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Full contents
1-35   Rules for pedestrians
36-46   Rules for users of powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters
47-58   Rules about animals
58-82   Rules for cyclists
83-88   Rules for motorcyclists
89-102   Rules for drivers and motorcyclists
103-158   General rules, techniques and advice for all drivers and riders
159-203   Using the road
204-225   Road users requiring extra care
226-237   Driving in adverse weather conditions
238-252   Waiting and parking
253-273   Motorways
274-287   Breakdowns and incidents
288-290   Road works
291-299   Level crossings
300-307   Tramways
Choosing and maintaining your bicycle  
Motorcycle licence requirements  
Motor vehicle documentation and learner driver requirements  
The road user and the law  
Vehicle maintenance, safety and security  
First aid on the road  
Safety code for new drivers  
Signs & markings
Light signals controlling traffic  
Signals to other road users  
Signals by authorised persons  
Traffic signs
Signs giving orders  
Warning signs  
Direction signs  
Information signs  
Road works signs  
Road markings  
Vehicle markings  

Highway code


162-169   back next >
162 Before overtaking you should make sure
the road is sufficiently clear ahead
road users are not beginning to overtake you
there is a suitable gap in front of the road user you plan to overtake.
Overtake only when it is safe and legal
to do so.
You should
not get too close to the vehicle you intend to overtake
use your mirrors, signal when it is safe to do so, take a quick sideways glance if necessary into the blind spot area and then start to move out
not assume that you can simply follow a vehicle ahead which is overtaking; there may only be enough room for one vehicle
move quickly past the vehicle you are overtaking, once you have started to overtake. Allow plenty of room. Move back to the left as soon as you can but do not cut in
  Highway Code - Alcohol And Drugs
take extra care at night and in poor visibility when it is harder to judge speed and distance
give way to oncoming vehicles before passing parked vehicles or other obstructions on your side of the road
only overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right, and there is room to do so
stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left
give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car (see Rules 211-215 ).
Remember: Mirrors – Signal – Manoeuvre
Large vehicles. Overtaking these is more difficult. You should
drop back. This will increase your ability to see ahead and should allow the driver of the large vehicle to see you in their mirrors. Getting too close to large vehicles, including agricultural vehicles such as a tractor with a trailer or other fixed equipment, will obscure your view of the road ahead and there may be another slow-moving vehicle in front
make sure that you have enough room to complete your overtaking manoeuvre before committing yourself. It takes longer to pass a large vehicle. If in doubt do not overtake
  Highway Code - Alcohol And Drugs
not assume you can follow a vehicle ahead which is overtaking a long vehicle. If a problem develops, they may abort overtaking and pull back in.
165 You MUST NOT overtake
if you would have to cross or straddle double white lines with a solid line nearest to you (but see Rule 129)
if you would have to enter an area designed to divide traffic, if it is surrounded by a solid white line
the nearest vehicle to a pedestrian crossing, especially when it has stopped to let pedestrians cross
if you would have to enter a lane reserved for buses, trams or cycles during its hours of operation
after a ‘No Overtaking' sign and until you pass a sign cancelling the restriction.
Laws RTA 1988 sect 36, TSRGD regs 10, 22, 23 & 24, ZPPPCRGD reg 24
The Highway Code book
The Highway Code
Highway code book
166 DO NOT overtake if there is any doubt, or where you cannot see far enough ahead to be sure it is safe. For example, when you are approaching
a corner or bend
a hump bridge
the brow of a hill
167 DO NOT overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users. For example
approaching or at a road junction on either side of the road
where the road narrows
when approaching a school crossing patrol
between the kerb and a bus or tram when it is at a stop
where traffic is queuing at junctions or road works
when you would force another road user to swerve or slow down
at a level crossing
when a road user is indicating right, even if you believe the signal should have been cancelled. Do not take a risk; wait for the signal to be cancelled
stay behind if you are following a cyclist approaching a roundabout or junction, and you intend to turn left
when a tram is standing at a kerbside tram stop and there is no clearly marked passing lane for other traffic
168 Being Overtaken. If a driver is trying to overtake you, maintain a steady course and speed, slowing down if necessary to let the vehicle pass. Never obstruct drivers who wish to pass. Speeding up or driving unpredictably while someone is overtaking you is dangerous. Drop back to maintain a two-second gap if someone overtakes and pulls into the gap in front of you.
169 Do not hold up a long queue of traffic, especially if you are driving a large or slow moving vehicle. Check your mirrors frequently, and if necessary, pull in where it is safe and let traffic pass.
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