Changing Lanes and Merging Traffic

Improper TurningWould you write something in one of your articles about people turning at intersections and immediately going into the right lane and cutting off other motorist merging into traffic? This is one of my biggest pet peeves in the traffic world. I have seen and experience where to person who is merging is getting the horn and finger wave even though they were in the right.

Actually, after considering the situation that you are describing I would contend that both of the drivers that you describe could behave more responsibly. The answer does depend on whether the merging motorist has an acceleration lane to use or is facing a yield sign when they turn right at the intersection. Let's examine both situations.

If there is an acceleration lane, both the driver that had turned left and the merging driver have an equal duty to change lanes safely and must not affect the travel of another vehicle when they do so. In a situation like this I think we should follow the lead of other jurisdictions and mark the division between the through lanes with a solid white on the left and a broken white line on the right. This would prevent the traffic in the fast lane from moving right and making it more difficult for the merging driver.

When there is a yield sign, our right turn driver must yield the right of way to all other traffic. This means the traffic in the fast lane as much as it means the traffic in the slow lane. While our fast lane driver still must not change lanes unless it is safe, he has more right to change lanes than our driver facing the yield sign has to proceed in a case like this.

Resource Links:

Driving on Laned Roadway - Section 151(a) Motor Vehicle Act

Yield Signs - Section 173 Motor Vehicle Act

 

Comments

Merging at intersectiions

I agree 100% with the comments made. I also believe that drivers need more education in what the road markings mean. I would fully support a program that re-educates drivers from time to time to keep everyone up to date and safe on the road. If there could only be some method of reporting bad drivers that could be recorded and then acted upon by the Motor Vehicle Licencing branch to have those drivers undergo another road test similar to the final test for the graduated licencing program. The program would have to be based on several reports from different sources to be reliable.

Submitted by E-mail

I believe your comments regarding left turns at an intersection are a little off the mark. If a person is in the left hand lane (turning lane) and makes the turn he should be in the left hand lane when he has completed the turn! Why? Because it is illegal to change lanes in an intersection and this is what he would of had to do in order to end up in the right hand lane when he completed the turn. Also the Yield sign isn't there to tell you to yield to the wing nut making an improper left turn, it's there telling you to yield to traffic on your left coming straight through the intersection.

Half and Half

You are correct, turning vehicles must always take the first available lane for their direction of travel. I am assuming this to be done in the article and did not explicity state it. In general, that would put a right turn vehicle in the curb lane and a left turn vehicle in the lane closest to the yellow line. This is not always the case as occasionally special use lanes my prohibit your use of it and then you would be required to turn one lane further over. That is what this sign advises:

Reserved Lane Turning
 
You are not correct about changing lanes in an intersection or the yield sign. While it is an unsafe move, it is not illegal in British Columbia and you should read the link for yielding with the article.

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