Archived Story

Do not enter turning lanes too late

Published 6:00am Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I try to be lighthearted and humorous in my columns.

I have had a few people tell me they like them, and I suspect that the two aforementioned qualities have something to do with it.

This is not going to be a lighthearted or humorous editorial, so those of you reading this may adjust accordingly.

I have a couple of pet peeves, such as an extreme dislike of annoying noises and people who are completely inconsiderate of others.

I also have several pet peeves that involve driving, more specifically other people’s driving. I’m not saying I’m perfect behind the wheel, but some things just should not be done.

Here comes the case in point. Twice in the past week this has happened to me.

I drive a lot for my job, so I go all around the county.

These two incidents both happened in Russellville just a few miles from home.

I got in the turn lane to go to my apartment complex the other day. I entered the turn lane at its opening where the dotted white line is. I was carrying on to the end of the lane when a vehicle darted into the turn lane, presumably without looking or even caring.

I had to slam on my brakes to prevent from rear-ending the other vehicle.

This driver had gone as far as traffic would allow at the light in the regular lane before getting into the turn lane.

Let me make this perfectly clear: the reason that turning lanes at intersections have dotted lines is to mark where drivers should enter the turn lane.

The solid white stripe indicates where NOT to enter the lane.

This person almost caused a wreck by not following this simple concept.

This happened again to me while turning to go to Tharptown Monday afternoon.

I entered the turn lane at the dotted white line, as is intended. Once again a vehicle went as far as traffic would allow in the normal lane at the light before darting into the turn lane.

This person almost came to a complete stop at the traffic light before deciding it was time to get in the other lane.

Yet again I had to slam on my brakes to prevent from hitting the other vehicle. That time was even closer to an accident than before.

I have a simple request when it comes to people driving in the county; please do not divert into a turn lane at the last second.

It will cause a wreck, and it will likely be your fault if you enter the lane late.

According to page 22 of the Alabama Driver’s Manual, “Get into the proper turn lane well ahead of the place where you will make your turn. Be sure it is safe to make the change.”

If we all heed these instructions, there will be fewer accidents, and hopefully I won’t have to wear out my brakes anymore by having to stop for someone who unlawfully entered a turn lane.

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