A little courtesy, obedience would make roads safer

Johnson City Press • Apr 21, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Today we delve into yet another lesson from Driver’s Education 101: Dealing with congestion at signal-controlled intersections caused by traffic stacking up in left- and right-turn lanes.This problem can be seen at the intersection of State of Franklin Road and West Market Street, as well as University Parkway and State of Franklin Road. (In the case of the northbound ramp to Interstate 26 at University Parkway, traffic generally stacks up in the left lane, which must merge into the right lane.) These intersections are sometimes blocked by cars stranded in the intersection during a signal change. The reason is, while there are double left-turn lanes at these intersections, only one is being used.That’s because the first cars to reach the intersection are stacking up in a single lane. This also blocks access to the other turn lane. There is a simple solution to this problem, but it is one that requires drivers to use both common sense and courtesy.Drivers should yield to merging motorists. Many fender benders and traffic snarls could be prevented if they did so.Also, state law (Tennessee Code Annotated 55-8-140) requires turning vehicles to merge into the proper lane of travel that is closest to their point of entry into the turn. Drivers should not maneuver their vehicle across multiple lanes of travel upon first entering a new roadway.As we’ve said in this space before, new technology can improve safety and traffic flow, but there is something to be said for old-fashioned courtesy and obeying the rules of the road. Both are very effective and cost-efficient ways to move traffic from one point to another.

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