Are trucks obliged to move into the yellow lane? We have the answer
Most South Africans have experienced the following annoying scenario: being held up by a truck that appears to be moving at the speed of a tortoise.
This tends to raise the blood pressure of the motorist, who may well be tempted to shake his fist and scream: “Move over!” But should the truck driver really pull his rig into the yellow lane?
According to Ryan Gaines, CEO of City Logistics, myths abound when it comes to yellow lane driving.
“Many motorists blame trucks for causing congestion on the roads and apply pressure to drivers to make way for passenger vehicles. The perception of some passenger vehicle drivers is that there is a legal requirement for slow-moving trucks to move into the yellow lane to allow for passing traffic, but this simply isn’t true,” he reveals.
Regulation 298A of the National Road Traffic Act stipulates that yellow lane driving is forbidden for motorists to use on a freeway as a passing lane. However, emergency vehicles may legally use the yellow lane on freeways, and if a motorist has a genuine emergency (a breakdown or the need to rush to a hospital, for instance), yellow lane driving is permissible.
However, on single-lane carriageways, vehicles may move over to the yellow lane to allow faster vehicles to pass. There are a number of provisos though.
This can only happen if it is safe and there’s no chance of endangering anyone’s life. Furthermore, road users must be able to see at least 150m ahead. This means that yellow lane driving is not allowed during heavy rain and fog or immediately ahead of a blind rise. For the same reason (a lack of visibility), yellow lane driving is also not allowed at night; it’s only legal during daylight hours.
“You may find truck drivers choosing to create space for fellow road users by moving into the yellow lane. But only under the right conditions and when it is 100% safe and legal to do so,” comments Gaines.
“It’s important to keep in mind that it’s a form of courteous driving and certainly not a legal requirement,” he adds.
So the next time you berate a truck for not moving over into the yellow lane, understand that these professional truck drivers put the safety of motorists above courtesy.
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