Legal Aspects of Undertaking: Is It illegal?

London (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Many drivers believe that undertaking is something very common. They can pass on the left side of another vehicle while they are driving on a motorway. However, the Highway Code refers to it as overtaking on the left side. If you like in the UK you must know that it is not allowed to undertake. There can be some exceptions though, but normally it is not legal. Everyone has to adhere to the ‘keep left’ rule. Drivers can travel at various speeds but they must not hinder the driving of others. If you don’t follow the right rules it can lead to an accident.

Why Do Drivers Undertake Other Vehicles?

Many drivers don’t follow the rules and adhere to correct lane discipline. This is why many accidents take place. They must understand that middle-lane hogging can turn out to be dangerous. It may seem like an easy option for many, but it is not right to do that. Moreover, it can lead to serious accidents. You can move to the left side of your or other vehicles at a slow speed. When you start undertaking at a fast speed it will increase the chance of collision.

As both cars try to move into the same gap it can lead to many problems. When you drive on the highway it is best to understand the laws and keep yourself safe. Many people have a habit of driving very fast and they are likely to undertake other vehicles.

What Does Highway Code Say About Undertaking?

According to the Highway Code, drivers cannot undertake. However, it is not a punishable offense. You need to keep your safety intact and don’t overtake on the left side. It is necessary to remain on one side of the lane. The Highway Code allows drivers to undertake only when the traffic is moving slowly. If you are stuck in traffic and one lane moving faster than the other it is allowed to undertake. When the road is congested and all the lanes are moving at the same speed, you have to be careful. In this situation, you cannot weave in and out of the lines to overtake.

Can You Receive a Penalty For Undertaking?

Many drivers find it tempting to undertake in many conditions. They commonly do it while facing a middle-lane hogger. However, you need to understand that this can turn out to be very dangerous. Similarly, you may get a big penalty or have to pay a fine for undertaking in this condition. 

When you are recklessly undertaking it can receive a fixed penalty notice. This happens when you are not driving carefully with all the attention. Your driving license will get three points and a £100 fine. However, some police forces may take this situation differently. They will offer a proper driver education course to the driver as an alternative to a penalty.

If the case seems more serious it will be considered dangerous driving. This will lead to getting a harsh penalty and up to nine points on the driving license. Similarly, your license may get disqualified. In this situation, the driver will have to pay of fine of £5.000 along with a court summons. The driver must follow the right rules and save themselves from mishaps.

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Is Undertaking Allowed In Some Cases?

The Highway Code doesn’t allow undertaking in general. However, it is normal for you to undertake this in some situations. The first thing is to keep the speed of your car in check. It is acceptable to undertake while you are driving at a slow speed on the motorway. Apart from that all cars must stay in line. You can safely undertake a car when the traveling speed is a little slower than usual. However, if the lane is moving faster it may not seem easy to undertake.

When the car is turning right or making a U-turn you must not move your vehicle. It is best not to undertake this very soon as it can lead to more trouble. Many drivers feel safe when they see an indicator of the other car and make a move later. If you are not sure in which circumstances you can overtake it, it is best not to do it. It is always good to be safe reliably and predictably.

Bikes will have to follow the same rules if they want to put undertakings into practice. When the traffic accelerates it is harder to manage the speed of your vehicle too. Sometimes bikes take a left turn and it leads them to an accident.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.