Rules on Overtaking
The rules on overtaking on Irish Roads are fairly clearly set out in the following legislation. Our experience is that judges tend towards finding blame on the part of the overtaking car all other things being equal. This is because the primary duty is not to begin an overtaking manoeuvre unless it can be completed without risk to other road users.
S.I. No. 182/1997: ROAD TRAFFIC (TRAFFIC AND PARKING) REGULATIONS, 1997
Section 10. (1) A driver shall not overtake, or attempt to overtake, if to do so would endanger, or cause inconvenience to, any other person.
(2) A driver shall not overtake, or attempt to overtake, unless the roadway ahead of the driver—
(a) is free from approaching traffic, pedestrians and any obstruction, and
(b) is sufficiently long and wide to permit the overtaking to be completed without danger or inconvenience to other traffic or pedestrians.
(3) A driver shall not overtake, or attempt to overtake, on a stretch of roadway on which traffic sign number RUS 014 [no overtaking] has been provided.
(4) Subject to the provisions of sub-article (5), a driver shall overtake on the right and shall not move in towards the left until it is safe to do so.
(5) A driver may only overtake on the left—
( a ) where the driver of the vehicle about to be overtaken has signalled an intention to turn to the right and the driver of the overtaking vehicle intends, after overtaking, to go straight ahead or to turn to the left,
( b ) where the driver of the overtaking vehicle intends, after overtaking, to turn left at the next road junction and has signalled this intention,
( c ) in slow moving traffic, when vehicles in the traffic lane on the driver's right are moving more slowly than the overtaking vehicle.