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 Post subject: Undertaking
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 12:56 
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What are your thoughts on undertaking (passing on the left). In some other countries this is legal and can help to reduce lane hogging and congestion. I regulaly drive on the M1 where lane 2 and 3 are the only lanes with cars in. Especialy south of Luton!

In the UK it is illegal (can be classed as dangerous driving) but why?

According the the highway code it is legal to do so under certain conditions including on one-way streets and stationary/slow moving traffic. IMO a motorway is effectivley a one way street!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 13:12 
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It isn't actually illegal to pass on the left in the UK.

I almost wish it was, although the present system seems to work quite well most of the time.

Here's the key problem. Many motorway accidents are caused by negligent lane changing, but if no one is undertaking you can change lane left negligently without crashing.

If we allowed pass either side, we might reaonable expect to see lane changing crashes double.

We have the safest motorways in the World, and we'd need excellent evidence before we risked changed anything.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 21:54 
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I drive regularly on the M6 from Leyland to Kendal (a doddle compared to the M25 when I lived down south...)

Personally I feel there are 2 different types of "undertaking" (apart from the grave digging type!) - in heavy traffic, often the inside lanes move quicker than the outer lanes - especially on the 4 lane stretch around Preston - I wouldnt class that as undertaking - just making progress in the road space available.

Problem is the danger driver who overtakes in lane 1, passing those of us who have positioned early in lane 2 to overtake HGV's ahead, then swerves into lane 3, back to lane 1 etc - we've all seen them...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 00:33 
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kendalian wrote:
Problem is the danger driver who overtakes in lane 1, passing those of us who have positioned early in lane 2 to overtake HGV's ahead, then swerves into lane 3, back to lane 1 etc - we've all seen them...


I have to ask .... why are you out in the middle lane if there is room for someone to undertake you? Wouldn't it be better if you stayed in the left lane, allowed the faster vehicle to pass, then moved out?

Problem is the CLOC who position far too early in lane 2 to overtake HGV's ahead, causing people to pass in lane 1 ... IMO.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 06:49 
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Homer wrote:
kendalian wrote:
Problem is the CLOC who position far too early in lane 2 to overtake HGV's ahead, causing people to pass in lane 1 ... IMO.


I agree but the principal is that you stay in the lane which is going at you speed. Perhaps I did not word the post correctly

It is not a case of passing on the left side then moving over it is a case of keepin pase with the car in front. In many cases the left hand lane is clear.

Constantly moving in and out of the left lane is just as dangerous especialy when the centre lane is nose to tail.

BTW I don't hog the middle lane!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:06 
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kendalian wrote:
Problem is the danger driver who overtakes in lane 1, passing those of us who have positioned early in lane 2 to overtake HGV's ahead, then swerves into lane 3, back to lane 1 etc - we've all seen them...


For 'positioned early' do you mean, following a chain of vehicles in lane 2 with the target HGV several hundred yards ahead in lane 1 :?:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:23 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
It isn't actually illegal to pass on the left in the UK.

While not explicitly illegal, http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/23.shtml paras 241 and 242 states that, on motorways, "Overtake only on the right." and "Do not overtake on the left or move to a lane on your left to overtake." So, I suspect that overtaking on the left except where explicitly allowed could constitute a non-specific offence (e.g. driving without due care and attention)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:50 
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willcove wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
It isn't actually illegal to pass on the left in the UK.

While not explicitly illegal, http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/23.shtml paras 241 and 242 states that, on motorways, "Overtake only on the right." and "Do not overtake on the left or move to a lane on your left to overtake." So, I suspect that overtaking on the left except where explicitly allowed could constitute a non-specific offence (e.g. driving without due care and attention)


I agree that's possible.

I'd suggest that it's unlikely to trigger a prosecution entirely by itself. There would normally need to be other factors.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:26 
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Ive been a passenger in cars in America and the way they drive on their freeways is that they pick a lane and stay in it until they come across a piece of traffic. They then change lanes to a clear one and stay in that lane until they come across another piece of traffic. As a result there seems to be much less lane changing going on and so one would assume that there are fewer 'convergance' accidents as a result.
The British system requires you to be changing in and out of lanes on a regular basis, the American system allows you to stay in which ever lane you want without having to do any lane changing at all.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 13:03 
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The subject of motorway lane discipline is currently one of the BBC's have your say topics:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/3732868.stm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 13:43 
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Pug, there baint 'nuff lanes on our motorways :(


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 16:36 
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Pug205GRD wrote:
in America .. they pick a lane and stay in it until they come across a piece of traffic. They then change lanes to a clear one and stay in that lane ... As a result there <is> much less lane changing <and> there are fewer 'convergence' accidents as a result. The British system requires you to be changing in and out of lanes on a regular basis, the American system allows you to stay in which ever lane you want without having to do any lane changing at all.


