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  • August 29, 2016, 02:24:06 AM

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Author Topic: Driving etiquette: Signage vs "local customs"  (Read 1833 times)

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mime

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Re: Driving etiquette: Signage vs "local customs"
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2016, 05:06:46 PM »
You were following the posted instructions. You were absolutely not rude.

There are some social situations where it is good to learn local customs and follow suit to be polite, but traffic is about safety and efficiency, and expecting drivers to anticipate different community deviations from whatever the laws and signs tell you is asking for trouble.

I agree with PPs who say that even if you irritated someone, it doesn't mean you were rude, and it doesn't mean you were wrong. They would have done better to follow the instructions as well.

--I'm from a state that is desperately trying to re-educate its drivers to do the zipper merge rather than back up for miles in a single lane when two lanes are still available. It seems to be working a little, while really irritating some drivers, who then try to straddle the line and take up both lanes so nobody can pass them.  ::)



Twik

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Re: Driving etiquette: Signage vs "local customs"
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2016, 12:15:56 PM »
My own experience is that local custom trumps everything, because if you don't follow it, you'll be like Edward Day, who died contesting his right of way.

"His case was clear, and his will was strong,
But he's just as dead as if he were wrong."
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shortstuff

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Re: Driving etiquette: Signage vs "local customs"
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2016, 12:55:04 PM »
My own experience is that local custom trumps everything, because if you don't follow it, you'll be like Edward Day, who died contesting his right of way.

"His case was clear, and his will was strong,
But he's just as dead as if he were wrong."

But if you're not local, how do you know what the custom was?  In my example above, where the 'custom' was to ignore the traffic light turn signals, if that lady had hit me, custom wouldn't have prevented her from being held liable, or getting a ticket. 

Another custom in my area is to stop dead in the middle of the road (during bumper to bumper traffic) and wave people into the road from side streets.  I have read on this forum (Special Snowflakes I think) that doing that is an insurance liability, as the waver assumes responsibility for giving the other car safe passage or something.  Plus I see far too many cars sticking perpendicular in my lane while trying to turn into the far lane of traffic, just begging for an accident to happen.  I won't follow that custom, even though I know about it.

Hopefully there aren't real-life examples of that poem, where someone was hurt or injured just because they didn't know the custom, and were following the rules.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 12:58:57 PM by shortstuff »

HoneyBee42

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Re: Driving etiquette: Signage vs "local customs"
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2016, 01:11:17 PM »
My own experience is that local custom trumps everything, because if you don't follow it, you'll be like Edward Day, who died contesting his right of way.

"His case was clear, and his will was strong,
But he's just as dead as if he were wrong."

But if you're not local, how do you know what the custom was?  In my example above, where the 'custom' was to ignore the traffic light turn signals, if that lady had hit me, custom wouldn't have prevented her from being held liable, or getting a ticket. 

Another custom in my area is to stop dead in the middle of the road (during bumper to bumper traffic) and wave people into the road from side streets.  I have read on this forum (Special Snowflakes I think) that doing that is an insurance liability, as the waver assumes responsibility for giving the other car safe passage or something.  Plus I see far too many cars sticking perpendicular in my lane while trying to turn into the far lane of traffic, just begging for an accident to happen.  I won't follow that custom, even though I know about it.

Hopefully there aren't real-life examples of that poem, where someone was hurt or injured just because they didn't know the custom, and were following the rules.
Agreed--I always took that poem to mean that sometimes you yield even when the other guy is clearly wrong because insisting on the right-of-way would likely lead to an accident.  For example, one time, I was at a T-intersection which was controlled by a traffic light.  I was turning left from the street that dead-ended at the intersection and had the green light.  In fact, there were two cars ahead of me that had turned left, and I was about to complete the turn when some guy going straight in what was to be my new direction of travel ran the red light.  I stopped and let him run the light and then proceeded with my turn.  Yes, he was 100% wrong, but if I'd insisted on proceeding because I had the green light and he had a red light, there would have been an accident.

Local custom should not be so bizarrely at odds with the rules of the road that someone who isn't local would be at risk simply by following the rules of the road (now, there does get the issue of making sure that you've studied up if you travel across state lines, but that's another issue).

lowspark

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Re: Driving etiquette: Signage vs "local customs"
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2016, 02:50:19 PM »
Another vote for "it is not rude to follow the traffic laws/signs".

There is a zipper merge on my way home from work. Most of the time there's no traffic so no merging involved, but sometimes, the traffic backs up there and people pile up on the left. But here's the thing, even though lots get into that left lane and wait, there are just enough who get into the right lane and merge (as the lanes are set up to do), to make it so that if you don't get over, you're the one who loses out.

So, I can be a sucker and wait in the left lane, or I can follow along with the people who understand that it's more efficient to stack both lanes somewhat equally and take turns. Yeah, sometimes there are disgruntled people in the left lane who make every effort to ensure that the person in the right lane can't get in front. Ok, whatever, I can wait one more car. But their frustration is due to their own behavior, not mine.

By the way, there's no question in my mind that the zipper merge in question is legal. Why? Because this occurs at a freeway interchange, with the two lanes which zipper going south, and one lane going north. People often get in that middle lane (the right southbound lane) and get over to the northbound lane at the last possible minute, thereby really cutting in line.

