Passing is changing lanes to move past a slower vehicle. While all public roads have speed limits, not all vehicles travel at the same speed. For example, cyclists, road service vehicles and drivers ahead that are preparing to turn are usually slower than the through traffic. You may want to pass some slow-moving vehicles when you are following them.
Never overtake and pass another vehicle unless you are sure you can do so without danger to yourself or others. Don't pass moving snow plows under any conditions. If in doubt, do not pass.
Here are the steps for passing a vehicle:
- Use your left-turn signal to show that you want to pass and check that the way is clear ahead and behind before moving into the passing lane.
- Watch for bicycles and small vehicles that may be hidden from view in front of the vehicle you are about to pass. Also watch for vehicles that may be turning left in front of you and vehicles or pedestrians entering the road from another road or driveway.
- Change lanes only after signalling. After overtaking, signal that you want to move back into the lane you started from, and when you can see the entire front of the vehicle you are passing in your inside mirror, make the lane change. Be careful not to cut off a vehicle by suddenly moving in front of it.
- If the vehicle you are passing speeds up, do not race. Go back to your original lane. And do not speed up when another driver is trying to pass you. It is unlawful and dangerous.
When passing parked vehicles, watch carefully for people suddenly opening doors or for doors opened to load and unload.
Motorcycles, bicycles, limited-speed motorcycles and mopeds often need to pull to the left or right side of their lane to avoid dangerous road conditions or to be seen by other drivers. Do not take this as an invitation to pass in the same lane. If you do want to pass these vehicles, do so by changing lanes.
When faster traffic wants to pass you, move to the right and let it pass in safety. When being passed on an undivided road where the passing driver has pulled into the opposite lane, pay attention to oncoming traffic and move closer to the right side of the lane. Be prepared to slow down to let the passing driver get in front of you more quickly to prevent a collision.
On many high-speed roads with three or more lanes in each direction, trucks are not allowed to drive in the far left-hand lane. This means that the lane next to it is the truck passing lane. If you are in this lane and a truck wants to pass, move into the right-hand lane as soon as you can.