February 23rd, 2011
CROSSING LINESOptimize Mobility, by Catherine Higgins.
UDOT’s system for helping to optimize travel on I-15 is working, but some bad driving behaviors really cross the double white lines.
The good news about UDOT’s new Express Lane system is that it’s working.
Travel time on I-15 is improved when drivers use the Express Lanes. Vehicles with more than one passenger can use the Express Lanes for free. Solo drivers can purchase a pass and pay to use Express Lanes. UDOT manages travel time in the Express Lane by charging pass users a variable rate base on travel speed on I-15.
The smart new system allows vehicles to take up available space in the Express Lanes so travel time on I-15 is better for everyone. But when drivers cross the double white lines, they risk causing a crash. Crossing the double white lines is un-safe practice and illegal for that reason. Why?
“There’s a speed differential between the Express Lanes and the general purpose lanes,” says Catherine Cutler, UDOT Express Lanes Project Manager. “My job is to make sure drivers are aware of how dangerous that practice is. Weaving in and out of the lanes by crossing the double white lines can cause drivers to break suddenly or swerve and cause a crash. ”
The Express Lanes on I-15 have been engineered to be as safe as possible. Double white lines provide a buffer to separate traffic traveling at different speeds from merging unexpectedly while dotted white lines provide an expected point for vehicles to move in and out of the Express Lanes.
Cutler hopes more drivers will be aware of Express Lane safety issues as they see some new billboards along I-15 at 1550 North and 12645 South. If everybody follows the law, drivers can enjoy Express Lane benefits without the risks caused by crossing the double white lines.