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This Highway Has a Broken Centre Line. Can You Legally Overtake the Truck?

Highway driving can be a challenge, especially when road conditions are less than ideal. One common issue that drivers may encounter is a broken centre line, which can make it difficult to know whether or not it is legal to overtake another vehicle. This article will discuss the legal implications of overtaking a truck on a highway with a broken centre line.

Broken Centre Line

A broken centre line is a painted line on the road that divides the two lanes of traffic going in opposite directions. It is designed to help drivers keep an appropriate distance from each other and to stay in their own lane. When the centre line is broken, it can be difficult to tell how far away other vehicles are, which can make it hard to judge when it is safe to overtake them.

Legal Overtaking?

The legality of overtaking a truck on a highway with a broken centre line depends on the specific situation. Generally speaking, it is not recommended to overtake a vehicle if the centre line is broken and you cannot accurately judge the distance between the two vehicles. However, if the road is wide enough and there is enough room for you to safely overtake the truck, then it may be legal. It is important to remember to always stay in your own lane when overtaking and to be aware of other vehicles around you.

When driving on a highway with a broken centre line, it is important to exercise caution and to be aware of your surroundings. Overtaking a truck may be legal in some cases, but it is always best to err on the side of caution and avoid overtaking if you cannot accurately judge the distance between the two vehicles.

The majority of roads in the United States operate under the standards of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), a document that specifies and interprets the rules and regulations of the highway. There are many instances where the MUTCD allows for motorists to legally overtake, such as when the roadway is free of others vehicular traffic, or when the road is wide enough to safely accommodate two vehicles side by side.

However, sometimes a highway may not be designed in a fashion that meets MUTCD guidelines. This can be due to, for example, a broken centre line, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, for two vehicles to pass side-by-side without running the risk of colliding. In these circumstances, if a motorist comes across a roadway with a broken centre-line, can they still legally overtake the truck in front of them?

The answer is no, they cannot legally overtake the truck in this situation. This is because the MUTCD specifies that the use of the existing centre-line is essential in order to know the relative position between two motor vehicles on a highway. Without the centre line in place, the motorist cannot safely legally overtake the truck in front of them, as the relative position of the vehicles would be too close to ascertain safely.

If a motorist has perceived the need to overtake a truck and the centre line is broken or there is no centre line at all, the motorist must wait for the truck to move out of the travel lane or until the centre line of the highway has been restored before overtaking is permissible. The driver of the overtaking vehicle must also ensure that their vehicle does not cross the broken or non-existent centre line onto the other side of the highway.

Overall, the general rule regarding overtaking is to evaluate the safety of a situation before making any decisions. If a motorist finds themselves in a situation where a centre line is broken or non-existent, they must wait until the centre line is either repaired or they have room to overtake safely. This is to protect the safety of both passengers and other users of the highway.

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