Keep Left Unless Overtaking

Written by Sandra Bain

We have all been frustrated one time or another, by someone driving
slow in the right-hand lane. In fact, a lot of drivers get very abusive about this notion.

Unfortunately, not everyone knows the EXACT rules regarding this law.

RULE: On multi-lane roads, if the posted speed limit is 90km/h or more, or if
the road has a ‘keep left unless overtaking’ sign, you must not drive in the right-hand lane unless you are:

  • overtaking
  • turning right
  • making a U-turn
  • avoiding an obstruction
  • driving in congested traffic
  • using a special purpose lane that you are allowed to be in.

**To watch a video on how and when to use the right lane, please click the link below**

Quite often, while we are out teaching students how to drive, we get abused by other drivers for being in the right-hand lane in a 60km, 70km, 80km zones.
There are some very practical reasons why a learner driver may need to use the right lane:

1) Practising lane changes.

2) Roundabout practise, using the right and left lanes.

3) Turning right ahead; but not wanting to change into the right lane too late and stress out the already nervous learner, we try to get into our right lane EARLY in a calm and relaxed time frame.

4) Some students may not be very confident with lane changes yet so we will have them drive in the right-hand lane due to a right-hand turn coming up.

5) U-turn practise, again, needing to be in the right lane early enough to turn without causing unnecessary stress on the student

6) Sometimes, there’s no decent space on the left-hand lane for us to manoeuvre the car into so it’s safer to stay where we are.

Please keep all this in mind when you’re out there driving behind a learner and you start to get frustrated that they’re in the right-hand lane. Maybe, it’s the most practical and safe place for them to be in right at that point in time. It’s extremely hard to teach students how to drive when we are being abused by other motorists.


2 Demerit Points and $80 fine


MYTH: “Keep left unless overtaking” applies on all roads – no matter the speed zone.
FACT: Only applies in 90km zone or higher or where you see it signed.

MYTH: “Keep left unless overtaking” applies on M1 and Highways only.
FACT: Applies in 90km zone or higher or where you see it signed. Therefore, not just applicable to Highways.

MYTH: “All learners must keep to the left lane only”
FACT: Some feel it is a safe place for a brand-new learner to be, so they can quickly get off to the side of the road if an incident occurs. This is true, but there is NO law stating that all learners MUST keep to the left lane at all times. They need to also experience what it’s like to be in the other lanes, not just the left.



Contact us today to discuss how we can make the learning process so much easier for everyone.

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