Sullivan: Lane sweeping is all too common and needs to stop

Mar 14, 2024, 6:05 AM

lane sweeping...

Vehicles driving along I-95 (Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty Images)

(Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty Images)

It’s funny that this came from a listener recently, considering what I saw on my drive into work Wednesday morning.

It’s a move I’m sure we’ve all seen, all too often. I’m entering Interstate 5 heading south from the 164th on-ramp in Lynnwood. I put on my signal and prepared to merge when the person behind me veered across the gore point and straight across three lanes of traffic to the fast lane.

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This is called lane sweeping, and just a few days ago, listener David Anderson sent me a note asking me to remind everyone about the rules of the road on this.

Let me be crystal clear. What that driver did to me is 100% illegal for multiple reasons.

First, you can’t cut across a gore point. And you can’t just veer across lanes. Under Washington law, you must turn into the lane closest to you. That not only goes for intersections but on the road as well. You must establish yourself in that lane before moving again.

Let’s make it really simple. You’re driving in a lane. You can only move one lane at a time — to the left or to the right. That’s it. When you are turning at an intersection, you must also turn into the closest lane possible.

If you are turning right, you must turn into the closest right lane. Do not sweep into a second lane, if there is one. If you are turning left, you must turn into the closest left lane.

I know you need to get to the Starbucks across the intersection, which has a right turn into the parking lot, but you cannot turn left into that second lane. It is super dangerous, and it’s illegal. Please don’t be this selfish behind the wheel.

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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: Lane sweeping is all too common and needs to stop