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Last-Minute Merge Cop

Ticket those obnoxious last-minute mergers
  (+11, -1)(+11, -1)
(+11, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

This device would be similar to red-light cameras and would photograph cars that merge into offramps beyond a preset point. First-time offenders would be given a warning. Repeat offenders would get tickets in increasing increments.

<RANT>Imagine being able to drive 405 in Seattle without being cutoff when trying to merge onto 167. Not only would traffic move faster (last minute mergers slow traffic down), traffic might become a little more civilized. </RANT>

jefmjones, Aug 28 2001

Unplus a merging-lane traffic jam http://amasci.com/a...raffic/seatraf.html
Let cheaters merge. Promote "zipper" or "gears" pattern. [wbeaty, Oct 04 2004]

Art car: zipper merge http://geocities.co...picplayperform.html
car ad encourages "organized late merging." [wbeaty, Oct 04 2004]

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       I would also like shoulder spikes that deploy to shred the tires of anyone passing a traffic jam on the shoulder. Unless they have a really good reason, of course.
PotatoStew, Aug 28 2001
  

       Wish I could vote twice on this one. I'm tired of people who have all the room in the world to merge and don't until the little white line forces them to.
arghblah, Aug 28 2001
  

       I'd settle for being notified earlier. That way I can get off the highway and go around the blockage.
phoenix, Aug 28 2001
  

       baked in toronto, in the form of real cops. i see them regularly at one particular spot on my way home from work, waiting for last-minute mergers, there's usually two or three cops, so that practically everybody who does it gets nailed. the actual offence is "crossing a solid white line" which is a no-no in the province of ontario. the best part is the fact that the road is uphill until the point of the merge, and the white line starts quite far back, so anyone who thinks they'll save a little time gets a nice surprise when they crest the hill and see two cruisers sitting there waiting for them.
mihali, Aug 28 2001
  

       jefm, where did you get the idea that problematic driving practices warrant first a warning and then a ticket, rather than instant but slow, torturous death by flaming gore-gouging dismemberment followed by eternal damnation, and DO NOT PASS GO? Surely not from reading the postings on this site.   

       Good for you!
beauxeault, Aug 28 2001
  

       What beauxeault said. It's good to see a car idea that isn't just another lame road-rage-inspired fantasy about inflicting GBH on anyone who "DOES NOT MEASURE UP TO *MY* GODLIKE DRIVING SKILLS AND RIGHTEOUS DEMANDS!!!", for a change. As a pedestrian, I usually have my souwester and fish-handling gloves on when I enter the Car posting area, with a dead kipper a-ready for the slapping. I'm happy to croissant this idea, though.
Guy Fox, Aug 28 2001
  

       Even worse than the people who merge at the last minute are the people who encourage them by letting them merge.
rapid transit, May 27 2003
  

       Sadly, people just accept this terrible driving. I feel like I'm the only one who honks when people do this at the transition (and a fat lot of good it does--my horn just sort of beeps). If no one lets them know that they're driving like idiots, then they accept it as normal (I'm hoping this doesn't come accross as self-righteous, I just really hate the dangerous drivers and hate the fact that it is so common). I am thoroughly amazed that there aren't more accidents caused by jerks like that.
mandy, May 27 2003
  

       Oh wah.
bristolz, May 27 2003
  

       A similar situation occurs during lane closures on Motorways and Dual carriageways. Occasionally a lorry driver will pull into the middle of the two outside lanes when in the coned section, usually 1/4 to 1/2 mile from merge, prior to merging (at this point the traffic is crawling). I take great delight in the increasingly furious antics of people in the outside lane trying to *force* the truck to move over. It also manages to make the traffic flow increase.
gnomethang, May 27 2003
  

       I suspect that this might conflict with another existing rule, and probably why they're not doing it already.   

