Police Caution Against Passing on Right 07-11-01

PHONE: 961-2305
JULY 11, 2001


Big Island police are reminding motorists that except under certain specific circumstances, it’s illegal to use the right side of the road to overtake and pass another vehicle.

Sergeant Randy Apele, acting head of the Traffic Services Section, said police will strictly enforce the law as far as passing vehicles on the right.

Apele said Section 291-C-44 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes bans overtaking and passing another vehicle on the right except:

  • When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn.
  • When traveling on a street or highway with unobstructed pavement that is not occupied by parked vehicles and that has lanes marked for two or more lines of moving vehicles in each direction — a street or highway with at least four lanes of traffic, two in each direction.
  • When traveling on a one-way street where the roadway is free from obstructions and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles.

In addition, the law states that the driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle on the right “only under conditions permitting such movement in safety.” Even then, it’s still illegal to pass on the right if the passing vehicle must drive on the shoulder of the road.

In general, Apele said: “A vehicle may not cross a solid white line onto the shoulder portion of a roadway to pass another vehicle on the right.

“Overtaking on the right is only permitted when it can occur within the boundary lines of the roadway.”

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