Home SECTION II ABOUT THE MOVEMENT OF VEHICLES CHAPTER VII OVERTAKING SECTION 3 OVERTAKING TECHNIQUE Article 85 Obligations of the driver who overtakes whilst manoeuvring

Article 85 Obligations of the driver who overtakes whilst manoeuvring

by Mark Nolan

1. When overtaking, the driver who carries it out must drive their vehicle at a speed notably superior to that of the one they intend to overtake and leave enough space to the side between them to carry it out safely (article 34.1 of the articulated text).

2. If, after starting the overtaking manoeuvre, they notice that there are circumstances that may make it difficult to finish without risk, they should quickly reduce their speed, return to their lane and warn those who follow them with the mandatory signals (article 34.2 of the articulated text).

3. The driver of the overtaking vehicle must return to their lane as soon as possible and gradually, without forcing other users to change their trajectory or speed, and warn them through the mandatory signals (article 34.3 of the articulated text).

4. When referring to pedestrians, animals, two-wheeled vehicles or animal-drawn vehicles, the manoeuvre must be performed occupying part or all of the adjacent lane of the roadway, provided that there are precise conditions to carry out the overtaking as foreseen in this regulation; in any case, the lateral separation should be no less than 1.50 metres. It is expressly forbidden to overtake when endangering or hindering cyclists travelling in the opposite direction.

Many risky situations occur due to the fact that when overtaking drivers do not take into account cyclists that drive along the hard shoulder in the opposite direction. In these cases, you must wait for them to pass before starting to overtake.

Always remember to leave a minimum separation of 1.5 metres, otherwise you should wait to overtake.


When overtaking any vehicle other than those referred to in the previous paragraph, or if it takes place in a populated zone, the driver of the vehicle to be overtaken will leave a lateral margin of safety proportional to the speed and width and characteristics of the road.


5. The driver of a two-wheeled vehicle that intends to move from one place to another must do so leaving a space of over 1.50 metres between themselves and the outermost parts of another vehicle.


6. Infringements of the rules of these requirements will be considered a serious matter, as it is foreseen in the article 65.4.c) of the articulated text. Bear in mind that the reference to the article 65.4.c) must be understood made to the article 65.4.a ), as established in the third final provision of this Regulation, introduced by section ten of the single article of the RD 965/2006, of September 1, by which the General Regulation of Circulation is modified, approved by R.D. 1428/2003, of November 21 (“B.O.E.” September 5).

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