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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Is It Illegal to Pass on the Right in New York? What the Laws Say

New York has enacted several laws to keep motorists safe, keep traffic under control, and prevent accidents.

Some of those laws state that not all ways of passing a vehicle while driving are legal.

Various forms of improper passing can result in citations, including passing on the right (in some circumstances), failing to yield in the middle of the roadway, or passing a bicyclist.

While many know that most of these different ways of passing a vehicle are illegal, there are still many questions about passing on the right.

When is it illegal to pass on the right in New York? Can someone face legal action for doing so? Here's what the state laws say.

Is It Illegal to Pass on the Right in New York?

Is It Illegal to Pass on the Right in New York?

According to New York State's Department of Motor Vehicles, motorists must drive on the right side of the road and pass other vehicles on the left.

However, certain circumstances allow drivers to pass on the right as long as it's necessary and safe.

Additionally, there are some steps car drivers should take when passing other vehicles to avoid accidents.

Conditions That Allow a Driver to Pass Another Car on the Right

As set forth in New York traffic laws, a driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another car only under these conditions:

  • The vehicle a driver plans to pass is turning or about to turn left

  • When driving on a two-way highway that is marked for two or more lanes or is wide enough and is not prohibited by traffic signs or restricted movement due to parked cars or other obstructions

  • When a one-way highway is marked for two or more lanes or is wide enough and there are no signs or obstructions to restrict the move

How to Pass on the Right: Actions a Driver Should Take

The New York State's Department of Motor Vehicles encourages drivers planning to pass others on the right to take some precautions, including looking for traffic ahead if driving through an intersection.

In addition, drivers must ensure that the approaching vehicle is not prepared to make a left turn into their path.

Any driver preparing to pass another on the right should also be on the lookout for bicyclists, bikers, in-line skaters, and pedestrians on the right side of the road.

It's also important to check mirrors, use the correct signals to change lanes, and look over the right shoulder to check for other vehicles approaching before passing on the right on roads with two or more lanes.

After a driver passes another vehicle on the right, they must quickly look over their left shoulder and signal before returning to the left lane.

What Happens If Someone Violates Such Regulations When Passing Another Car on the Right

Drivers who incur improper passes by passing other vehicles on the right under inappropriate circumstances can be punished with multiple penalties, including fines and points against driving records.

Additionally, drivers who violate the law regarding passing other vehicles on the right may face legal action if their negligent behavior harms another person.

Personal Injury Lawyers Defending Victims

Anyone who has been injured as a result of improper passes can seek professional help from a car accident attorney in Long Island NY.

Some personal injury attorneys specialize in traffic law. Therefore, victims could also hire a car accident attorney if they were injured by a negligent or careless driver and now need legal advice.

How Can The Law Office of Carl Maltese Help?

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by an improper pass, do not hesitate to contact us! The Law Office of Carl Maltese has a team of experienced attorneys ready to help you fight for your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. They can also help address other concerns such as the legality of sleeping in a car in New York and driving an ATV on the road in New York.

Our attorneys know that passing another car on the right is illegal in some circumstances. Therefore, they're prepared to help you build a strong case and hold at-fault parties liable for their negligence or misconduct!

The Law Office of Carl Maltese's car accident attorneys has handled multiple cases related to improper passing in New York. If you need legal assistance and want to fight for the best outcome possible, call us today!


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