There is a common perception among motorists that cars have right of way over trucks. Unfortunately, many motorists believe truck drivers are obligated to move out of the way of faster vehicles. This results in an expectation that truck drivers must always drive in the emergency or yellow lane to make way for cars.
To clarify this issue, it is important to look at the regulation and what it says about yellow lane driving (Regulation 298A of the National Road Traffic Act.) Ultimately, yellow lane driving is always forbidden except in certain instances:
- If there is a genuine emergency like a breakdown, when rushing to hospital or if you need to stop suddenly for a medical or other emergency.
- On a freeway, only emergency vehicles may use the yellow lane or motorists who face the above emergencies.
The yellow lane may never be used as a passing lane on a freeway, with some exceptions. On single carriageways, vehicles may move into the yellow lane to allow faster moving vehicles to pass, but only:
- To allow another vehicle to overtake.
- If there is no chance of endangering anyone’s life.
- During daylight hours.
If you have a clear 150m of visibility in front of you. Thus it may not be performed on a blind rise or in heavy rain or fog.
The MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says drivers must understand that while using the yellow lane to allow other vehicles to pass is permissible to prevent traffic from backing-up, it is courteous driving, not a legal requirement.
“If the driver of a truck feels moving into the yellow lane will endanger himself or others, he is under no obligation to do so. In turn, motorists should respect this and not pressurise drivers into making dangerous decisions.”
MasterDrive, Ethel Mohale, Tel: (011) 867-4778