A dangerous overtake? - LHM
Whilst travelling on one of Lincolnshire's lesser A-roads the other day, I performed an overtake which I'd like feedback on, as I can't decide - in retrospect - whether it was safe or indeed legal.........

The road is single-carriageway NSL, fairly twisty with few straight sections. Came up behind a 'convoy' of a campervan being followed by two cars at about 40mph. After following these three for a mile or so, it became clear that the two behind were not going to attempt to overtake the happy camper - but were following too close to prevent overtaking them one at a time without 'barging in'.

Then, the shallow downward slope of the land allowed a good, uninterrupted view of the road ahead, showing it to be clear (and devoid of hazards) - albeit through two bends, a 90 degree left followed by a 90 degree right. After performing the usual overtaking checks, I proceeded to pass all three vehicles through both bends, giving a short horn toot at each passing.

So was this an advisable manoeuvre? Was it legal (the centre line was a normal broken single white)? The lie of the land allowed a perfect view ahead, and I knew I would have no trouble passing before the approach of oncoming traffic - which I could see. Did I drive 'assertively' - or recklessly?

A dangerous overtake? - Garethj
Technically you shouldn't exceed the 60mph limit even during an overtake, but you probably would have done to not be exposed to the danger of passing 3 vehicles quickly. You'd be marked down for that but I think it's a reasonable manoeuvre in day to day driving.

Excuse the assumption, but you have to make some occasionally - I'm also assuming that you didn't turn off at a junction just after passing, where the overtake would have been needless. I'm also assuming you could see there were no junctions around, no road signs warning of hidden entrances, no mud on the road, no pedestrians walking on the road.....

Why do you think it was reckless or illegal?

A dangerous overtake? - pdc {P}
On my IAM test the examiner told me that it would be fine to exceed the speed limit if it made an overtaking manoeuvre safer.

Came across a slow moving lorry so checked ahead on a straight and it was clear, so pulled out to pass, when a car suddenly appeared coming the other direction, at about 100mph, so I touched 80 on an NSL and he passed comment on how well I had dealt with a sudden sittuation change.
A dangerous overtake? - Garethj
On my IAM test the examiner told me that it would
be fine to exceed the speed limit if it made an
overtaking manoeuvre safer.

Absolutely right, but on a driving test you would fail for doing the same thing! It's the same for the line on taking bends and other situations too.

A dangerous overtake? - Ivor E Tower
Souns OK to me - you could see that it was safe to overtake and you also took the precaution of toting to warm the inconsiderate others who were driving too close o each other and without consideration for those behind who may have wanted to make better progress (assuming that you didn't exceed the speed limit whilst overtaking....)
A dangerous overtake? - davemar
Sounds fine to me. Hope the myopic fools following the caravaners got your hint too. A road doesn't need to be straight to overtake on, as long as the visibility is good which your road had. Just be careful that the dawdlers you are overtaking don't start cutting the bends while you pass them.
A dangerous overtake? - Liverpaul
I agree with Davemar, if you have a good view of the road straight or otherwise, then it would be safe to overtake LHM.

The most dangerous aspect of overtaking nowadays is the dangerous slower drivers in the queue that bunch up to stop a passing car moving in, although it is stated in the highway code that when being passed you should not increase your speed and leave enough room to allow the passing car back in. These tend to be the drivers who also straightline corners and rarely look in their mirrors / observe the road ahead or behind.

I also get infuriated by those who dawdle along, and as soon as they realise they are being passed put their foot down, like I've said before, common courtesy is missing from many drivers nowadays, (middle, & outer lane hogging anyone?)

I find that it's best to gain as much speed as is safe when passing as the lesser time you are exposed to danger the better.

A dangerous overtake? - Cliff Pope
I think I agree with the general concensus - it was safe and legal. But whenever I have overtaken in a similar situation that involved passing through a kind of blind area where I have had to trust to my prior observation, I have always been scared stiff that I might have missed something.
Once on the wrong side of the road doing 70 on what is now, at shortened view, a blind bend, I think about the tractor coming out of the farm gate, the pedestrian, or the car that has just joined the road from an entrance half way along.
On the whole I'd rather stay slow but alive.
A dangerous overtake? - tunacat
I'm pretty sure the caravanners would have taken your hoot, however brief, as an expression of annoyance, rather than a "coming through" warning. Same thing tends to happen at night if you give someone one quick 'wake up' flash before overtaking them.

Ah, those were the days when you could exceed the speed limit briefly to complete an overtake more safely...
...Nowadays, you'll just be pulling back in front of the leading caravan when you spot a Truvelo welcoming you with one smiling eye...
A dangerous overtake? - GrumpyOldGit
Sounds fine to me too.

I will reinforce what Cliff says though as it's happened to me. Overtaking 3 vehicles on my bike on a straight single carriagway NSL road and halfway past a car pulled out of a turning on the right ahead of me and came straight at me. He just didn't look both ways before pulling out. Thankfully the truck I was passing saw the danger and moved left, leaving enough space for both of us in one lane.
A dangerous overtake? - king arthur
Technically, Grumpy, overtaking just before passing a side turning or any kind of junction, is not safe to do unless you can also see clearly that nothing will be emerging from the turning.
A dangerous overtake? - pdc {P}
Saw something like this outside RAF Ternhill years ago.

Car turning left out of the airfield road onto the A49 must have only looked to the right and not the left. He didn't see the vehicle on the main road which was on the wrong side of the road passing a broken down vehicle.

