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Keeping left and overtaking

Keeping left

On single-lane roads, you must stay as close as practical to the left side of the road.

On multi-lane roads, if the 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.

Drivers are allowed to overtake on the left on all multi-lane roads.

Video of keeping left

Watch this short video to learn more about keeping left and overtaking.



You can only overtake another vehicle if you have a clear view of any approaching traffic and you can do so safely. Make sure all road markings and signs allow you to overtake.

You can only overtake to the left of a vehicle if it is safe to do so and:

  • you are driving on a multi-lane road and the vehicle can be overtaken in a marked lane to the left of the vehicle
  • the vehicle is turning right or making a U-turn from the centre of the road and is indicating right
  • the vehicle is stationary
  • you are lane filtering on a motorcycle.

It is never legal to exceed the speed limit to overtake another vehicle.

Overtaking at a pedestrian or children’s crossing

If you’re approaching a pedestrian or children’s crossing, you cannot overtake or pass a vehicle that is travelling in the same direction and has stopped, or is stopping at the crossing.

Motorists passing cyclists

Check the rules for motorists when passing cyclists.

Overtaking while cycling

While cycling, you can overtake vehicles on the left but must give way to any vehicle in front of you that is turning left and signalling to turn left.

Read more about cycling road rules and safety.

Last updated
26 May 2016

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