(September 3, 2018)-  This Traffic Tuesday we will discuss merge lanes; how to merge and who has the right-of-way. Merge lanes can cause unneeded stress and even “Road Rage” so the Cape Coral Police Department would like to explain a few things about merging. 

We understand that a large majority of drivers haven’t read the Florida Driver License Handbook in a long time. According to the handbook, when merging onto the expressway or highway, the drivers entering the flow of traffic must yield the right-of-way. Those vehicles in the through lane have the right-of-way but should be cognizant and considerate that other vehicles are trying to merge. A driver CANNOT just move from the merge lane into the through lane without looking or expecting the other traffic to slow. 

Merge lanes will have traffic control devices (signs, roadway markings, traffic cones, etc.) warning you of the need to merge. Be prepared to speed up or slow down so you can enter a break in traffic. Do NOT stop in the merge lane unless there is a backup of traffic or your vehicle has an emergency. You will need to signal, “blinker”, at least 100’ before your attempt to merge since you will be changing lanes. 

A violation to merge correctly based on Florida State Statute is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation.

Taken from the Florida Driver License Handbook:

Entering & Leaving Limited Access/Interstate Highways

All limited-access highway entrances have three basic parts: an entrance ramp, an acceleration lane, and a merging area. 

When entering an interstate highway:

  1. On the entrance ramp, begin checking for an opening in traffic. Signal your intent to merge onto the expressway. 
  2. Increase your speed as the ramp straightens into the acceleration lane. Adjust your speed so that you can safely merge into the traffic when you reach the end of the acceleration lane. 
  3. Merge into traffic when you can do so safely. You must yield the right-of-way to traffic on the highway. Do not stop in the acceleration lane unless traffic is too heavy and there is no space for you to enter safely.
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CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341