CHOKEPOINTS

Sullivan: Please don’t pull this jerk move on the road

Feb 29, 2024, 5:46 AM

jerk move left-turn lane...

Vehicles in the middle lane attempting to make a left turn. (Photo: Lawrence K. Ho, Getty Images)

(Photo: Lawrence K. Ho, Getty Images)

There are jerk moves. And then there is this jerk move.

This is not something that I had considered any driver would do because it is so dangerous, totally illegal and just an absolute jerk move.

Dave Manning reached out to The Gee and Ursula Show to ask about something he’s seen near Orting High School, in Auburn and around other places in Pierce County.

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I need you to think of a multi-lane road near you and get this mental picture. You are approaching a signaled intersection, and there is a left-turn only lane approaching the light. There is a long line of cars waiting to go straight at that intersection, but there is no one waiting to make a left turn. Drivers are going into that left-turn lane to bypass the waiting traffic, only to swerve back to the right in the middle of the intersection.

Manning sent us a TikTok video (one that I am not going to show you because I don’t want this dude to get more attention) with some yahoo promoting this as his “offensive driving tip No. 271.” The poster calls this the “fake left, go straight” move.

I cannot tell you how dangerous this is, and I am surprised that someone would even promote such a stupid move. And it’s 100% illegal.

I never even considered such a move when I previously highlighted Washington’s law on two-way left-turn lanes. While I have never seen anyone pull this move Dave is seeing, I have seen a more common practice by drivers.

Imagine that same multi-lane road, but add a two-way left turn lane that turns into the left-turn only lane at the light.  Same long line of cars waiting to go straight.  It is illegal to get into that two-way left-turn lane to bypass those cars even to access the turn only lane portion of the lane.

RCW 46.61.290 states that you can only be in that turn lane for 300 feet, and those lanes cannot be used for passing. It is also spelled out in the Driver’s Manual in Section 3-14. 300 feet is about 20 cars.

If you’re stuck in line, you just have to wait and get over when it is legal to do so. I was nearly hit while doing that by someone screaming up that turn lane from behind me.

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Just don’t do it.

The 300-foot rule is something most drivers don’t seem to be aware of. Only 51% of respondents to our recent driver’s test got this one right.

And as for that jerk move of using the turn lane just to swerve back into traffic, don’t do that either. What are we saving? 30 seconds? A minute?

I’m sure that’s totally worth killing someone over.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints here. You can also follow Chris on X, formerly known as TwitterHead here to follow KIRO Newsradio Traffic’s profile on X.

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Sullivan: Please don’t pull this jerk move on the road