Ask a Trooper

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2003

Question: People don't seem to understand the designated center lane for turning only idea.

They should get into that lane 100 feet before turning, not 1,000 feet. Also, that lane should be used to decelerate so that you don't delay traffic in the "go" lane. What's the law on this?

Answer: These designated turning lanes often are misused as passing lanes, and-or as another driving lane. This is not how they are designed and using them as such can create real hazards. Whether the lane is marked as a single direction turn lane, or an either direction turn lane, drivers must signal and turn into it or pull out of it in as short a distance as is practical. State traffic code does not specify the number of feet, but it should be clear that only enough of the lane should be used to decelerate and turn, or accelerate into the traffic lane. As far as enforcement, one could be cited for passing in a no-passing zone or improper lane usage. It would be great if Alaska had a formal driver's training program for new drivers, so young people aren't taught the same bad habits that many other drivers display.

If you have questions you would like to ask a trooper, send them to Alaska State Troopers, P.O. Box 817, Seward, AK 99664 or e-mail them to brandon_anderson The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.

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