Delaware Code Title 21. Motor Vehicles § 4116. Overtaking a vehicle or bicycle on the left

The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles and bicycles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions and special rules hereinafter stated:

(1) On a roadway with at least 2 travel lanes proceeding in the same direction and if a travel lane proceeding in the same direction exists to the left, the driver of the overtaking vehicle shall, yielding the right-of-way and proceeding with caution, move completely into the lane to the left before passing.

(2) On a roadway with only 1 travel lane proceeding in a given direction and where that travel lane is too narrow for an overtaking vehicle to travel safely side-by-side within the lane with the overtaken vehicle or bicycle, the driver of the overtaking vehicle shall move completely into the lane to the left before passing.  The driver of the overtaking vehicle shall only make this movement if it can be accomplished while obeying the limitations described in §§ 4118 through 4120 of this title.

(3) On a roadway with only 1 travel lane proceeding in a given direction and where that travel lane is both wide enough for an overtaking vehicle to travel safely side-by-side within the lane with the overtaken vehicle or bicycle and where the vehicle or bicycle to be overtaken is also positioned in the right part of the lane leaving sufficient space for safe passing within the travel lane, the driver of the overtaking vehicle shall:

a. Reduce speed while passing in order to lessen the speed differential between the overtaking vehicle and the overtaken vehicle or bicycle;

b. Pass to the left of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle at a reasonable and prudent distance, which shall in any case never be less than 3 feet;  and

c. Return to a normal position in the travel lane only when safely clear of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle.

(4) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle or operator of an overtaken bicycle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of the vehicle or bicycle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

(5) A person who violates this section by driving below the posted speed limit in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the ability of 1 or more vehicles to pass, except when such person is making a legal left turn or otherwise lawfully exiting the road to the left, shall be penalized as provided in § 4205 of this title.


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