Ferry line cutters citable even if just a few cars are waiting

The in basket: Bob Metcalf said he’d had contrasting experiences when trying to catch the ferry in Bremerton and Bainbridge.

In both places he was in the left lane of the approach when a sign told him he had to be in the right lane to board the ferry. He had no problem getting over in Bremerton, but when he merged right on Bainbridge, a woman ferry patron honked at him. 

When they were both through the toll booths and stopped, she got out of her car and walked over to his, scolding him and saying that had an officer seen what he did, he and the person who let him into the line could be cited for violating the state law enacted a couple of years ago to discourage cutting into the long lines at ferry terminals, like those at Bainbridge and Kingston.

Bob said the line wasn’t long on that day on Bainbridge, though. He guessed there were only three cars behind the woman he merged in front of. 

The out basket: The woman was half-right, says Trooper Krista Hedstrom of the state patrol here. 

The driver of a car heading for a ferry who cuts into the line of waiting cars is subject to a $124 fine, regardless of the number he or she may have passed before moving right. 

“They will also be (told) to go to the back of the line of cars waiting for the ferry,” she said. But the violation must have been seen by the citing officer, and would not become a part of the motorist’s driving record.

Susan Harris-Heather of the ferry system said a driver who cuts into line can wind up paying a price in inconvenience even if an officer doesn’t see it and issue a  citation.

The WSF ticket sellers are empowered to order a driver to the back of the line (without a citation) if two other drivers from the line-up say the first driver cut in back in the queue, she said.

“The driver who allowed the vehicle to merge in would not be cited for anything,” Krista said. 

And those with preferential loading (vanpools, buses, bicyclists, motorcyclists) can bypass the line. Those with disabled plates or placards usually can’t, Krista said.

“Typically, a driver with a disabled placard would have to wait in line like everyone else.  There are exceptions, however, such as a legitimate doctor’s note explaining the medical emergency or a physician-approved medical waiver.”     









2 thoughts on “Ferry line cutters citable even if just a few cars are waiting

  1. It might must be coincidence, but on the South Sound run (Fauntleroy, Vashon, Southworth)I’ve seen in 15 years as a commuter that cutters are almost always Southworth bound. They Southworth crowd usually seem to be grossly overweight angry people who throw litter out the window.

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