2021 Colorado Code
Title 42 - Vehicles and Traffic
Article 4 - Regulation of Vehicles and Traffic
Part 10 - Driving - Overtaking - Passing
§ 42-4-1005. Limitations on Overtaking on the Left

Universal Citation: CO Code § 42-4-1005 (2021)
  1. No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless authorized by the provisions of this article and unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completed without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken. In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and, in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within two hundred feet of any approaching vehicle.
  2. No vehicle shall be driven on the left side of the roadway under the following conditions:
    1. When approaching or upon the crest of a grade or a curve in the highway where the driver's view is obstructed within such distance as to create a hazard in the event another vehicle might approach from the opposite direction;
    2. When approaching within one hundred feet of or traversing any intersection or railroad grade crossing; or
    3. When the view is obstructed upon approaching within one hundred feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.
  3. The department of transportation and local authorities are authorized to determine those portions of any highway under their respective jurisdictions where overtaking and passing or driving on the left side of the roadway would be especially hazardous and may by appropriate signs or markings on the roadway indicate the beginning and end of such zones. Where such signs or markings are in place to define a no-passing zone and such signs or markings are clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person, no driver shall drive on the left side of the roadway within such no-passing zone or on the left side of any pavement striping designed to mark such no-passing zone throughout its length.
  4. The provisions of this section shall not apply:
    1. Upon a one-way roadway;
    2. Under the conditions described in section 42-4-1001 (1)(b);
    3. To the driver of a vehicle turning left into or from an alley, private road, or driveway when such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with, impeding, or endangering other traffic lawfully using the highway; or
    4. To the driver of a vehicle passing a bicyclist moving the same direction and in the same lane when such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with, impeding, or endangering other traffic lawfully using the highway.
  5. 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. 2359, § 1, effective January 1, 1995. L. 2009: (4)(d) added, (SB 09-148), ch. 239, p. 1088, § 4, effective August 5.

Editor's note:

This section is similar to former § 42-4-905 as it existed prior to 1994, and the former § 42-4-1005 was relocated to § 42-4-1105 .


Annotator's note. Since § 42-4-1005 is similar to § 42-4-905 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.

The purpose of this section is to restrict traffic to its proper lane if, for example, the view ahead is obstructed by a grade or curve. Globe Cereal Mills v. Scrivener, 240 F.2d 330 (10th Cir. 1956).

No vehicle shall at any time be driven on the left side of the roadway when the prohibited conditions exist. This section also is clearly intended to apply to a two-way or two-lane highway for the avoidance of traffic coming from the opposite direction and does not make sensible application to two lanes for traffic all going in the same direction. Wilson v. Stroh, 121 Colo. 411 , 216 P.2d 999.

Vehicles approaching an intersection must remain in or return to the right lane within 100 feet to remain free of negligence per se. Since operators of motor vehicles often make left turns at intersections and vehicles traveling in the same direction which attempt to pass the turning vehicle on its left may collide with it. This is true whether the passing vehicle is “driven to” or is “driven on” the left side of the highway; within 100, 200, or 300 feet before reaching the point of impact — the intersection. Bd. of County Comm'rs v. F. H. Linneman, Inc., 170 Colo. 130 , 459 P.2d 277 (1969).

Instruction using this section is proper. In an action for personal injuries sustained by passenger in automobile which collided with car that had negligently stopped in center of highway, it was held that evidence warranted an instruction wherein court gave this section concerning the passing of a car on the left. Jaeckel v. Funk, 111 Colo. 179 , 138 P.2d 939 (1943).

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Colorado may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.