There are quite often motorcycle cops parked just far enough into the northbound turn to not be seen by those cutting folks, and they pull them over, one and all. Those folks are cutting and it's illegal. It's one lane only and not meant to merge with the next lane.

I'm pretty darn certain that if the zipper merge being executed on the southbound lanes were illegal, those same cops would have set up shop there as well.
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Texas 
USA 

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Driving etiquette: Signage vs "local customs"
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2016, 04:48:55 AM »
I don't think the OP was rude, and frankly I think that any drivers in the left hand lane who got annoyed with her are being unreasonable.

Sometimes I think people are like sheep. They see a few people doing things "X way" (despite clear signage stating "Y way"), and just follow the herd. They had the option of obeying the signage too, and positioning themselves in the faster (right) lane. It's not the OP's fault that they chose not to do that.

m2kbug

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Re: Driving etiquette: Signage vs "local customs"
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2016, 06:48:42 AM »
My own experience is that local custom trumps everything, because if you don't follow it, you'll be like Edward Day, who died contesting his right of way.

"His case was clear, and his will was strong,
But he's just as dead as if he were wrong."

But if you're not local, how do you know what the custom was?  In my example above, where the 'custom' was to ignore the traffic light turn signals, if that lady had hit me, custom wouldn't have prevented her from being held liable, or getting a ticket. 

Another custom in my area is to stop dead in the middle of the road (during bumper to bumper traffic) and wave people into the road from side streets.  I have read on this forum (Special Snowflakes I think) that doing that is an insurance liability, as the waver assumes responsibility for giving the other car safe passage or something.  Plus I see far too many cars sticking perpendicular in my lane while trying to turn into the far lane of traffic, just begging for an accident to happen.  I won't follow that custom, even though I know about it.

Hopefully there aren't real-life examples of that poem, where someone was hurt or injured just because they didn't know the custom, and were following the rules.

I have seen this happen and have participated.  I never knew or thought it was a liability.  I see it as a courtesy.  Traffic is backed up, someone needs to turn left, leave a space for them to do so.  Even for right turners.  Just today, traffic stopped at a crosswalk for a pedestrian (not a major intersection and no pedestrian lights).  This cleared traffic for me to make a left.  It worked out wonderfully.  The thing is, I didn't understand what was happening, as I was sitting and waiting for a safe left, contemplating if I should just do a right and take the scenic route.  There was not a ton of traffic ahead for these two lanes, so there really was absolutely no reason to leave a space, as you would to avoid gridlock.  People just stopped at the crosswalk.  It is a university area with many walkers, so this may be considered a "local custom," and someone not "in the know," would have possibly just continued on, not knowing passage of a pedestrian had been created.  I can see the hazard with the neighboring cars blocking view of the pedestrian or not knowing what's going on.  I would hope the pedestrian would be equally aware if both lanes did not have a stopped car in it before walking in front of the empty lane, as a moving vehicle could very well be approaching and not stopping.  We all have to look for oncoming cars, whether driving or walking. 

In my area, zipper merge is the norm, right merges into left.  Cars tend to do every other car, but of course there are those who stick close to the bumper in front, so as not to allow a car in, and I have seen cars take up two lanes (drive on the broken stripe) to avoid allowing anyone to merge in front, but I would say for the most part, people do the every other.  There are some that merge before the lane officially ends.  I don't see the point.  People fully stop the right hand lane traffic while they wait for space to open up in the left hand lane to merge early.  It seems counter productive.

I stay in the right because people merge early and I can bypass 5 cars in my now empty lane to the merge.  If you want to merge early and wait, that's fine.  I don't consider anyone rude for staying in the lane they are in until the appropriate time to merge.  The people who clog traffic to merge early irk me.

I don't understand this "no lane merges" concept.  It seems like pointing out "every other" for the merge, when the lanes come together, is what the signage is for, in zipper fashion...like don't be a hog and let's take turns.  If everyone is supposed to every-other merge before the lane ends, what is the protocol for when?  Is it 100 ft, 200 ft, and for someone like me who has no concept of what those measurements look like, then when and by what landmarks? 

Mustard

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Re: Driving etiquette: Signage vs "local customs"
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2016, 07:00:53 AM »
My daughter's school was in a residential area, so there were often cars parked outside houses.  The school asked parents to use a one-way system when collecting girls at the end of the school day.  It was obviously not an official system, but it did help traffic flow a little better.  What I could never get my head round though were the parents who complained that residents were not adhering to the one way system.... even though it was unofficial and nobody had mentioned it to the people who
« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 07:07:23 AM by Mustard »

Raintree

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Re: Driving etiquette: Signage vs "local customs"
« Reply #23 on: Today at 01:15:11 AM »
It's time to merge when the lane you're in ends. If people want to move over early, that's their business, but as far as I'm concerned, as long as the lane is open I can drive in it, and zipper merge where it ends.

http://www.timescolonist.com/steve-wallace-zipper-merging-a-basic-key-driving-principle-1.2030468
« Last Edit: Today at 01:17:08 AM by Raintree »