February 23rd, 2011

CROSSING LINES

Optimize 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.

 

Crossing the double white lines can also land you a hefty fine -- $82.

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?

Catherine Cutler is the engineer in charge of letting you know that crossing the double white lines is unsafe and illegal.

“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.

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Responses to “CROSSING LINES”

  1. There is little if any difference between the speed of a car in the Express lane and the other lanes. Weaving in and out of traffic is just as dangerous in the other lanes.

  2. The double white lines CREATE safety issues. I constantly observe drivers panic and cut someone off because the dotted white line is running out and they need to merge right so they won’t miss their exit. Other drivers will cut someone off in the express lane because they HAVE to get into the express lane before the dotted white line runs out.

    Also, the express lanes do little good when crashes are moved left and block the express lane. That is not good engineering.

    And don’t get me started on the Prius owners that think they are entitled to drive in the EXPRESS lane at 60 mph.

  3. The entry and exit points do mean that drivers need to plan ahead and I’m sure some don’t. If they are driving erratically or breaking the rules of the Express Lanes it then becomes an enforcement issue and they could be given a ticket. As for crashes, unfortunately they happen and we make every effort to get them cleared as quickly as possible.

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