Motorways

You should be especially alert when driving on a motorway because traffic travels at high speed.

Note: Where motorways are mentioned, this also refers to freeways.

Make sure your vehicle has enough fuel, oil and water for the journey and that the tyre pressures are correct.

Bicycle riders are allowed to travel on motorways unless prohibited by signs.

Joining the motorway

The approach to a motorway is usually from a road on the left. Watch for a gap then increase your speed to safely merge with the traffic.

Example of a motorway sign reading KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING in black text on a white background.

Driving on the motorway

Once on the motorway, stay in the left lane unless overtaking.

If there are three lanes and the left lane has many vehicles travelling at a slower speed than you, stay in the middle lane. After you have passed them, you should return to the left lane. The right lane is generally reserved for overtaking so move out of it as soon as it is safe to do so.

Example of a motorway sign reading EMERGENCY STOPPING LANE ONLY in black text on a white background, with a black arrow pointing to the lane.

When driving on a motorway you must:

  • Not stop except in an emergency (if you have to stop, move to the emergency lane, breakdown lane or shoulder)
  • Not make a U-turn or reverse.

If you miss your exit, continue travelling on the motorway until you reach the next exit.

Leaving the motorway

Make sure you:

  • Move to the lane closest to the exit in plenty of time
  • Give a signal and reduce your speed
  • Check your speed to ensure you are not going too fast to make a safe exit.
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