DRIVING: Follow laws of the road

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Drivers, when was the last time you studied the Highway Code?

I ask this because, of late, I have been greeted with anger and resentment when overtaking slow moving traffic on the A191 New York Road, a deregulated road with a speed limit of 60mph.

Did you know that it is perfectly legal to overtake a slower moving vehicle?

Unless there is a solid white line running down the outside of your lane, and provided you do not break the speed limit or endanger other road users, then overtaking is absolutely within the law.

So if you see an approaching car overtaking, you should move to the left of your lane to allow them to pass safely.

That is your responsibility because the dividing line does not indicate the extent of your exclusive territory, as so many drivers seem to think.

This includes all roads, everywhere.

We do not need to constrain overtaking to multi-lane carriageways.

And while we are on the subject of multi-lane carriageways, did you know it is against the law to drive in an outer lane unless you are actively overtaking another vehicle or you are approaching a junction and preparing to turn?

‘Actively overtaking’ is not a grey area, and definitely does not mean a car half-a-mile ahead of you.

‘Approaching’ may seem like a grey area, but neither does it mean half-a-mile ahead.

You may feel it is convenient to sit in an outer lane, but anyone driving slower than the regulated speed limit in the outer lane, and not actively overtaking or approaching a junction, is actually breaking two laws because it is classed as ‘inconsiderate driving’ as they are preventing traffic behind them from proceeding because undertaking remains woefully illegal in this country.

However, I would ask any member of the police force reading this to comment on which act they would prosecute, the driver doing 50mph in the outside lane of a deregulated dual carriageway, or the person undertaking them? Both?

There is no reason in the world why folk should not drive more slowly than the official speed limit, that is entirely their prerogative, providing they do not inconvenience other road users.

So here’s a lesson for you: If you are driving at 30mph on a road with a higher permitted speed limit, you should keep to the left-hand side and allow faster moving traffic to overtake you if they want to.

Aside from obeying the Highway Code, it is just common sense and common courtesy, both of which are tragically lacking in far too many of our drivers.

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