Rules for Overtaking on Roads and Freeways

As a driver, before overtaking or going around an obstacle on the road or freeway, make sure you can carry out the maneuver safely. You must also observe the following rules when overtaking.

Basic Rules

When overtaking:

  • The roadway must have a single dotted line or double lines with a dotted line on the driver's side, either yellow or white*.

  • You must use the left-hand lane or the oncoming lane.

  • On a road with one lane in each direction, you must signal your intention using the direction-change lights (flashing) and return quickly to your lane, still signaling your intention.

  • Make sure you have enough time, distance, and visibility to carry out your maneuver safely.

Note that if you are being overtaken or are about to be overtaken, you must not increase the speed of your vehicle.

General notice

Limite de vitesse

Remember that the posted speed limit remains in force even when overtaking.

*However, it is allowed to cross a single or double solid line to overtake:

  • an agricultural machine;

  • a road vehicle equipped with a slow-moving traffic warning sign (orange triangle);

  • an animal-drawn vehicle;

  • a cyclist;

  • a pedestrian;

  • an electric scooter or other motorized personal transport device (e.g., a gyro-wheel).

General notice

Crossing a Continuous Line Can Cost You Dearly

In the event of a violation, you could add three demerit points to your record and pay a fine ranging from $200 to $300. To find out more, see the consequences of crossing a solid line This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Exceptions for Overtaking on the Right

You cannot overtake a vehicle on the right unless that vehicle:

  • is making a left turn and you can do so without driving on the shoulder;

  • is heading for a left exit lane;

  • clears or maintains the left lane of a roadway with two or more lanes in the same direction.​

Overtaking a Cyclist, Electric Scooter, or Pedestrian

You may not overtake a cyclist, electric scooter, or pedestrian unless it is safe to do so. So, if a vehicle comes up to you, you must stay in your lane and reduce your speed, staying behind the bike, scooter, or pedestrian.

When overtaking, you must first reduce your speed and keep a reasonable distance between your vehicle and the cyclist, electric scooter, or pedestrian. In other words, you need to keep:

  • 1 m on roads where the speed limit is 50 km/h or less;

  • 1.5 m on roads where the speed limit is over 50 km/h.

You do not have to respect this distance when the cyclist, electric scooter, or pedestrian is riding in an area separated from the roadway by an elevated device (e.g. bike lane protected by a curb).

Overtaking an Escorted Group of Vehicles During an Incident

When you pass a group of people escorted by vehicles and taking part in an exceptional incident, a test, or a sporting competition, you may not overtake them, unless at least one of the following two conditions is present:

  • You can use a free lane in the travelling direction l (on a road with two or more lanes in each direction). You must then reduce your speed.

  • A peace officer authorizes you to do so (on a road with one lane in each direction).

Last update: April 29, 2024

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