Many of us have already fallen into such a situation on the road, including me.
At the moment, we decided to start overtaking the truck overtaking was allowed. There was no any prohibitory or restrictive road sign or restrictive road marking visible ahead and at enough distance to make safety overtaking maneuver.
But … suddenly (while overtaking the truck) a single solid line began, and a restrictive road signs is appeared on the road (the road signs means: „Overtaking of motor vehicles is prohibited – except mopeds and motorcycles without sidecar“).
So the questions arise:
- How to interpret this situation?
- Do I violate the traffic rules or do not?
If the truck was equipped with a video camera, it will record my overtaking process, crossing the solid single line (while returning in the right road lane), which is an offense in a general situation. If there was a police patrol (neat to the road sign), it is almost certain that they would stop me for improper overtaking.
But should a similar situation be construed as a violation of traffic rules, since there is no way I knew that the line would soon become solid and there will be a restrictive sign in the middle of the overtaking maneuver (as at the beginning of the maneuver, because of the truck, I had no visibility of the road marking and the road sign)?
The answer is: Overtaking in this specific case should not be perceived as a traffic offense.
According to the traffic rules, I must stop the overtaking maneuver if I am not able to return safely the vacated lane. But in this case I can finish safely the maneuver, as there is a great visibility on the road ahead, overtaking was allowed when I started it (no other obstacle on the road or another road users, that to require stopping the movement or to prevent my safe returning in the vacated lane). When I started overtaking maneuver I had the visibility and the right to make it and I have to finish the maneuver, if I do not endanger other road users.
In a real situation, it is impossible to determine in advance when the road marking will change it type and a road sign prohibiting overtaking will be appear, unless the driver has direct visibility on the road (at the moment of the beginning of the maneuver) and he/she saw the road sign before to start overtaking.
A similar situation is controversial, how to prove such a thing and who is wrong who is right. And what should I do?
Would it was better if I decided to reduce the speed, stop overtaking and return to the vacated lane? Even if I was chosen this option, I had to be in the same situation, to cross the solid single line trying to return in the right lane. If there was an obstacle or other road user on the road in front of the truck, or other traffic situation that requires interrupted overtaking to not endanger the truck himself or another road user, then YES, the termination of overtaking might be a better choice.
In this case, however, there is not intentionally violation of the traffic rules and the current traffic conditions allow to complete the maneuver safely.
(Images and Video: www.proboknet.livejournal.com)