Good Question: Is it legal to pass someone on the right?
ROCHESTER, N .Y. (WHEC) — We see this happen all the time, mostly on two lane roads. You’re driving behind someone, that person is waiting to turn left, then you or someone else decides to go around that car about to turn.
Which leads us to this– Is it legal to pass someone on the right?
"It’s a good question you bring up, yes it is legal,” Deputy Donald Green from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office told News10NBC’s Brennan Somers.
Green said while yes it is legal to pass on the right it’s not a blanket rule. The answer isn’t always yes.
That all comes down to safety.
"That white line that splits the road from the shoulder as long as there’s enough space and you can pass along the right side using that pavement, that shoulder space, you can proceed,” Green added.
This is all broken down under state law with 3 main points. You can pass on the right when:
- When a vehicle ahead makes a left turn
- When you are on a two-way road that is marked for two or more lanes or is wide enough for two or more lanes, and passing is not prohibited by signs or restricted by parked cars or other obstructions
- When you drive on a one-way road that is marked for two or more lanes or is wide enough for two or more lanes, and passing is not prohibited by signs or restricted by parked cars or other obstructions
But that’s not all you need to remember.
"When is it not OK– if you’re passing on the right, and there’s a bicyclist going the same direction, maybe there’s a pedestrian, road sign, there’s not enough space, once your vehicle leaves the road,” Green explained. “We see this all the time that’s when it’s a violation."
Same rules also apply to go around someone waiting to turn left at an intersection. So just make sure you’re not going off the shoulder, you’re checking for any runners, bikers, people walking on the right, and also check before crossing the intersection that no one is turning in front of you.
Be safe, not sorry.