       Through hearsay in New York State, I believe it is the law that traffic on an expressway must yield to oncoming traffic. Although initially weird sounding, this is a more logical choice. The options that a motorist who is already on the expressway has consist of refuse to yield, slow down to yield, or change lanes to yield. The oncoming motorist has options of successfully merging or coming to a stop. Someone who has to slow down to yield causes a smaller speed differential between vehicles on the road than a person stopped waiting to merge, so that is the preferred choice.   

       Anyway, I suspect the same is true when a lane ends. It is the responsibility of the continuing lane to yield to the merging lane.   

       Unfortunately, this situation deteriorates for a perfectly law abiding citizen: to follow the law you should stop in the continuing lane and allow all traffic from the merging lane to continue. This has the same result as the scenario that was supposed to be avoided where the merged lane is halted and the contining lane continues.   

       The failure scenario occurs when the line of cars to merge is long. Most people think it is best to merge early and that everyone else should do the same. In point of fact, it would be most efficient if all lanes of traffic continued right to the point of the merge and then alternated one car at a time. I think it would be better policy to create this scenario and encourage people to follow it.   

       I agree that as it stands now, there is a common courtesy that causes people to merge early, but this leaves a great incentive for people to be discourteous. In essence, there is no place for courtesy on the road--if you saw someone in a hurry who was stopped by a red light (perhaps they yelled to you that they were having a baby) would you stop at a green light and wave them through? You wouldn't (or shouldn't) because it violates the rules of the road and confuses the other drivers and would probably cause an accident. The reason is you put courtesy ahead of the rules.   

       In conclusion, although I don't like that people are discourteous, this isn't the right solution to the problem. I'll have to rank it negative. Perhaps better driver education would be a more appropriate response.
jolshefsky, May 27 2003
  

       Last minute merging is acutally the propper thing to do, its the early mergers that slow things down, and speed things up for the last minute mergers. Every time a car merges early he increases the number of cars in the lane he is merging into thus slowing it down and conversely speeding up the lane she came from. Early mergers subscribe to the idea that proper coordinated merging can eliminate delays and backups, but it's just junk science. completely false.
davidcreede, Jul 22 2003
  

       The best policy is to merge as late as will allow an even mix of traffic in both lanes. If the exit lane is empty, merge early. If it's packed solid, merge late. And I don't have to imagine driving I-405 and merging onto the 167 offramp - I do it every day.
Freefall, Nov 25 2003
  

       If everyone merges early, then it gives a clear run to the "cheaters" who trigger traffic jams by racing to the head of the line and then forcing their way in. Cheaters will screw things up unless there are cops monitoring every single merge zone. But if most drivers merge late, then the whole "cheater" issue vanishes.
wbeaty, Nov 25 2003
  

       Hey, this invention might work if reversed! Photograph and ticket any driver in a merge zone who closes up their forward gap and prevents other cars from merging ahead of them. If the majority of drivers allow ANYONE to merge ahead of them, then everything flows smoothly. (By 'anyone', this includes cheaters who race to the head of the line.) There will always be "cheaters." Our choice is simple: block the cheaters and create a traffic jam, or keep traffic flowing smootly by ALWAYS ALLOWING THE CARS IN THE INCOMING LANE TO MERGE WHENEVER THEY WANT, early or late.
wbeaty, Nov 25 2003
  

       and its not as though it is a big deal if they miss the turn-off - just take the next exit, do a U-turn and re take the exit on the other side of the expressway. unless the engineers who planned the expressway botched the job. (skin them alive, I say!)
teh_ice, Mar 24 2004
  

       /Occasionally a lorry driver will pull into the middle of the two outside lanes when in the coned section, usually 1/4 to 1/2 mile from merge/   

       Yeah, I'm a truck driver and I've done this myself. It's frustrating for us as we have to use the left hand lane all the time so all the cars pushing in up front hold us back.   

       Imagine waiting in a line at the supermarket - you wouldn't just run up the line to the till and push in would you? If you tried that here you'd get a slap!
mecotterill, Aug 10 2008
  


 

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