Changing lanes at intersection isn’t illegal

The in basket: Patricia Weatherman writes, “I thought that there was a rule that you could not change lanes within so many feet of an intersection (I think it was 100 feet when I took my driving test.)

“I have had several near misses of people coming into my lane, from either the right or left lanes, and one shot diagonally in front of me in the middle of the intersection not too long ago,” she said.

“This used to get a ticket real quick, now nobody seems to get ticketed and we seem to tolerate multiple near-misses in any given day. What gives??”

The out basket: The belief that you can’t legally change lanes within 100 feet of an intersection probably arises from confusion with the law the forbids passing within 100 feet of an intersection.

State Trooper Russ Winger says, “There is not a (state law) specific to prohibiting changing lanes within the intersection. A turning driver should always remember this, even if the other vehicle does not signal.

“There would be contributory fault if a collision occurred but even so, why risk it? The driver entering traffic will have a greater responsibility to yield the right of way. ‎Just wait until the turn is safe and clear.”

The Road Warrior often finds himself turning right into rush-hour traffic in Bremerton and I always remember that admonition. Mostly I worry that the front end of my turning car will swing into the inside lane too far but I also know that if someone in that inside lane moves over and hits me, I could be cited for failure to yield. If the inside lane traffic is moving at all quickly, I wait.

4 thoughts on “Changing lanes at intersection isn’t illegal

  1. So much for “Right turn ok when red”. I generally wait until both lanes are clear, but if it looks ok, then I will sometimes make the turn.

    No more!

  2. When I got my license in Texas when I turned 18 that was actually a question on my written test, (yes it was a written test with a No. 2 pencil). They also taught us that when we had Drivers Ed. (which took a whole semester and we got credit for it and it cost about nothing because it was a required class no matter what), that it was a moving violation if you changed lanes in an intersection, which even to this day I dont change lanes in an intersection just because idiots here actually do jump out into fast moving traffic to the point that brakes gets locked up. But every state has its own rules I guess. Not saying it has not changed in the past 25 years but that was taught to us. Drive Safe…

  3. It was previously unlawful to change lanes within an intersection. I think many (seasoned) drivers remember this law and I don’t remember when it was changed.

  4. I too remember being taught that you couldn’t change lanes in an intersection…that was over 30 years ago and so the law may have changed but to this day I don’t change lanes in intersections.

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