Monday 31st December 2018
Drivers warned over illegal overtaking

A road safety charity has warned motorists that reckless overtaking can lead to a fine and points on your driving licence.

The RAC, reports:

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.

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.

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."

Especially in the winter season when roads are particularly precarious, it is increasingly important for motorists to make a responsible judgement before deciding to overtake. In not doing so, you are putting several motorists in danger, forcing the question: was it worth the risk?

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