KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS
Issued: MAY 2005 Revised: DEC 2006
RECOMMENDED PART PRACTICES
When traffic flow along a two-lane highway is near capacity and traffic operation deteriorates, often an auxiliary lane is introduced to alleviate congestion and traffic problems. Opening a third lane (i.e., a passing or a climbing lane) introduces new traffic rules for drivers who now have two lanes in the same direction.
The primary function of an auxiliary lane is to accommodate passing manoeuvres. Consequently, all drivers travelling at their normal speeds with no intention of passing are required to utilize the right lane (i.e., the outside lane).
The Traffic Safety Act, Regulation AR 304/2002 has provisions for the operation of traffic along a highway with three lanes. Under the Act, all drivers are required to use the right (i.e., the outside) lane unless they intend to pass. The inside or centre lane is reserved for overtaking and passing maneuvers.
In Alberta, the regulation of the Act is supported with the use of the regulatory Keep Right Except to Pass sign. The sign is introduced to advise drivers that they must use the right lane except when they are passing a slower vehicle.
The use of the Keep Right Except to Pass sign at the beginning of an auxiliary lane helps to channel travelling vehicles into the right lane and improves the overall
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HIGHWAY SIGNS REGULATORY SIGNS
operation of traffic along passing and climbing lanes.
Sections 16(1)(a),(b) and (c) of Part 1, Division 4 of the Traffic Safety Act, Regulation 304/2002 provide general provisions for traffic travelling along a three-lane highway.
Based on Regulation AR 304/2002 of the Act:
16 (1) Where a roadway consists of 3 traffic
lanes, a person driving a vehicle shall not drive the vehicle in the centre traffic lane except for the following purposes:
(a) when passing another vehicle
traveling in the same direction; (b) when approaching an
intersection where that person intends to turn left (c) when a traffic control device
The Keep Right Except to Pass sign is a regulatory information sign. The sign has a rectangular shape and consists of a black message on a white background. The size of the sign is 600 mm x 750 mm and it is the only size used in such situations.
KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS
Issued: MAY 2005
Revised: DEC 2006
RB-34 600 mm x 750 mm
Black Background White Sheeting
ASTM, Type III
Guidelines for Use
It is very common that drivers approaching a passing or climbing lane are unsure of how to properly use the auxiliary lane. A common mistake is to continue to travel in the inside lane, which in consequence may cause delays to faster moving vehicles.
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It is therefore advisable to provide a regulatory Keep Right Except to Pass sign for each highway segment which has an auxiliary lane. The sign typically has applications at locations with steep grades (climbing lanes) or high traffic volumes (passing lanes) to minimize the effect of slow moving vehicles on normal traffic flow.
Guidelines for Placement
The sign is placed on the right side of the roadway at the start of the taper for the climbing lane or passing lane.
A supplementary sign may be considered for passing lanes longer than 2 km. The second sign should be placed no closer than 1 km from the end of the climbing or passing lane.
References to Standards
Typical Signing for Passing Drawings and Climbing Lanes TEB 1.58