According to Republic Act 4136, also known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, overtaking on a crest of a grade or upon a curve where the view of a driver is obstructed within a distance of 500 feet ahead is generally prohibited, especially on a highway. It’s unsafe and prohibited by law. It is also highly risky and is the perfect recipe for head-on collisions and other accidents. After all, curves in the road can obscure the view of what lies ahead, leaving the driver with limited visibility of oncoming traffic and making it challenging to assess the safety of overtaking.
But, overtaking is not always prohibited. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has accepted it as a necessary but risky maneuver. It’s allowed in certain situations, but it has to be done properly. Even overtaking on a curve or a hill may be allowed in certain situations. After all, the goal of LTO regulations is to simply prevent accidents and collisions, and ensure the smooth flow of traffic.
Overtaking Rules under the Republic Act 4136
Since 1964, Republic Act 4136 has been basically serving as the bible for land transportation and traffic regulation in the country. The law encompasses various aspects of road safety, vehicle registration, and driver conduct. It also addresses going past another car under Article II, Sections 39-41: Overtaking and Passing a Vehicle, and Turning at Intersections.
These sections cover the following LTO rules and regulations on overtaking and passing vehicles on Philippine roads:
If you want to go past a car in front of you, you should do it on the left side, and make sure you are far enough away from that car. After passing, you shouldn’t go back to the right side of the road until you are completely safe and clear of the other car.
If another car is coming up behind you and wants to pass, you should let them by. The driver will probably give a signal, like honking the horn, to let you know they want to pass. Don’t speed up until the other car has safely gone past you.
No Passing in Certain Places
There are some places where it’s not safe to pass other vehicles. For example, you shouldn’t overtake on a curve or a hill where you can’t see far ahead. Also, you should never pass another car near a railway crossing or at an intersection unless it’s allowed by traffic signals or someone like a police officer says it’s okay.
Watch for Signs
Sometimes, there are signs on the road that tell you if it’s okay to pass or not. If you see signs saying you can’t pass, it’s important to follow those rules.
Overtaking Rules on a Curve
According to Article II, Section 41(b) of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, here are some specific rules to observe when overtaking on a curve:
- You can’t pass another car when you’re about to go over the top of a hill (crest of a grade) or on a curve in the road.
- If you can’t see clearly for at least 500 feet ahead of you, it’s a no-go.
- You’re not allowed to overtake any vehicle when you’re approaching a railway crossing to make sure everyone stays safe, especially when there’s a train nearby.
- Generally, you shouldn’t overtake at intersections, unless there are traffic signals, a watchman, or a police officer guiding the traffic.
- There are certain areas on the road marked as “no-passing zones” where overtaking is not allowed for safety purposes.
- Passing between points marked by temporary warning signs or in areas where roadwork is happening is also a big no as there might be changes or obstacles on the road.
Exceptions on Multiple Lanes
But here’s the thing – if you’re on a road with two or more lanes going in the same direction, then you can overtake or pass another vehicle, even on a hill or a curve. In this case, you have more space to do it safely.
Business or Residential Districts
Now, in areas with a bunch of buildings or houses (business or residential districts) where there are two or more lanes going in the same direction, you can pass another vehicle on the right side. It’s like having more options to maneuver.
Enforcement by the Land Transportation Office (LTO)
The Land Transportation Office plays a pivotal role in enforcing Republic Act 4136, including the overtaking rules. Through rigorous monitoring, roadside inspections, and educational campaigns, the LTO aims to ensure compliance with traffic regulations, including the prohibition from overtaking on curves. Strict enforcement is essential to maintain order on the roads and safeguard the well-being of both drivers and pedestrians.
In addition to enforcement, the LTO enforces the need for comprehensive educational initiatives to raise awareness about the dangers of overtaking on curves. Public campaigns, driver education programs, and information dissemination efforts contribute to creating a culture of responsible driving. Understanding the rationale behind this prohibition fosters a sense of shared responsibility among motorists.
Implications for Drivers
Drivers are expected to adhere to the prohibition on overtaking on a curve to avoid accidents and promote a smoother flow of traffic. Violating this rule can result in penalties, fines, and even the suspension of driving privileges. It is crucial for motorists to exercise prudence and patience, especially when navigating winding roads or blind curves.
Fines and Penalties
For violations like illegal overtaking, overtaking at unsafe distance, cutting an overtaken vehicle, failure to give way to an overtaking vehicle, increasing speed when being overtaken, overtaking when left side is not visible or clear of oncoming traffic, overtaking upon a crest of a grade, overtaking upon a curve, overtaking at any railway grade crossing, overtaking at an intersection, overtaking on “men working” or “caution” sign, and overtaking at no overtaking zone, you will be fined: Php 1,000.
Overtaking on a curve poses inherent risks, as the driver’s line of sight is limited, increasing the likelihood of collisions. But, according to Republic Act 4136—the cornerstone in shaping responsible driving habits—the prohibition from overtaking on a curve, as outlined in this legislation, may be allowed under the right conditions, like if the driver has a clear line of sight, there’s no oncoming traffic, and the driver can ensure the safety of the maneuver like on roads with multiple lanes going on the same direction. In such cases, the law does not have anything against overtaking, even on curves or hills. The idea is to make sure that it is safe to pass and that you avoid doing it in tricky or dangerous spots and fulfill the drivers’ legal obligation and shared commitment to keeping the roads safe for everyone.