Construction Zone Merge

Topic 21062 | Page 1

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Bryan Q.'s Comment
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So this is the second time I’ve seen this. Sign says merge left/ right and cars seem to don’t pay any attention to those signs. And as the one lane road comes up. I’ve seen trucks block both lanes because the see a lot of cars jump out the lane and try to pass before the merge. I kind of thought it was pretty funny. But is that legal to do so ?


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
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In drivers ed when I was in high school (Minnesota) I was taught to use the zipper effect. They told us do not merge until needed to, especially when traffic is backed up. I would assume that technically blocking traffic by taking both lanes like that is illegal,but can't say for certain. I find it comical when cars leave one lane to jump up a couple spots and save maaaaybe 5 seconds

Patrick C.'s Comment
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Having a truck play blocker isn't really legal or illegal. But it is fairly common when the 4 wheelers start messing things up. Like leaving the lane that will remain open to jump over to the lane that is closing trying to gain a spot or two. Basically the idea is to force the 4 wheelers into doing the right thing instead of running around like a bunch of heathen children.

Big Scott's Comment
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Our company asked MO DOT. They were told that when trucks do that they create another pinch point and increase chances of more accidents. I just follow signs as soon as I see them. I then deal with whatever traffic there is. Just slow down and give more space in front of you.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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The sad part is that after several times of being polite and leaving space only to have other folks squeeze in and almost run into you over and over, you get tired of their impatience and close that gap. I'll always be polite and let a few in but when you watch in the mirrors and see them jump out into the closing lane just to get one more position, it's frustrating. The zipper effect is correct but it only works when everyone is on the same page. People get in such a hurry and the most common offenders are folks who are from that area, know about the closure because they see it everyday and still behave the same way every time.

Turtle's Comment
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This has been a problem since nearly the beginning of time. Sign says "lane ends in 2 miles", so some cars and most trucks merge over at that point. Same cars and trucks get upset when everyone else doesn't conform to their thought process by not merging also. Followed by the same cars and trucks refusing to let anybody in, because they didn't "get in line" way back there.

This mentality is one of the biggest causes of traffic jams at construction zones, in my opinion. To merge a mile or two early and not expect anyone to take the open lane is foolish. That's akin to placing a bowl full of candy in the middle of a room full of children, and not expecting anyone to take a piece.

I think the zipper is the best way. It's been my experience that once at the zipper point, most people behave in a somewhat fair manner. Sure, you will get the occasional jerk who wants more than his share, but you have to expect that also.

I've seen some construction zones that have signs explicitly stating NOT to merge early. And I've heard that blocking traffic as mentioned earlier can get you a ticket for impeding traffic. But I'm not sure how true that is.

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