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Driving on the left – advice for visitors to Scotland

This web page gives advice on the correct use of single-track roads and a reminder to drive on the left when driving in Scotland.

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  • Keep left

  • Single track roads

  • Passing places

  • New rules

Important road safety advice for driving in Scotland

From driving on the left hand side, to understanding passing places, this page will give you some useful guidance for staying safe on our roads.

Helping visitors drive safely in Scotland

When you drive in another country there is a lot to keep in mind, especially when the road rules are so different.

We want you to enjoy your visit to Scotland, so please read through the important road safety information we have provided.

Always drive on the left

Circular keep left sign

Keep left when you’re starting off, or turning from one road to another

Triangular roundabout sign

If you’re entering a roundabout give way to traffic approaching from the right

Square fuel sign

After stopping for any reason (e.g. to get fuel) stay on the left when you start your journey again

Understanding passing places

Rectangular allow overtaking sign

Most single track roads are only wide enough for one vehicle

Single track road with passing places sign.

That’s why some might have special passing places

Square passing place sign

These are usually on both sides of the road at staggered intervals

No parking sign

Please don’t park in a passing place

Single track roads

Hexagonal stop sign

You should stop to let approaching traffic pass and overtake

Rectangular allow overtaking sign

If you see a vehicle coming towards you, or the driver behind wants to overtake, pull into a passing place on your left, or wait opposite a passing place on your right

Oncoming traffic priority sign

Give way to vehicles coming uphill whenever you can

Square passing place sign

If you have to let a vehicle coming towards you pass, reverse until you reach a passing place if it’s nearer to your vehicle

Triangular cyclists sign

Look out for and slow down when passing pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders

Triangular sheep sign

Watch out for sheep and wild animals

And remember...

Circular no phone sign

Don’t use your mobile phone while driving

Circular no alcohol sign

Never drink any alcohol and drive

Circular no drugs sign

Never take drugs and drive

Square fuel sign

Plan ahead before a long journey – there are often large distances between petrol stations

Important new rules

There have been changes made to the Highway Code, prioritising the following:

There’s now a new hierarchy of road users

Those who can do the most harm have the greatest responsibility

Drivers and riders have to give way to pedestrians crossing a road

In more detail:

Pedestrians and cyclists have priority when turning in and out of junctions

Drivers and riders need to give plenty of space when passing others. At least:

  • 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at up to 30mph
  • 2 metres and under 10mph for horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles
  • 2 metres and a low speed when passing pedestrians walking on a road

Cyclists can ride in the centre of the lane, or two side-by-side for their own safety

In a vehicle, the door should be opened with the hand furthest from the door, helping to make drivers look over their shoulder to see cyclists or pedestrians nearby

Speed limits

Built up area

Single c/way

Dual c/way

Motorway

Car m/cycle

30mph
48km/h

60mph
97km/h

70mph
113km/h

70mph
113km/h

Car/caravan

30mph
48km/h

50mph
80km/h

60mph
97km/h

60mph
97km/h

Bus

30mph
48km/h

50mph
80km/h

60mph
97km/h

70mph
113km/h

Motorhome
Under 3.050kg (unladen)

30mph
48km/h

50mph
80km/h

70mph
113km/h

70mph
113km/h

Motorhome
Over 3.050kg (unladen)

30mph
48km/h

50mph
80km/h

60mph
97km/h

70mph
113km/h

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