Don't act like you've never done it...
We've all been there... We're going somewhere in a hurry, and old Grandpa in front of us is going 5pmh under the speed limit. After a few minutes, you're likely seething behind the wheel, looking for an opportunity to leave old Gramps in the dust. But to do so, you'll need to pass over a set of solid, double yellow lines on the road.
What do you do? Do you hit the gas and leave Gramps in the dust, or do you just keep on keepin' on because you're "supposed to"? This can be a debatable point for some folks, and there seems to be quite a difference of opinion as to whether it's ever ok to do. Let's take a peek and see what's what...
Unsurprisingly, the state of Maine has a pretty clear stance on this.
It actually took a minute to find the right keywords to get the answers I was looking for. On the surface, we all sort of know that you're not supposed to pass anyone over solid double lines. But a lot of folks seem to think there's exceptions to this rule. To be fair, there kind of are, but not for the reasons everyone thinks.
So here's the thing, you can do it on the off chance you're going around a car making a turn, or if you're going around a cyclist. But there is nothing that would indicate it's ok to appease your inner rage at Grandpa, and dust him at the next chance. But also bear in mind, when doing so, it has to be safe in the other direction, or you're breaking the law.
On the other hand, here's where it gets weird.
So on one hand, the law seems to give you the right to pass another vehicle on the left on double lines, but the keyword in the law is "device". They use the term to imply that if there's a "device" that says you can't pass, you can't. What they don't fully explain in layman's terms is that double lines are considered a "device".
In fact, they do make it pretty clear that road lines are definitely traffic devices. So according to that logic, it makes it pretty safe to assume that you can't pass. Maybe at the end of the day, we should all just do what we've done, I guess. Just follow the law... until it looks like no one is watching. (Probably not.) Or, get some patience. good luck either way, hahaha.