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The Driver's Handbook

Driving on the Road

Keeping Left

When driving on any road that does not have marked lanes you must keep your vehicle as near as practicable to the far left side of the road, except:

  • when about to make or making a right turn
  • when overtaking another vehicle.

On a road marked with two or more lanes for traffic travelling in the same direction, if the speed limit is greater than 80 km/h or on any road that has a 'Keep Left Unless Overtaking' sign, you must not drive in the right lane except:

  • when overtaking another vehicle
  • when turning or about to turn to the right and you are giving a right change of direction signal
  • when avoiding an obstruction
  • when the other lanes are congested.

You must keep to the left of these lines (Examples 1 and 2). You may cross them to overtake, or enter or leave the road, or to perform a U-turn where permitted, but you must only do so if it is safe.
Dividing lines diagram example

Dividing Lines

A dividing line is a road marking formed by a white line or two parallel white lines (broken or continuous) designed to separate the parts of a road to be used by vehicles travelling in opposite directions.

Broken line (or broken line to the left of a continuous line)
You must keep to the left of these lines (Examples 1 and 2). You may cross them to overtake, or enter or leave the road, or to perform a U-turn where permitted, but you must only do so if it is safe.

Single continuous line (or single continuous line to the left of a broken line)
You must also keep to the left of these lines (Examples 4 and 5). You must not cross these lines to overtake or make a U-turn but you may cross them to:

  • enter or leave the road
  • enter a turning lane that begins immediately after the island
  • park in angle parking on the opposite side of the road.
  • to leave enough room to safely overtake a cyclist (examples 4A and 5A). 

but only if you have a clear view of approaching traffic and can do so safely.

Two continuous parallel lines (Example 6)
You must keep to the left and must not cross these lines, unless you have to avoid an obstruction or, if safe to do so, to allow enough room to safely overtake a cyclist (example 6A).

Avoiding an obstruction

You are permitted to cross single or double continuous lines in order to avoid an obstruction - this does not include a slower moving vehicle or a vehicle stopped in a line of traffic, but may include a fallen tree, a crashed vehicle, or a car that has broken down or is illegally parked. Before crossing the line, you must have a clear view of the road ahead and it must be safe. You must also be very sure you cross safely because the onus is on you to assess the danger when doing so.

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