Context: I am a Romanian who wants to make a "Eurotrip" this summer. To make the situation a bit simple, I am referring to motorway traffic only.

The Romanian law makes a clear difference between overtaking and passing.

In Romania, you can overtake on the left lane only, but you can pass on all lanes.

Overtaking (is the same as in The US and all the countries of the EU): signal left, change lane, move in front.

Passing (as being described by the Romanian legislation): you cruise on the motorway and you encounter a vehicle on your left or right lane moving slower than you and you simply keep your lane and pass him.

The difference between passing and overtaking is that when you overtake you move from one lane to another and the distance to the vehicle in front of you is smaller than 100m. When you change lanes and the distance between cars is bigger than 100m you legally execute the change lane maneuver. After you execute a change lane maneuver, you encounter a vehicle moving slower than you on your left or right lane and you cruise along him, you would be executing the passing maneuver, NOT overtaking.

The situation described here is perfectly legal in Romania.

I know for sure that in Germany passing is the same as overtaking, so you can't pass on the right lane.

My question is what other countries in EU, or around the globe, make this difference between overtaking and passing and legally allow you to cruise along slower vehicles on all lanes, not only the left lane?

  • That is why I have posted this question. I want to know the differences between laws regarding this issue. – Tudor Luca Jul 26 '15 at 10:50
  • @Willeke, your profile says you're from The Netherlands. Can you answer on what the law says over there? – Tudor Luca Jul 26 '15 at 10:52
  • @TudorLuca: Bernard's answer in the question referred to should be enough of an answer for your own question. In the Netherlands too, there's a technical difference in definition between 'overtaking' and 'passing', but I'm inclined to say that legally there isn't (and would be happy to bet that a police officer would agree). Of course there are always exceptions and then there's that common sense factor... In short, I'd advise to overtake on the left only (EU mainland), even if it's just to avoid creating a potentially dangerous situation because of a technicality. :) – MH. Jul 26 '15 at 15:43