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Know your lanes

Know your lanes

Always keep to the left hand lane and do not change lanes unless you need to.

To do a lane change, you must signal in good time. The sooner you indicate your intentions, the sooner other traffic can register your intended move.

Dual Carriageways

Just because a Dual Carriageway may have 2 or 3 lanes doesn’t mean you can pick and choose!

On a two-lane dual carriageway stay in the left-hand lane. Use the right-hand lane for overtaking or turning right. After overtaking, move back to the left-hand lane when it is safe to do so.

On a three-lane dual carriageway, you may use the middle lane or the right-hand lane to overtake but return to the middle and then the left-hand lane when it is safe.

If you need to change lanes on a multi-lane carriageway, first use your mirrors and if necessary take a quick sideways glance to make sure you will not force another road user to change course or speed. When it safe to do so, signal to indicate your intentions and when clear move over.

In congested road conditions do not change lanes unnecessarily. Merging in turn is recommended but only safe when vehicles are travelling at very low speed.

Remember – always follow the signs and road markings and get into the lane as directed.


The general rule on a motorway is to always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear.

If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past. Slow-moving or speed-restricted vehicles should always remain in the left-hand lane of the carriageway unless overtaking.

Remember – you MUST NOT drive on the hard shoulder except in an emergency or if directed to do so.

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