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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Failure to Yield - Merging on to Highway

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Massachusetts

    I'm coming down the ramp, and there's a car coming along in the right lane. Still in the incoming lane, I accelerated up to 65 mph (The limit) to merge, with what should have been plenty of room. I didn't notice that the car coming up the highway had closed quickly into my blind spot, (above the limit) and I pulled in front of them. No real risk of an impact, but it was relatively close.

    It turns out that the vehicle is Mass State Police, and I see the a wall of blue lights. (Figures) I pull over, and he continues past and pulls over the next car up ahead of us. He pulls over that car and I continue on. About a mile to a mile and a half down the road, over the next hill and out of site of the last time I saw him with that other car pulled over, I see a car flying up the highway behind me.

    Long story short, he's angry, and I get cited for failure to yield because he was "on the main line" and "had to hit his brakes".

    The point that I'm getting stuck on is, he was exceeding the speed limit, without his warning lights on, in order to catch up to another car he was pulling over. If he'd been at the speed limit, or close to, I would have been able to merge with no trouble whatsoever. Also, the highway was essentially empty besides him, myself, and the car he was going after, which would have given him plenty of room to move into the left lane to allow me to merge safely.

    So, the question: (Sorry for the long story). Was this citation justified?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Failure to Yield - Merging on to Highway

    Also, the highway was essentially empty besides him, myself, and the car he was going after, which would have given him plenty of room to move into the left lane to allow me to merge safely.
    and just the same, it would have given you plenty of room to slow down a bit and merge behind the officer. The fact you lost him in your blind spot (which, btw is only a blind spot if you refuse to turn your head and look), means you assumed something concerning the situation. Your assumptions were obviously incorrect. You even mention that "it was relatively close". You cut the guy off. His speed was irrelevant. It is your duty to judge the speed of other traffic and act accordingly.

    ticket definitely justified.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: Failure to Yield - Merging on to Highway

    What you've described is a growing (and dangerous) problem in California. All too often, people have the strange notion that when they merge onto the freeway, that motorists already occupying a lane, have an obligation to get out of their way. It's especially bad for truckers because they are so often unable to take evasive action because of the size of their trucks.

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