Overtaking other vehicles can be dangerous. The difficulty with overtaking is judging the space required to complete the manoeuvre safely.

Drivers must give bicycle riders at least a metre of space

The minimum passing distance rule helps ensure that bicycle riders and motorists remain safe when sharing our roads. We all need to respect each other's space to ensure that everyone stays safe.

Read more about the new rules and the Go Together campaign about Drivers must give bicycle riders at least a metre of space

Both single lane and multi-lane overtaking manoeuvres involve risk and require extreme care. If you have any doubts it is best not to overtake and to wait until it is safer.

You must overtake on the right unless a vehicle is waiting to turn right, is stationary, or if you and the other vehicle are travelling in marked lanes. In these instances you may overtake on the left side if it is safe.

When overtaking you must:

  • Not go over the speed limit
  • Make sure the road ahead is clear and that there is sufficient space for you to complete the manoeuvre (check side streets and other lanes to ensure nothing will enter this space while you are overtaking)
  • Check mirrors
  • Signal each change in position long enough to give sufficient warning to others
  • Check blind spots for motorcycles and other vehicles before changing your lane position
  • Pass the vehicle with sufficient space to avoid a collision (you should be able to see the vehicle you have overtaken in your rear vision mirror before you move in front of it)
  • Give way to traffic already in the lane you are moving to.

You must not overtake:

  • Unless you have a clear view of any approaching traffic and you can complete the manoeuvre safely (do not commence an overtaking manoeuvre when approaching a crest, curve or any limited vision situation)
  • Another vehicle that is stopping or has stopped at a pedestrian crossing, intersection or railway crossing
  • Across an unbroken (continuous) line, unless the line closest to you is broken
  • Where a road narrows.

On roads with a speed limit of more than 80 km/h, or a KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING sign, you must drive in the left lane not drive in the right lane unless you want to overtake or turn right.

When being overtaken you must:

  • Not increase your speed
  • Keep left and allow reasonable space for the overtaking vehicle to pass and move back into the lane
  • Keep within your lane.
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