Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cutting in Line

In American society, it is unacceptable to cut in front of people who got there before you and have been waiting in line for things like the grocery store or the theater.  How is it that we find it acceptable to cut in front of people waiting in line at a traffic light?

The Gambling Lane
There are many places where there are two lanes at a light and one is clearly ending within a few car lengths past the light.  In these situations I often find cars lined up in the lane that is not ending and a car or two with slide ahead of that line into the lane that is ending.  Then at the light cut in front of those in line.  Many times just to go slowly in front of them due to traffic, thus making those who have waited in line wait even longer.

If there is someone in the lane that is ending and they can't get out in front of everyone they try to slide to the second or third spot.  When the person in the second or third spot refuses to let them in, the person trying to cut will often get angry with them, as if they have the right of way.  Let me repeat this, the person who is trying to cut in line; a behavior, if done in a store, would likely result in an altercation; is upset because someone is saying no they will not tolerate their rude behavior.  This sounds very much like when a smoker gets mad at a no smoking sign.  The person that wants to be rude is mad that the people around them have said no to the rude behavior.

I admit, I have fallen tot he temptation to use that lane to get ahead of traffic I assessed that would be slow to get moving, but it is a gamble.  When I use that lane and I get cut off by the people I am cutting ahead of that is the price I have to pay.  I gambled and lost.

Two Single Opposite Lanes to Two Lane Running Together
Another situation I have noticed with cutting in line is where you have a single lane on one side of an intersection that has a left turn arrow and a single right hand turn lane with a red light on the other.  This is in a state where you may turn right on red after coming to a stop.  These two single lanes converge into two lanes going in the same direction.  If I understand traffic law correctly, when you make a turn you are to stay in the lane closest to you and then if you need the other lane, signal and change lanes, once you have completed the turn.

What I have noticed at one particular intersection is that the left turn arrow people mostly swing to the right hand lane, thus cutting off the right turners from the other direction.  They do this because they want to get on the interstate which entrance is on the right.  The right turners just sit there and wait for the light to change, as if the left turners have the right of way in the right hand lane.  Some of this is fear of collision and some of it is because most of them want to get on the interstate via the entrance on the left.  Neither of them seem interested in getting out there and negotiating a lane change after they turn.  They both want to change lanes while they are turning, which I am almost certain is illegal.  I don't believe you are allowed to change lanes in an intersection.

When I have been the right hand turner I have nudged my nose out there showing my intent to go and the left turners stay over and I proceed.  So long as they see the behavior that everyone is going to yield to them, they are going to keep cutting in front of the right turners.

There is much behavior that comes about when driving that would never be tolerated and no one would ever consider doing if they were secluded inside a vehicle.