually any outcome in the sense of average payoffs. Put more simply, the theorem suggests that anything that is feasible and individually rational is possible.

For example, in the one-shot Prisoner's Dilemma, if both players cooperate that is not a Nash equilibrium. The only Nash equilibrium is that both players defect, which is also a mutual minmax profile. One folk theorem says that, in the infinitely repeated version of the game, provided players are sufficiently patient, there is a Nash equilibrium such that both players cooperate on the equilibrium path. But in finitely repeated game by using backward induction it can be determined that players play Nash equilibrium in the last period of the game (which is to defect).

Hand signals

Hand signals are given by cyclists and some motorists to indicate their intentions to other traffic. Under the terms of the Vienna Convention on Traffic, bicycles are considered to be vehicles and cyclists are considered to be drivers. The traffic codes of most countries reflect this.

In some countries (such as in the Czech Republic, Canada, and the United States), hand signals are designated not only for cyclists, but for every vehicle that does not have signal lights or has damaged signal lights. For example, drivers of older cars and mopeds may be required to make hand signals.

Similar to automobile signaling, there are three primary signals: Left turn/overtaking, Right turn, and Stopping/braking.

List of Statutory Instruments of Scotland, 2008

This is an incomplete list of Scottish Statutory Instruments in 2008.

List of Statutory Instruments of Scotland, 2009

This is an incomplete list of Scottish Statutory Instruments in 2009.

List of Statutory Instruments of Scotland, 2010

This is an incomplete list of Scottish Statutory Instruments in 2010.

List of Statutory Instruments of Scotland, 2011

This is an incomplete list of Scottish Statutory Instruments in 2011.

List of Statutory Instruments of Scotland, 2012

This is an incomplete list of Scottish Statutory Instruments in 2012.

List of Statutory Instruments of Scotland, 2013

This is an incomplete list of Scottish Statutory Instruments in 2013.

Passing lane

A passing lane (North American English) or overtaking lane (English outside of North America) is a lane on a multi-lane highway or motorway closest to the median of the road (the central reservation). In some countries, lanes are described as being on the 'inside' or the 'outside' of a road, and the location of the passing lanes will vary.

In modern traffic planning, passing lanes on freeways are usually designed for through/express traffic, while the lanes furthest from the median of the road have entry/exit ramps. However due to routing constraints, some freeways may have ramps exiting from the passing lane; these are known as "left exits" in North America.

A passing lane is commonly referred to as a "fast lane" because it is often used for extended periods of time for through traffic or fast traffic. In theory, a passing lane should be used only for passing, thus allowing, even on a road with only two lanes in each direction, motorists to travel at their own pace.

A 2+1 road has a passing lane only in one direction, usually alternating each few kilometers. In practice, they are more like upgraded highways than motorways.

Prohibitory traffic sign

Prohibitory traffic signs are used to prohibit certain types of manoeuvres or some types of traffic.

Road signs in France

These road signs are used in France.

Road signs in Saudi Arabia

These road signs are used in Saudi Arabia.

Sergei Ignashevich

Sergei Nikolayevich Ignashevich (Russian: Сергей Николаевич Игнашевич, IPA: [sʲɪrˈgʲej nʲɪkɐˈla(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ ɪgnɐˈʂɛvʲɪtɕ]; born 14 July 1979) is a Russian football coach and a former central defender. He works as a head coach of a Russian Football National League club Torpedo Moscow.

He played for Lokomotiv Moscow and CSKA Moscow in his career, and has won Russian Premier League titles for both clubs, as well as the 2005 UEFA Cup Final with CSKA. Ignashevich is often considered one of the highest skilled defenders in the Russian Premier League while playing alongside fellow Russian international defenders and twin brothers Aleksei and Vasili Berezutskiy.

He made his international debut for Russia in 2002, and was selected in their squads for two European Championships and two FIFA World Cups, helping them to the semi-finals of Euro 2008, earning his 100th cap at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and as part of the host team reached the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On 8 September 2015, he made his 110th international appearance and became the most capped player in Russia's team history, overtaking Viktor Onopko. On 17 November 2015, he made his 114th appearance, making him the most capped Russian player for any national team (again, overtaking Onopko who played 4 additional games for CIS).On 2 April 2017, he played his 457th game in the Russian Premier League, setting a new record for most games played in the competition and overtaking the previous record holder Sergei Semak. As of 10 December 2017, his record stands at 479 games.


Traffic on roads consists of road users including pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, streetcars, buses and other conveyances, either singly or together, while using the public way for purposes of travel. Traffic laws are the laws which govern traffic and regulate vehicles, while rules of the road are both the laws and the informal rules that may have developed over time to facilitate the orderly and timely flow of traffic.

Organized traffic generally has well-established priorities, lanes, right-of-way, and traffic control at intersections.

Traffic is formally organized in many jurisdictions, with marked lanes, junctions, intersections, interchanges, traffic signals, or signs. Traffic is often classified by type: heavy motor vehicle (e.g., car, truck), other vehicle (e.g., moped, bicycle), and pedestrian. Different classes may share speed limits and easement, or may be segregated. Some jurisdictions may have very detailed and complex rules of the road while others rely more on drivers' common sense and willingness to cooperate.

Organization typically produces a better combination of travel safety and efficiency. Events which disrupt the flow and may cause traffic to degenerate into a disorganized mess include road construction, collisions, and debris in the roadway. On particularly busy freeways, a minor disruption may persist in a phenomenon known as traffic waves. A complete breakdown of organization may result in traffic congestion and gridlock. Simulations of organized traffic frequently involve queuing theory, stochastic processes and equations of mathematical physics applied to traffic flow.

Rules of the road
Road user guides
Speed limit
Moving violations
Driver licensing
Traffic violations reciprocity
Automotive safety
Road safety


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