No-Overtaking And No-Crossing Road Markings | K53 Blog

The difference between a single solid white line and a solid white double-line running in the middle of a two-way road is confusing for some people. Here are the meanings of these two important regulatory road surface markings. The black pointers in the images are to indicate the direction of travel, for clarification purposes. They do not actually appear on the road surface.


Painted down the middle of a two-way road

K53 No Overtaking LineNo overtaking line – (on your side of, or in lieu of, a white dividing broken line – see below). Do not allow any part of your vehicle to cross onto the other side of the solid line, except to gain access to or from property on the other side, or to avoid a stationary obstruction on the roadway.

K53 No-crossing lineNo-crossing line – (two parallel solid white lines). Do not allow any part of your vehicle to cross or be on the right-hand side of the solid double-line for any reason, not even to avoid an obstruction or to access property.

Further clarification

  • Both of the two markings above are regulatory markings and must be obeyed.
  • Dividing line road marking, South AfricaA broken white line running down the centre of the road is a warning marking called a Dividing Line. It indicates that this is a two-way road and that any vehicles on the other side of that line are travelling towards you. You are allowed to cross this line to overtake another vehicle, but only if it is defintely completely safe to do so.
  • No-overtaking line with centre line road markingWhere there is a solid white No Overtaking line on your side of the Dividing Line, this means that the No Overtaking line applies to you and all other vehicles travelling on your side of the Dividing Line.

  • Where the solid No Overtaking line is on the other side of the Dividing Line, vehicles approaching you from the front – i.e. on the other side of the Dividing Line – are not allowed to cross that line to overtake another vehicle, but you may do so to overtake (if it is safe, of course).


Look ahead and think ahead

It is important to look ahead before deciding to overtake the vehicle in front of you, to make sure that you will be able to complete the manoeuvre both safely and legally.

Situations to consider would include:

  • Is there enough space in front of that vehicle for you to overtake and move back to the left of the roadway again once you are well past the other vehicle? Or is there another vehicle just ahead of the one you wish to overtake, leaving no gap for you to return safely to the left saide of the road after overtaking?
  • Is there a vehicle approaching towards you on the other side of the road’s dividing line that could possibly make overtaking unsafe or risky, even though at that point there is no road marking or road sign that prohibits overtaking?
  • Does the road layout ahead suggest that there might soon be a No-overtaking line that will prohibit overtaking? e.g.
    • Is there a crest of a rise coming up some way ahead?
    • Is the road shortly going to curve to the right or left, preventing you from seeing well ahead on the road?
  • Is there in fact a road marking like the one below, warning that there is a No-overtaking or a No-crossing line on the roadway ahead? If there is, do not overtake until that upcoming solid white line has ended, and you see well enough ahead to know for sure that it will be safe to overtake.
    Never take a chance! It could result in a horrible head-on crash with injuries or death.
     photo no-overtaking-or-no-crossing-line-ahead-wm8.jpg

    Image by courtesy of LexisNexis


Other road markings, signs and signals

For information on some other important road markings and road signs, go to the blog posts heading near the top of the right column, click on the black drop-down arrow and select the K53 Road Signs category. For explanations of all the road signs, markings and traffic signals, refer to The New Official K53 Manual available at all good bookshops.

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