2021 Colorado Code
Title 42 - Vehicles and Traffic
Article 4 - Regulation of Vehicles and Traffic
Part 10 - Driving - Overtaking - Passing
§ 42-4-1003. Overtaking a Vehicle on the Left

Universal Citation: CO Code § 42-4-1003 (2021)
  1. The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to the limitations, exceptions, and special rules stated in this section and sections 42-4-1004 to 42-4-1008:
    1. The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left of the vehicle at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.
    2. The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction shall allow the bicyclist at least a three-foot separation between the right side of the driver's vehicle, including all mirrors or other projections, and the left side of the bicyclist at all times.
    3. Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of the driver's vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
  2. Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.

History. Source: L. 94: Entire title amended with relocations, p. 2358, § 1, effective January 1, 1995. L. 2009: (1) amended, (SB 09-148), ch. 239, p. 1088, § 2, effective August 5.

Editor's note:

This section is similar to former § 42-4-903 as it existed prior to 1994, and the former § 42-4-1003 was relocated to § 42-4-1103 .


Annotator's note. Since § 42-4-1003 is similar to § 42-4-903 as it existed prior to the 1994 amending of title 42 as enacted by SB 94-1, relevant cases construing that provision have been included with the annotations to this section.

Forward automobile not required to turn further to right. Under this section it would seem clear that where the left half of the roadway is clear and the forward automobile is on the right half thereof, the driver of the latter is not required to turn further to the right upon hearing a passing signal given by the driver of an overtaking car. Vasquez v. Morrow, 106 Colo. 540 , 107 P.2d 246.

Failure to turn does not justify overtaking vehicle to drive into collision. The mere failure of the driver of an overtaken vehicle to turn to the right does not justify the operator of the overtaking vehicle to drive on into a collision with the first. Vasquez v. Morrow, 106 Colo. 540 , 107 P.2d 246 (1940).

Situation in which section not applicable. Where plaintiff attempted to pass defendants' truck within 200 feet of an intersection on a four-lane, divided highway and defendants' driver attempted to make a U-turn in front of plaintiff without giving a warning signal, although plaintiff gave all signals customarily used in indicating that he was about to pass, this section did not apply and defendants' negligence was the proximate cause of a collision between the vehicles of the parties. Wilson v. Stroh, 121 Colo. 411 , 216 P.2d 999 (1950).

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