Driver Knowledge Tests

When should you avoid passing or overtaking another vehicle

If a vehicle ahead is travelling slower than you want to travel, you can overtake them, but there is safe overtaking and unsafe overtaking.

Signs that prohibit you from overtaking or warn of scenarios where overtaking is dangerous

This is the generic sign for no overtaking or passing
This sign prohibits you from overtaking on a bridge
Don’t overtake when a road splits in two to avoid an object
Don’t overtake when the right lane must only turn right (unless you can get back into the left lane safely)
Don’t overtake when crossing a railway level crossing
Don’t overtake when there’s a grader or other machinery ahead, unless you can safely get back into the left lane
Don’t overtake when approaching roadworks controlled by a traffic controller
Don’t overtake when you are approaching or going over a pedestrian crossing
Don’t overtake when approaching a blind crest
Don’t overtake when approaching a blind dip
Don’t overtake when approaching intersections – other vehicles could emerge into your path

Driving scenarios when overtaking is dangerous

Don’t overtake when you would force the other vehicle to move onto the verge or hard shoulder or if you would have to drive on the verge or hard shoulder

Don’t overtake if you can’t see a sufficient distance of clear road ahead of you when you have finished the overtaking manoeuvre. Usually this would be 100m or more of clear road to give you a buffer

Don’t exceed the speed limit when overtaking

Don’t overtake a vehicle that is indicating to turn right, or a long vehicle when it is turning left (it may have to pull out to the right to make the left turn)

Don’t overtake when there are road markings that prohibit you from overtaking, for example, a solid white line on your side of the road

Stay left on this cycle route in Sydney

Don’t overtake when a vehicle behind you is already overtaking you

Don’t overtake an accelerating vehicle unless you are very sure that your vehicle has superior acceleration and that you will end up going faster than the vehicle you are overtaking (e.g. you’re overtaking a tractor or truck, but you are in a car)

Don’t overtake when you don’t have enough power to get the job done – this is especially relevant when driving uphill or when towing

Don’t overtake when the vehicle ahead may have to move right to overtake stationary vehicles or cyclists

Don’t overtake when the road narrows and it would become dangerous

Don’t overtake if you can’t complete the manoeuvre before a passing lane ends or a lane ahead is closing due to roadworks

Don’t overtake when others are wanting to overtake if you can’t get past the vehicle at a courteous speed difference, i.e. don’t hold others up behind you by taking too long to overtake.

Don’t overtake when approaching a sharp bend or when you can’t see through the bend

Don’t overtake by using a lane you’re not permitted to use, e.g. a bus lane

Don’t overtake using a median strip.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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