Theory test

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Which line indicates a prohibition on overtaking?

In popular speech, the solid line (B) is often described as a “prohibition on overtaking”. In actuality, the law does not say anything about overtaking being prohibited; solid lines are used when it is “not permitted to enter the opposite running lane” (Traffic Sign Ordinance).

However, in practice, this usually means that it is not possible to overtake, as overtaking most often requires you to cross the centre line. But it is not a prohibition on overtaking!

This could possibly be considered a catch question, but there are situations in which this knowledge is essential.

Example: You are driving behind a tractor on a country road with a solid line. The tractor drives out on the hard shoulder and you think “I can easily and safely drive past without even crossing the centre line, but I cannot overtake since the line is solid.” You therefore stay behind the tractor and cause a long queue (and maybe obstruct an ambulance). The right choice is to overtake the tractor without crossing the solid line. (If it is not possible to overtake the tractor without crossing the centre line, you have to stay behind it.)

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