In connection with the increased incidence of road traffic accidents, the Human Rights Ombudsman pays special attention drivers on the need to perform such a dangerous and difficult manoeuvre as overtaking, strictly in accordance with the established requirements.
According to Clause 1.10 of the Highway Code of the Donetsk People’s Republic, approved by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the DPR (with amendments and additions):
overtaking is the act of one vehicle going past one or several vehicles by moving into the oncoming lane and then returning to the previously occupied lane (side of a carriageway).
The increased danger of overtaking is undoubtedly due to the fact that at the moment of moving into the lane of oncoming traffic there is a possibility of collision with an oncoming vehicle. It is such a manoeuvre as overtaking that becomes the “culprit” of most road accidents with grave consequences in the form of death of drivers and their passengers, which lead to subsequent criminal proceedings.
Meanwhile, the driver’s mistake in an objective assessment of the capabilities of his car, the distance to the oncoming vehicle, etc., is the main factor of road accidents. That is why the following requirements for overtaking have been established:
So, Clause 14.1 of the DPR Highway Code states that before overtaking, the driver must make sure that:
- a) none of the drivers of vehicles that are driving behind him and who may cause obstruct has started overtaking;
- b) a driver of a vehicle driving ahead in the same lane did not give a signal about the intention to turn (change lanes) to the left;
- c) a lane of oncoming traffic, into which a driver will move to, is free of vehicles at a distance sufficient for overtaking;
- d) after overtaking, a driver will be able to return to the occupied lane without creating an obstacle to the vehicle that the driver overtakes.
According to Clause 14.2, the driver of the overtaken vehicle is prohibited from preventing to overtake by increasing the speed of movement or by other actions.
This prescription is very relevant, since the unwillingness of one driver to “give way” to another road user who is overtaking is not uncommon.
In addition to the above requirements, the road traffic rules strictly regulate the grounds for prohibiting overtaking.
- a) at an intersection;
- b) at railway crossings and closer than 100 m in front of them;
- c) closer than 50 m before the pedestrian crossing in a built-up area and 100 m outside the built-up area;
- d) at the end of an ascent, on bridges, flyovers, overpasses, sharp turns and other sections of roads with limited visibility or in conditions of insufficient visibility;
- e) a vehicle that is overtaking or bypassing;
- f) in tunnels;
- g) on roads with two or more lanes for traffic in the same direction;
- h) a convoy of vehicles, behind which a vehicle is moving with a flashing beacon (except for orange).
However, paragraph 14.4 of the DPR Highway Code establishes a certain “freedom of action” when overtaking:
- The driver of a vehicle that is overtaking may stay in the oncoming lane if, after returning to a previously occupied lane, he has to start overtaking again, provided that he does not endanger oncoming vehicles, and also does not obstruct vehicles moving behind him at a higher speed.
Thus, when driving a vehicle, it should be remembered that road safety can only be ensured by the strict observance of traffic rules by all road users.