Driving in the yellow lane has become the norm in South Africa, especially when driving on major highways.
The purpose of this particular lane was created for a very different to what drivers actually use it for and if you are uncertain of the laws around driving in the yellow lane, carry on reading.
According to the National Road Traffic Act, it’s illegal to drive within the yellow line, except for the following instances:
- If there is a breakdown or medical emergency
- On a highway, only emergency vehicles may use the yellow lane or motorists who face the above emergencies.
Trucks and Commercial Vehicles
Many motorists believe that trucks and slower commercial vehicles are obligated to drive in the yellow line in order to give way to overtaking motorists, however, this is not the case. In actual fact, this is a courtesy conducted by truck or bus drivers, as the yellow lane is only meant for emergency breakdowns or medical emergencies.
Passing over the yellow lane
“Keep left, pass right” is an old adage that many of us were taught when we were learning to drive, and this rule still applies today. Motorists may not use the yellow lane to pass slower drivers as overtaking should always be performed in the right lane.
Motorists may use the yellow lane to make way for faster drivers (while adhering to the speed limit), however, this can only be conducted on single carriageways and only if it is safe to do so, during daylight hours and if you have 150 m of visibility in front of you.
It’s important to remember that while using the yellow lane to allow other vehicles to pass is permissible to prevent traffic from backing up, this is considered courteous driving and not a legal requirement. If the driver feels that moving into the yellow lane is not safe, he or she can make the decision not to move over.