Have you driven on a highway lately? I spend about one to two hours each workday on the interstate driving to and from Pittsburgh and, let me tell you, it can be very interesting. Most days, the commute is uneventful and often even relaxing. Now that the Southern Beltway construction zone is finished, it’s downright enjoyable to navigate that stretch of road (complete with three lanes of new pavement in some sections).
At other times, the commute can be nerve-wracking and even scary. Weekend evenings are particularly wrought with potential goofballs on the road either drag racing on what they perceive to be relatively empty stretches or frequently heading home from a ball game or concert, most likely having consumed a few cold ones.
The other day, I was about to enter the Fort Pitt Tunnel inbound when a young lady driving the car in front of me inexplicably veered into the left lane with no notice, no turn signal, and no concern for the other car she nearly ran off the road. Even worse is the fact she did this about 10 feet before the tunnel and crossed a solid white line in the process.
I thought about that a few times the rest of the day and then did some research. From what I remember when I learned to drive, you’re not supposed to cross solid white lines. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles, “Solid white lines divide lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction. Solid white lines are also used to mark the right edge of the road. As a general rule, broken traffic lines can be crossed and solid lines cannot, except when making a turn.” Did this person never learn that, or did she just not care?
I’ve seen this happen a handful of times over the past year, and it leaves me shaking my head. The second rule of driving this driver violated was changing lanes just as she entered a tunnel. The DMV rules state, “You may not pass if you are within 100 feet of any bridge, elevated structure, or tunnel, if you are approaching or are on a curve or a hill crest restricting your view of oncoming traffic or if you are on the shoulder of a multi-lane highway.”
I know I must be officially old since I’m now complaining about the way other people drive! Still, I have to wonder: Did these folks miss driver education class? Most schools don’t teach it now and Pennsylvania doesn’t require it.
Maybe it’s time we all did a refresher course or at least try to pay more attention to safety or what we’re doing when we get behind the wheel of a car. It just might save your life and those of others.
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