I would like to find out if I can get a speeding fine while overtaking a truck. I went above the speed limit while I was overtaking the truck to get past as quickly as possible.
It was only a single lane so I had to go into the oncoming traffic lane to pass.
Please send me some info about this.
It is always difficult to answer this sort of question from the perspective of what the law says and what is in fact practically wise to do.
The law is quite clear that a speed limit is a speed limit and under no circumstances may one exceed it in order to execute a manoeuvre. So the answer to your question is in fact quite simple – yes, you can get a speeding fine while overtaking a truck, or any other vehicle for that matter.
On the practical and safety side of things however, it can be argued (correctly) that taking one’s time in passing a heavy motor vehicle is a very dangerous thing to do. I say this because the possibility of blow-out’s and other factors that can make a heavy motor vehicle veer off course must be considered if one drives in a defensive manner – which is what everyone should be doing. Light motor vehicles and in particular, motorcycles don’t stand a chance should a heavy motor vehicle (truck) veer into them whilst they are overtaking it. Even a “tyre shred” could be fatal in these circumstances and so it makes logical sense that one should pass and get away from the clear and present danger that heavy motor vehicles pose.
BUT, if one has to exceed the speed limit in order to overtake a truck, or any other vehicle for that matter, then one has to ask why it is that it is being overtaken in the first place. I can certainly understand why anyone would prefer to be in front of as opposed to behind a truck, but if it is travelling at the speed limit applicable to heavy vehicles over 9000kg, then it should only be travelling at a maximum of 80km/h and in most situations, this is well below the speed limit applicable to light motor vehicles – if this was on a national road.
Obviously I, above most other people, apparently including most of our traffic authorities, realise that the word “should” is the operative word here as I can tell you that less than 1% of vehicles over 9000kg stick to that limit. Public transport vehicles, such as minibus taxis and buses don’t stick to their 100km/h limit either! Most speed trapping in South Africa is aimed solely at light motor vehicles, motorcycles, etc. particularly where it is camera trapping.
The fact however is that, regardless of whether a truck is speeding or not, you should not have to break the speed limit in order to overtake it and if you do have to, then you should rather consider slowing down yourself to increase the gap between you and it; or wait until it is possible to overtake it at a speed below the speed limit.
National Chairman – Justice Project South Africa (NPC)