You are right up to a point. Over here people seem to think that lane prioritisation is a good thing. Some people advocate 'moving over' to 'make way' for faster cars. The view over there is that this forces unnecessary lane changes. Changing lanes involves synchronising your move with other drivers and is hazardous, statistically at least. All other things notwithstanding, lane switching should be minimised, to cut down on inappropriate lane change accidents. This is a definite trade-off - too much of this 'in and out Hoky Koky' is a bad thing.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 14:45 
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Pug205GRD wrote:
Ive been a passenger in cars in America and the way they drive on their freeways is that they pick a lane and stay in it until they come across a piece of traffic. They then change lanes to a clear one and stay in that lane until they come across another piece of traffic. As a result there seems to be much less lane changing going on and so one would assume that there are fewer 'convergance' accidents as a result.
The British system requires you to be changing in and out of lanes on a regular basis, the American system allows you to stay in which ever lane you want without having to do any lane changing at all.


I agree with the last coupld of comments - furthermore, people have enough trouble in this country changing lanes on a dual-carriageway (don't seem to be able to check their mirrors). Imagine the panic that would set in if they had to actually choose which lane to pull into as well!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 19:02 
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If you are in the correct lane you won't get undertaken. I have sat behind a vehicle for well over 5 miles in lane 2 at 55mph when lane 1 was empty. Yes I under took, so did a number of other drivers untill the dipstick stopped yakking to their mate in the passenger seat and started concentrating.

The comparision with the US and their law allowing overtaking on both sides is tricky. They have nothing like the traffic desity we do here. (Admittedly my US driving experience is limited to living there for 2.5 years and driving from coast to coast and border to boarder in 20 odd states.) The LGV's in the US don't have the mandatory limiters like ours and can and do travel much faster. The ones I drove there used to be limited to 70 and I have followed a Pete 379 at 85 through Nervada. These faster trucks don't clog the roads up like ours do so there is not the constant urge of car drivers to overtake them.

The interstate traffic flows more at a gentle canter compared to our motorways as well and you dont get the massive speed difference between the fastest vehicles and the slowest. They all do about 75 give or take abit.

Oh and I think I'm right in saying that the US has 3 times the fatality rate on roads per 1,000 head of population that we do. Though that might be something to do with drunk cowboys in big pickups:-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2004 11:01 
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adam.L wrote:
They have nothing like the traffic desity we do here. (Admittedly my US driving experience is limited to living there for 2.5 years and driving from coast to coast and border to boarder in 20 odd states.)


I would say that we have nothing like the traffic density they have there. Areas the LA bowl ( maybe and other massive urban areas like New York and Washington) are really bad. The thing about the US and Canada is that almost everybody lives in or near big cities, with sparely populated rural areas and between them.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 21:05 
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Well Basingwerk. The 26 States I've been to including visiting LA, Denver, Chicago, Miami and others don't get the traffic we get in Southend. The roads are way wider and the towns are far more spread out. There average milage per vehicle is not much different to ours at about 12k per year.

Yes I drove over 700 miles in a day in the US, but those were easy miles, even though I was 75 feet long 12 feet wide and 14 foot 6 tall.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 02:12 
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Just read this thread and thought you might like a down under perspective.

"Undertaking" on motorways in Australia is discouraged but legal and on the inner city motorways is common and accepted. I am a regular "undertaker" (no pun intended) and do exactly as mentioned about the USA - pick a lane and when you meet other traffic change lane, either right or left depending on which is moving better.

This is extremely commonplace in Australia and because of that people generally look behind no matter which lane they are moving into and crashes caused by "undertaking" are rare.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 18:07 
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M3RBMW wrote:
people generally look behind no matter which lane they are moving into and crashes caused by "undertaking" are rare.


As they should. I always look over my shoulder when changing lanes to check blind spots. I always have and always will.

The think that pisses me off the most is when there are two lanes entering and exiting a roundabout. Many times the car in the right hand lane just moves across to the left on exiting the roundabout without looking at all... :evil: (sorry for not being PC but 9 times out of 10 its a woman driver that does it)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 21:20 
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Oh and I think I'm right in saying that the US has 3 times the fatality rate on roads per 1,000 head of population that we do. Though that might be something to do with drunk cowboys in big pickups:-)
They don't tend to have the same safety standards on their vehicles, although things are changing. I'm sure the odd plate glass windscreen has increased the K figue on more than a few occasions, likewise the use of crap tyres. American cars all blow up on impact anyway, I've seen it on the telly :lol:
Undertaking in this country? I'm with Adam L, I won't do it as a matter of course just to get that little bit further up the road but when CLOC are out there, I'll pass on the left and even try and time my run to pass at the same time someone else is doing it on the right :twisted: . That way it doesn't matter which of their side windows they are gazing out of they will become aware that they are being a prat and generally get in the lane they should be in. Yes I'm quite aware that I'm a prat for doing it so don't waste server space. I am not talking about passing a queue of traffic or the rear vehicle of a queue, it's the single vehicle driving in the centre lane with nothing in front for 1/2 a mile whom I have approached whilst in L1, I will not move all the way over to L3 to go round. :x


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 21:49 
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tinytim wrote:
They don't tend to have the same safety standards on their vehicles,


They were the first to introduce laminated windscreens
The first to introduce seat belts
The first to introduce laminated screens
The first to introduce airbags
The first to introduce adjustable foot pedals

In the 60s they introduced a seatbelt interlock that prevented you from starting the car without your belt on

Apart form that they are miles behind.... :?

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