Overtaking

Overtaking can be dangerous. When overtaking, make sure you have a clear view of oncoming traffic and use your indicator to signal your intentions to other drivers. You must not exceed the speed limit.

Overtaking on the Left

Permitted when:

  • driving on a multi-lane road;
  • directed by an authorised person (e.g. police officer);
  • the vehicle(s) in the right lane is stationary and it is safe to do so;
  • a vehicle is indicating that it is turning right or making a U-turn.

Overtaking on the Right

This is permitted when you’re both travelling in the same direction and you are not crossing a continuous white line.

Overtaking a vehicle on the right is NOT permitted:

  • at a railway, pedestrian or children’s crossing;
  • at an intersection;
  • where there is a ‘no overtaking’ sign;
  • where there are single or double continuous centre lines;
  • where you do not have a clear view of approaching traffic.

Note:‚Äč
  • When overtaking a cyclist, leave a metre if you're travelling at 60km or less and at least 1.5m if you're travelling at a higher speed.
  • If you’re being overtaken - keep left; don’t increase your speed; and don’t prevent the vehicle from overtaking you.

Long vehicles

Australia is home to some of the largest trucks in the world known as 'road trains'. They can be up to 53.5m long (175.5 feet) with 2, 3 or even 4 trailers and require great care when overtaking.

  • You need a long straight stretch of road that is clear as far as you can see.
  • Be aware that it may take some time to overtake one of these long trucks.
  • Take your time and stay back several car lengths. When it is safe to pass, indicate, move over the centre line, and overtake.
  • Remember, never overtake a truck on a curve or a hill where visibility is limited, even if the truck is moving slowly.
  • If you cannot see past the truck, wait for a better opportunity.
  • If you are towing a caravan or trailer it is best not to try and overtake at all. Wait for an overtaking lane, where it is safe to do so

Penalties

Offence Penalty Demerits
Failing to overtake at a safe distance $400 4
Overtaking at a railway/pedestrian/children crossing $400 4
Overtaking on continuous white line $200 3
 

The information available on our website provides a simple interpretation of the law and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Full details of traffic offences and penalties are contained in the Road Traffic Code 2000.