General Question

gondwanalon's avatar

Is it legal to pass another vehicle on the center divide of a road?

Asked by gondwanalon (22895points) January 28th, 2024
15 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

This morning my wife and I were on our way to go canoe paddling.
A car tailgated our Ford F-150 into a roundabout and then passed us by crossing a solid yellow line and into the center divide of the rode while I was accelerating out of the roundabout.

I’ve never seen that done before and I’ve been driving for 57 years.

My wife said that she didn’t think it was illegal but according to:

“Passing is illegal when “The center line is a double solid yellow line or there is a solid yellow line on your side”.

See my dash cam video:

Drive safely.

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Zaku's avatar

No, it’s not legal to use a center turn lane to overtake traffic.

For example, see this law firm’s site about the question:

jca2's avatar

I’d say definitely illegal. Passing over a double yellow is illegal.

gorillapaws's avatar

Illegal. Also (as an aside) It’s pretty cool that you and your wife get out and do cool stuff like canning together.

JLeslie's avatar

Sounds ilegal to me if I understood your description correctly.

The center divide is not for passing. Is the divide a turning lane there?

@Zaku I’m missing something. Your link says it’s illegal.

Forever_Free's avatar

No legal to pass in a lane designated for turning. It was also marked by a solid line which indicated no passing. They have many of those in New England small towns higher traffic areas. It’s also prone for accidents.

gondwanalon's avatar

Thanks for all the responses.

I wonder if there are other drivers out there that think it’s OK to pass by going into the center divide.

My wife said that she didn’t see anything wrong with it (passing in the center of a divided road). Apparently the car that passed us either thought it was OK or didn’t care. At first I wasn’t 100% sure and never seen anyone doing that.

I’m use to seeing divers blowing through stop signs/signals, doing unsafe lane changes, tailgating and other aggressive driving. This aggressive driving is a new one for me.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m guessing they just wanted to go faster than you and might very well know it’s illegal. That move seems very unsafe to me though if it is an area where cars are coming in and out of that lane from different directions.

The other day a friend of mine was driving me somewhere and she got all bent out of shape when she was waiting to make a left from the main lane (there is no left turn lane) a car behind us went around on the right using the multimodal lane and a bit of the main lane. It’s illegal, but I didn’t feel it was unsafe, I don’t know why she had such a hissy fit except that she tends to be very controlling. The multimodal lane has road traffic moving in the same direction and there was no intersecting road on the right where new traffic could come in.

Multimodal is for golf carts and bicycles.

jca2's avatar

I find that now, drivers tend to disregard what were always traditional rules of the road. I feel bad for kids learning how to drive now, because rules seem to be out the window and other drivers are more unpredictible than ever. Stop signs are treated like yield signs now and yield signs are disregarded.

@JLeslie I think I would have gone around your friend, too. I don’t think the other driver did anything wrong. If someone is turning left, and I have room on the right to pass, I probably would as long as nothing is coming of course.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 Exactly. If it had been two car lanes it would be perfectly legal, it’s just technically cars can’t drive on multimodal lanes.

If a cop gave a ticket for that I think it would be unreasonable.

SnipSnip's avatar

No legal. Solid yellow lines are rarely crossed legally.

Zaku's avatar

@JLeslie My link says it’s illegal, and so did I. What are you missing?

JLeslie's avatar

@Zaku You’re right. I read what you wrote incorrectly. Might be my covid brain right now.

SnipSnip's avatar

In the states where I have lived, it is legal to cross solid lines to access driveways. I do not think it should be legal even then. At first it was for delivery and commercial vehicles but now even residents can regularly cross the solid lines to turn into their driveway. I never wondered about coming out of the driveway to go left.

seawulf575's avatar

I guess you’d have to check your state laws, but as far as I know, using the suicide lane (center turn lane) to pass is illegal.

kritiper's avatar


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