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what does 'undertaking' mean?

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cupboardie | 00:40 Mon 20th Nov 2006 | Motoring
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can you tell me what undertaking means please?

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It means overtaking another vehicle on the 'wrong' side - on the left of the other car instead of the right.
Ethel is right as usual, if you do it to often you might need an udertaker though.
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is it not allowed even on a 4 lane motorway for example? (dont worry i'm not a driver yet!)
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mdoo98

"Overtaking on the inside is quite legal" - this is a common misconception based on the fact that there is no actual law that forbids it.

However the police and the CPS take a different view and there is an agreement between the Police and the CPS that overtaking on the inside may be used to support a charge of careless driving.

See here:

http://www.acpo.police.uk/asp/policies/Data/rd _death_manual_v2_2004_updated_19x04x04.pdf

(section 3.3)

Wrong above I'm afraid!

Undertaking is using the undertaking lane that is common on European roads , to pull over to let a faster vehicle overtake. It is NOT overtaking on the left, Undertaking is a completely different thing. It's very rare in Britain as most road do not have undertaking lanes, it is very common in the ROI though. Overtaking on the left is NOT undertaking.
Wrong on the above I'm afraid

In the UK undertaking is used to describe a passing manoevre in which the car passes on the left rather than the right.
A variety of views here, this is my take.

You may pass on the nearside of another vehicle in the UK on four occasions.
1. Slow moving traffic e.g. lane 3 of Mway brakes hard and you in lane 2 actually pass him on his nearside = ok.

2. If you want to turn left and the car on your offside is stationary.

3. When the car on your offside is waiting to turn right and you pass by on his nearside because you wish to go straight on.

4. In a one way street - but not a dual carriageway.

Overtaking on the nearside, which is not good driving, is for example when one is in lane 3 of the mway and the vehicle in front is travelling at say 50 mph. You move to lane 2 and pass at a greater speed on that vehicles nearside rejoining lane 3 at the now faster, yet still legal, 70 mph.

Not a specific offence but advice in the HC which if that manoeuvre goes pear shaped as in a collision is excellent evidence to support a charge of WDC or Dangerous.

What do you think?
From a debate in the House of Lords:

Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, overtaking on the inside is against the law. Significant stretches of our motorways are under surveillance. The driver of a vehicle who deliberately comes up behind another vehicle in a middle or outside lane and then swerves inside to overtake could easily be charged with careless driving.


Lord Elton: My Lords, will the noble Lord kindly write to me�he will not have the information at his fingertips�to say when it was made illegal to overtake on the inside? Many of us have been saying that it should be made illegal but were told that it would not be done.


Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, the actual manoeuvre of one vehicle going past another in the inside lane because there might be a slow-down in the outside lane, and the inside lane is continuing to move, is not illegal. Deliberately setting out to pass a vehicle by moving from one lane to another to go inside it and to go past leaves open the possibility that such a manoeuvre appears to be careless driving, and it could be subject to such a charge.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200 304/ldhansrd/vo040209/text/40209-03.htm
I agree with mdoo. Quote is from the Highway Code.

242: Do not overtake on the left or move to a lane on your left to overtake. In congested conditions, where adjacent lanes of traffic are moving at similar speeds, traffic in left-hand lanes may sometimes be moving faster than traffic to the right. In these conditions you may keep up with the traffic in your lane even if this means passing traffic in the lane to your right. Do not weave in and out of lanes to overtake.

I think jake is talking about something different.
Kind of.

Basically congested conditions i.e. with traffic moving slowly is OK

Shooting past a middle lane cruiser on the inside of the motorway at 80 is not.
On a certain stretch of the M25 near Heathrow airport you often see signs on the gantries telling drivers to keep in their current lane and not to switch. In a case like this it invites drivers to undertake.
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The highway code does not mention undertaking, it does however mention overtaking on the nearside. Have we got it yet? undertaking is not what most of you are talking about. Tha's the point I tried in vain to make above. Tubeway: Can you show me where the word "undertaking" is used in the terms you describe in any official publication.
Does anybody else get the feeling we're all violently agreeing with each other?
I am even more confused than I was in the beginning..
Undertaking is a term that is being used a lot and is confusing a lot of people.
It is illegal to pass a vehicle on the inside if you then move in front of the vehicle. (Basically what you tend to see repmobiles and vans doing a lot of on motorways because they can't afford to be more than 3 seconds late).
If you are in a contraflow or amongst slow moving traffic you are permitted to pass a vehicle in the lane outside to you as long as you stay in your lane.
Hope this helps.
Ahhh..now I get it, thank you :o)
ahh... good, pippa68 gets it. now i'm still a little unsure. could someone run that by me again????
Undertaking means a whole lot of trouble for the poor motorway users who have to put up with those who choose to lane hog. Get out of the middle or outside lane so no one will have to undertake you. Lane hogging is more dangerous and has a higher causitive factor than undertaking even though the person who is likeley to have the accident is the poor soul simply trying to make a journey. Those who lane hog are inconsiderate, rude, have low attention spans and frankly do care one bit about any other road users, shame on you all!!!

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