Since then I dont think I have ever failed to look both ways at a junction.
A dangerous overtake? - commerdriver
Big assumption tunacat I wouldnt have taken a hoot in that situation as any kind of annoyance, when I am driving an old slowish (especially on bendy roads) camper I get far more frustrated at the car drivers who wont overtake but sit right up my back doors preventing anyone else from overtaking easily than I do about anyone who does have the ability to get on and get past when it's safe to do so. I still feel responsible for their slow progress and end up pulling over to let them pass despite the fact that its more due to their lack of driving skill to overtake than anything else.
Remember there are good and bad drivers in all kinds of vehicles.
A dangerous overtake? - Andrew-T
LHM - as no-one has mentioned it, were there any solid white lines through those bends?
A dangerous overtake? - smokie
Sounds safe enough to me. I wouldn't have bothered with the toot though.
A dangerous overtake? - LHM
Andrew - I did mention that the centre line was an 'ordinary' broken white variety. I guess this implies that the local 'authorities' deemed it okay to pass, even through the bends?

To address one other point - the camper van (VW-style) and the following two cars were doing 45mph tops, allowing overtaking within the 60mph NSL.

I'm not too sure if overtaking on any bend (visible or blind) is contrary to the Highway Code, and I share the concern expressed that things might have got 'hairy' if someone had cut the bend........ Mind you, having followed these three for some distance, I felt it unlikely.

Would a following policeman have pulled me over to have a word in my 'shell-like'??!!
A dangerous overtake? - Dwight Van Driver
If you could see the surface tarmac on the offside of the road (enemy territory) right along your field of vision then you did right to go for it. Otherwise I would have done one, eased off at the gap between the last car, indicated, pulled in and then made him hang back.

A dangerous overtake? - GrumpyOldGit
<< >>

Agreed KA, but this was an unsigned entrance rather than a marked junction. He just appeared from an apparently continuous hedgeline. Still technically my fault though, even though he obviously only bothered to look to his right before pulling out. I was overtaking so would have been responsible for any collision. Of course I wouldn't have been in a position to be bothered about blame if he'd hit me!
A dangerous overtake? - GrumpyOldGit
"Technically, Grumpy, overtaking just before passing a side turning or any kind of junction, is not safe to do unless you can also see clearly that nothing will be emerging from the turning."

Can't seem to get cut & paste to work!
A dangerous overtake? - GolfR_Caravelle_S-Max
The solid white lines are, I believe, "no straddling" thus my father, when training (or being examined) to become an IAM bike instructor, overtook another vehicle whilst remaining INSIDE the white lines (ie not crossing them) and was not penalised for it...

Personally, I always go to dipped lights and use indicators to make people aware of intention..

Possibly bearing in mind the safety and power of the Volvo T- series cars, perhaps a slogan could be:

"The Volvo T5. Made for overtakers, not undertakers"

I like that. Emphasises the safety.
A dangerous overtake? - martint123
Somewhere, possibly in 'roadcraft' I'm sure I've read that is is a good thing to overtake on some bends as your visibility in front is improved.
Those Lincolnshire roads - dead flat, no hedges, see for miles and miles in front - I just can't understand some of the convoys you see.
A dangerous overtake? - JAJ
Whilst I have doñe the same thing myself lots of times, on a recent occasion when I thought I could see there was a cyclist halfway around the bend. Gave him and me a bit of a shock. If it was a motorbike at a reasonable closing speed he would have had more of a shock.

My thoughts are that there could always be something around that corner and if you did cause a collision I am sure that you would be seen to be in the wromng.
A dangerous overtake? - Flat in Fifth

just to echo garethj's question what really made you question yourself. Did you get a response from the overtaken?

Just like NoDosh commented on his experience the other day some people object to being overtaken at all, even if the road is dead straight, flat, no bends, entrances, junctions and empty of any other traffic except them and you. Just don't understand why they get so uptight.

FWIW per your description of the event sounds like safely making best possible progress to me.

Mind you used to own a VW camper 1600 single port and the overtaking technique on that was, drop back before then bend, accelerate through the bend taking advantage of the elevated view in order to slingshot past on the next straight. Very unorthodox and not as in Roadcraft. ho hum.

A dangerous overtake? - LHM
Hi FiF!

I did glance at one of the cars, and got a very strange look from its elderly driver!

I have to admit it did seem rather strange going round the bends (!) on the 'wrong' side of the road - down to around 25mph on the apex, and I'm not sure what I'd have thought about someone else doing it!

Can someone with a copy of 'The Highway Code' verify whether overtaking "should not" or "must not" be performed on a bend?
A dangerous overtake? - twinexhaust
I'd thoroughly recommend to all those without a copy of the latest version of the Highway Code that they buy one. Mine was only £1.50 a couple of years and its money well spent. It brings a lot of things up to date and makes you really think about your driving.

There's a couple of pages on overtaking (incl. being overtaken). It says that you should not ovetake if there is any doubt, or where you cannot see far enough ahead to be sure its safe. For example, when you are approaching:
- a corner or bend
- a hump back bridge
- brow of a hill.

In my opinion the crucial thing is being able to see far enough ahead that its safe and if this happens to include a bend or bends then no problem, go for it.
A dangerous overtake? - NitroBurner
Reckon you did the right thing LHM.

But why don't others, who don't wish to overtake, allow those that do, to 'leapfrog' them easily?

Value my car