Driving Over A Painted Island To Pass An Obstruction| K53 Blog

I was told today that someone failed the K53 Driving Licence test because she drove onto a painted traffic island to pass a stationary truck that was parked in the way, with no driver in the cab.

A painted island is something like the white No Crossing double-line marking – in a way. You may not allow any part of your vehicle to cross the No Crossing marking for any reason. The same applies to a painted island marking.

A single white No Overtaking line has some exceptions to the rule that you may not cross the line to overtake another vehicle. One such exception says that you may cross the No Overtaking line to pass any stationary obstruction in the roadway, if it is safe to do so.

However, that exception is not stated in the official regulations for a painted traffic island marking. So the rule is: DO NOT DRIVE ON the painted island marking.


So, what should this learner driver have done?

There is no specific K53 action spelled out for this kind of situation, but here is what I (unofficially) suggest for this, and any other situation of a similar nature.

There is a regulation, as spelled out in the preparation manuals and CD mentioned on this website, that the instructions of a traffic offer overrule those of any road sign or rule of the road. So, here’s a suggestion:

  • Stop behind the obstructing vehicle.
  • Tell the examiner (usually an authorised traffic officer) that you know that the rule is that you are not allowed to drive onto a painted island, but there is no other way to get past the stationary obstruction.
  • You also know that a traffic officer can overrule any road sign or marking.
  • So, your choices are to sit there and wait until the obstruction is cleared – which might take some hours – and probably cause a traffic congestion behind you, OR for him/her to give you an instruction that you must drive onto the island to get past. Then wait for your instruction.
  • Handling it in this way should keep you ‘legal’.


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