A driver who passed another vehicle on State Highway 36 between Tauranga and Rotorua is being investigated by police for "totally dangerous" behaviour.

Footage supplied to the Bay of Plenty Times shows the driver in a black ute passing another driver at speed on double yellow lines on the highway near Kaharoa Rd. The footage was loaded to YouTube on Saturday.

An occupant of the vehicle which was passed can be heard expressing "Shit, bloody close".

The ute can be seen later overtaking other vehicles later in the video.

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Acting Western Bay of Plenty head of road policing Senior Sergeant Wayne Hunter said the driving behaviour was "ridiculous" and "totally unacceptable".

"It is totally out of line. That driving is totally dangerous, especially on those passing lines.

"That's why we have so many road fatalities, because of people making stupid decisions on the road. We are just fortunate no one was coming the other way."

Hunter said police would be investigating the incident "and taking this further".