Double white lines - what to do?

Schneil

Veteran
Location
Stockport
Hi all

Hope I'm not asking a stupidly obvious question here. How do you position yourself on a road with double white lines? They're normally put on roads where it would be dangerous to overtake as there's a blind bend or hill, or the lane is narrow. I've had a few scary experiences on them where a driver has overtaken me, and given me a close shave. The highway code states:
"129

Double white lines where the line nearest you is solid. This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less.
[Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 26]"


Do you take the lane? Or remain in secondary? Do you pull in every so often to avoid a tailback?
What's best cycling practice? (a.k.a idiot driver management)

I'm normally on an audax bike so usually crusing between 15 and 25mph
 

martint235

Dog on a bike
Location
Welling
All depends on the circumstance really. There are too many variables to be able to comment properly. If you're in a situation where you feel you are safer taking the lane then do so. It is up to the driver behind you to overtake you in a safe manner regardless of where you choose to be on the road.

That said if I notice a build up of traffic behind me or a big truck that's going to have difficulty with an overtake, I'll look for somewhere safe to pull in a let it past. But then I'm just nice like that. :thumbsup:
 
OP
S

Schneil

Veteran
Location
Stockport
Yes I agree, it does depend on circumstance. It definitely takes balls to take the lane on a narrow NSL road, I think they do have a high accident rate though.
 

Kiwiavenger

im a little tea pot
I always take the lane and TT it until I find a safe place to pull in or the road widens sufficiently foe them to overtake. Cruising the A38 at 25 mph by trago mills is fun and scary at the same time!!

Also if im doing over 25 mph I will take primary all the time!
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
Take the lane.

It's legal for motor vehicles to cross the white line to overtake bikes. If they do and you've taken the lane you have room on your left to get out of the way when they get it wrong.

Expect some flack (hooting etc.) but most drivers will be glad you've taken their decision for them. (If you're sensible about getting out of the way when it's safe).
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I often stop for tea
Location
East Devon
You just need to be far out enough that a driver has to cross the line to pass. Once the psychological barrier of the white line is broken, they'll give you a decent berth. It's entirely up to the driver to decide when to overtake safely. The highway code also says that slow moving vehicles should allow others to pass, so pulling in occasionally might be appropriate.
 
Surprisingly few drivers know that they can cross the line to overtake a bike if it is safe, so I am all for being far enough out from the edge of the road to make them go over the line. If you don't, there are still plenty of drivers who will try to squeeze past without crossing the line.
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
Surprisingly few drivers know that they can cross the line to overtake a bike if it is safe, so I am all for being far enough out from the edge of the road to make them go over the line. If you don't, there are still plenty of drivers who will try to squeeze past without crossing the line.
Certainly that's the most important reason for taking the lane.

On occasions when I've left too much room I've had to get out of the way because of this, whereas if drivers need to cross the line they wait 'til it's safe (usually).

Round here most seem to know the rules, if only because they apply to tractors too.
 
All depends on the circumstances. Some double white lines, there is plenty of room for a vehicle to pass a cyclist, other times there is not. If I know that the driver is going to cause a crash (this is sometimes simply because you can hear something, see something (in the dark this is headlights), or have just been watching the road better than they have) then I will block the driver from overtaking me before they try. Its a major risk and usually they get really irrate with you for about 5-10 seconds until they realise what I was doing, but then about 50% will have the decency to say thank you - BUT I only do this if I know there is going to be an accident if something is not done. (This came about from witnessing too many near misses/smashed wing mirrors on a particularly bad bend on my commute home.) Otherwise, I will hold out and pull back over once I can see around the bend if it is clear. If there is sufficient room, well assuming grids/holes are not an issue then I give myself around 12" space and let them get on with it.
 
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User6179

Guest
Block the lane if its narrow but move in at first available opportunity to allow cars to pass( side road usually) , its NOT legal to cross the unbroken double white lines to overtake a cyclist if the cyclist is doing more than 10mph but I doubt many motorist will know this.
 
All depends on the circumstance really. There are too many variables to be able to comment properly. If you're in a situation where you feel you are safer taking the lane then do so. It is up to the driver behind you to overtake you in a safe manner regardless of where you choose to be on the road.

That said if I notice a build up of traffic behind me or a big truck that's going to have difficulty with an overtake, I'll look for somewhere safe to pull in a let it past. But then I'm just nice like that. :thumbsup:
This ^^^^^^
 

Scoosh

Velocouchiste
Moderator
Location
Edinburgh
If I can see that it is not safe to overtake, I usually indicate to the vehicle behind to 'stay back', then, when I can see it is clear, I give them a big wave on. :thumbsup:

Most appreciate this as they know that I know they are there - and looking out for their safety as well.

I should add that I don't commute and most of the drivers round these parts are very civil. ^_^
 
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