Professional Driver's Handbook

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Passing and being passed

Passing: On occasion, drivers of commercial vehicles are guilty of breaches of driving etiquette, which can irritate the motoring public. For example, one commercial vehicle may pass another when the speed differential is so slight that it takes a long time to complete the pass. In doing this, the passing truck occupies the fast traffic lane when it is not absolutely necessary, thus causing the following traffic to reduce its speed, resulting in bunching. Bunching on freeways and fast highways is a potential hazard.



Being passed: Do not direct the vehicle following you to pass; let the driver make their own driving decision. You may be encouraging a driver with limited experience to drive over their ability.

Being passed


Do not encourage following traffic to overtake your vehicle when it would necessitate their crossing over solid lines.

When the driver does make their move, help them complete the pass. Reduce your speed if necessary. While driving beside your vehicle, the driver who is attempting to pass you is occupying the space you may need for an emergency out!

Large commercial vehicles have a louder exhaust resonance than passenger vehicles. Their size and highway noise often give the impression that they are travelling faster than they actually are. When passing passenger vehicles, the professional driver observes speed limits carefully, and guards against startling the inexperienced or nervous driver.

Large commercial vehicles travelling at high speeds create varying degrees of air turbulence that can be hazardous to smaller passenger vehicles. A car riding directly in front of the truck, beside the fuel tank area or at the immediate rear of the trailer, is in an area of air turbulence.

Be alert for the driver who rides in these areas. They may be forced off a narrow roadway or drawn into the side of the vehicle.

Being passed


Passing on the right

Passing on the right is permitted only:

  • when overtaking another vehicle making a left turn or signalling intent to make a left turn
  • on one-way traffic streets
  • on streets and highways marked for multi-lanes

You must not drive off the roadway onto the shoulder to pass another vehicle.


Rev: 2017