New York VTL § 1122 Overtaking a Vehicle on the Left Defense Lawyer

Charged with VTL § 1122, failing to overtake a vehicle on the left in New York?

Have you been charged with violating the special rules which govern overtaking a vehicle on the left, New York VTL § 1122? If so our traffic court defense lawyers can represent you when you have been charged with New York VTL § 1122. Have you been in an accident and were charged with NY VTL § 1122, prohibited passing on the right? If so do not plead guilty to the charge, because you are facing a large insurance increase not just for the accident, but if you enter a guilty plea to the charge as well. Our lawyers can represent you throughout the State of New York. We have extensive training and experience in fighting a failure to properly overtake, NY VTL § 1122. If cited call our firm. We always give a free phone consultation so you can find learn how we can defend you against your improper overtaking, NY VTL § 1122.

VTL § 1122 – Overtaking a Vehicle

The law requires that when passing (overtaking) a vehicle going in your direction that you pass on the left, pass at a safe distance, and not change back to the right lane until it is safe to do so. NY VTL § 1122-a governs overtaking (passing) a bicycle. When passing a cyclist, the motorist must always pass on the left. In essence, VTL § 1122 prohibits passing on the right.

Despite the mandate that a vehicle must pass another in the same direction on the left, there are limitations to that as well. Under NY VTL § 1124 a motorist cannot go so far left as to go left of center of the roadway, unless the other side is:

  • Clearly visible
  • Free of oncoming traffic
  • sufficient distance ahead to pass without interfering with opposite direction traffic or the vehicle being overtaken; and
  • The passing vehicle must return to the lane of travel as soon as practicable and before coming within 200 feet of an approaching vehicle.

In addition, NY VTL § 1125 places further restrictions on passing on the left. It is prohibited at all times to drive left of center when:

  • Approaching the crest of a grade or a curve at such a distance that the driver’s view is obstructed
  • Within 100 feet of or crossing a railroad grade crossing
  • When the view is obstructed by and within 100 feet of a bridge, viaduct, or tunnel
Defenses to NY VTL § 1122 failure to pass right

There are numerous defenses to a charge of NY VTL § 1122. Most notably, often times it is permissible to pass on the right. The times when passing on the right is permitted is contained in VTL § 1123. A motorist may pass on the right when:

  • Overtaking a motorist whom is turning left
  • When the street is wide enough for 2 lanes of moving traffic in either direction and not encroached by parked cars on the side of the road
  • On a one way street

Notwithstanding, whenever passing on the right conditions must be so that it can do safely, and cannot be done by driving off of the pavement or the main travel portion of the highway, except as per NY VTL § 1131 (driving on shoulder).

Clearly there are numerous defenses to prohibited passing on the right. If the charge involved an accident it’s likely that the police officer did not witness the accident or offense. In NY it’s impermissible for a cop to issue a ticket for an offense he or she did not see. In addition, many times VTL § 1122 is charged with other violations as well. This gives rise to a constitutional double jeopardy defense.

If you have been charged with violating NY VTL § 1122, NY VTL § 1123, NY VTL § 1124, NY VTL § 1125 contact our office for a no cost, no obligation phone consultation.


Our law office offers convenience, ease, and certitude of a positive outcome. We will represent you in any court in the State of New York. we get your court appearance waived so you do not have to take time off. We give you piece of mind by giving you a money back guarantee.

Call us toll free at 1-877-99-NO-TIX (1-877-996-6849) or e-mail. We need your name, the name of the court, the charge(s), and if a speeding ticket the speed limit and the speed charged. You can e-mail us, scan and e-mail the ticket, or fax it to us at 914-777-2999. Don’t wait, do it today!