Tuesday 5 September 2017


When is it OK to cross the edge lines of a road?

Ideally, a vehicle should be driven in the correct road position appropriate to the road or traffic situation.  Edge lines mark the edges of a road and provide a guide to discourage anyone from travelling on the road shoulder.  The road shoulder, to the left of edge lines, is used to define the boundary between moving traffic lanes and parking lanes, and also between traffic lanes and bicycle lanes.

While you would not normally cross the continuous edge line of a road, there are a number of situations where it is legally acceptable to cross the edge line of a road.  

1. It is OK to cross the white edge line if you are overtaking to the left of a vehicle that is turning right, or making a U-turn.  Naturally, as you approach this situation, you need to recognise the hazard and make appropriate safety checks.

2. If you are driving a slow-moving vehicle, it would be sensible to cross over the edge-line where safely possible to allow other vehicles to pass.

3. It may also be necessary to cross the edge-line when passing an obstruction on the road.

4. You can cross an edge-line and travel for up to 100 metres when you are:
·                       Entering or leaving a single lane road.
·                      Turning at an intersection from a single lane road.
·                      Stopping at the side of a road – where it is safe & legal to stop.

    5. It is worth noting that open-licenced motorcyclists can use the road shoulder to overtake slow-moving or stationary traffic, but not ride faster than 30kph when doing so.

In the situation where you are travelling along a multi-lane road, you should not cross any edge-line before turning.

It’s also quite important to know that if the edge-line is yellow, stopping or parking is prohibited.

There are penalties which cover various situations, and depend upon which offence occurred.  Apart from the obvious give-way rules that may apply, other rules such as ‘Failing to stay within a single marked lane of traffic or crossing a continuous white edge line’ also specifically apply.

In a driving test situation, it is possible to score non-critical, or worse, critical driving errors for road position errors.

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