☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 304

< > Effective - 28 Aug 1996    bottom

  304.016.  Passing regulations — violations, penalties. — 1.  The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to the limitations and exceptions hereinafter stated:

  (1)  The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle; and

  (2)  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 and shall not increase the speed of such driver's vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

  2.  The driver of a motor vehicle may overtake and pass to the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:

  (1)  When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;

  (2)  Upon a city street with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lines of vehicles in each direction;

  (3)  Upon a one-way street;

  (4)  Upon any highway outside of a city with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width and clearly marked for four or more lines of traffic.  The driver of a motor vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under the foregoing conditions when such movement may be made in safety.  In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the paved or main traveled portion of the roadway.  The provisions of this subsection shall not relieve the driver of a slow-moving vehicle from the duty to drive as closely as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway.

  3.  Except when a roadway has been divided into three traffic lanes, no vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center line of a highway or public road in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction 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 completely made without interfering with the safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken.

  4.  No vehicle shall at any time be driven to the left side of the roadway under the following conditions:

  (1)  When approaching the crest of a grade or upon a curve of 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 the view is obstructed upon approaching within one hundred feet of any bridge, viaduct, tunnel or when approaching within one hundred feet of or at any intersection or railroad grade crossing.

  5.  Violation of this section shall be deemed a class C misdemeanor.


(L. 1953 p. 587 § 304.020, A.L. 1992 H.B. 958, A.L. 1996 H.B. 1047)

(1962) The statute does not relieve the operator of a vehicle in an intersection area of the duty to keep a lookout for another vehicle violating this section. Myers v. Searcy (Mo.), 356 S.W.2d 59.

(1962) Defendant who attempted to pass on right an automobile stopped on pavement with turn signals flashing for left turn, turned off pavement onto shoulder where his automobile skidded and hit culvert which threw it back on road and into collision with stopped automobile, was negligent as a matter of law. Sisk v. Driggers (A.), 364 S.W.2d 76.

(1963) Defendant motorist on snow covered road approaching a curve in the tracks on his left or wrong side of road was required to anticipate that another vehicle might approach on its rightful side of the road and was required to use care commensurate with circumstances, and jury could find he was required to sound horn to warn of hazard he was creating.  Bunch v. Crader (A.), 369 S.W.2d 768.

(1963) Motorist was not contributorily negligent as a matter of law because he was attempting to pass another automobile within 100 feet of an intersecting gravel road. Robb v. Wallace (Mo.), 371 S.W.2d 232.

(1963) Evidence sufficient to sustain conviction of careless and reckless driving by driving automobile at night on left side of roadway while approaching crest of hill at point where view was obstructed for such distance as to create hazard to oncoming traffic. State v. Gish (A.), 371 S.W.2d 654.

(1966) Driver being passed was under no duty to change his speed by either speeding up or slowing down while vehicles traveled abreast of each other, and was not negligent. Lawson v. Commercial Carriers, Inc. (A.), 399 S.W.2d 236.

(1966) This section is for the benefit of a person entering a highway from an intersecting or side street as well as for the benefit of vehicles proceeding on the thoroughfare in the same or opposite directions. Roach v. Lacho (Mo.), 402 S.W.2d 344.

(1966) Subsection 4 of this section, providing the condition under which a vehicle shall not be driven on the left side of the roadway, is not limited by its terms to vehicles overtaking and passing other vehicles. Roach v. Lacho (Mo.), 402 S.W.2d 344.

(1966) The preposition "to" as used in subsection 4 of this section is synonymous with "on" or "upon". Roach v. Lacho (Mo.), 402 S.W.2d 344.

(1976) Held, proper time for warning to be given is question for jury. Warning must be given to vehicle in front in reasonable time for him to recognize danger and avoid injury. Hubbard v. Lathrop (A.), 545 S.W.2d 361.

---- end of effective  28 Aug 1996 ----

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