By Sanette Viljoen
It is often very frustrating to get stuck behind a slow-moving car. People also expect the slow driver to move to the left over the yellow line to make it easier for vehicles to overtake. May one drive on the road shoulder to the left of the yellow line? Is it lawful to do so?
In terms of regulation 298A of the Road Traffic Act driving on the shoulder of a public road is forbidden, except in the following circumstances:
- Between sunrise and sunset on a road with only one lane in each direction a person may move to the left and drive on the road shoulder to overtake.
There are, however, conditions that govern the exception above:
- The driver must be able to do so without causing damage to himself or herself, other traffic, pedestrians or property at the side of the road.
- Vehicles on a public road must be clearly visible at a distance of 150 m, in other words, it must not be overcast or misty.
It is therefore very important to see this regulation in its entirety and to look at it realistically. On certain roads and at certain times you may not move onto the shoulder, but on a one-lane road you may drive on the shoulder while it is light and not dangerous. It is, however, not compulsory to drive on the shoulder if somebody else wants to overtake you.
One often sees a sticker at the rear of trucks indicating that it may not drive to the left of the yellow line. They have the fullest right to do so and it is not illegal for them to do so.