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Ask Trooper Steve: Who’s at fault in a crash when crossing a median?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

One News 6 viewer asked: “Who’s at fault in a crash when crossing a median?”

While answering the viewer’s question, Montiero showed an example of that sort of crash, saying “In the video presented, I go over one of the most common crashes that we see throughout Central Florida.”

[MORE: Ask Trooper Steve: Should you ride a bike with or against traffic?]

Montiero said whether it takes place in a large roadway or residential roadway, violation of right of way is one of the most commonly seen crashes in our region.

“In this specific situation I present to you a crash that commonly occurs when traffic is built up,” Montiero said, discussing the video shown in this week’s edition of “Ask Trooper Steve.” “So, whenever you approach a stop sign and your intention is to cross the initial set of travel lanes and then continue about your way in whatever direction after the median crossing, you have to stop or yield before doing any of that.”

Montiero said it can become an issue when those initial set of travel lanes are built up with stopped traffic. He said that’s when we commonly see drivers who know they cannot move forward wave other drivers on to cross their lanes.

Montiero said he often then sees drivers proceed forward since traffic is stopped, which is something he never recommends doing.

“The problem with all this is if there is another travel lane that is open or designated as a turning lane, any driver in that travel lane does not see you,” Montiero said.

Montiero said that although drivers should be careful at all times, a driver in that situation likely does not expect any driver to surprisingly come from their right side because there is already stopped traffic there.

According to Montiero, that’s is when the crash occurs.

“At this point, the driver coming across the travel lanes is responsible for this crash for violating the right of way to the driver who was already in their designated travel lane,” Montiero said. “The video from our morning show provides a much better visual graphic for you to understand.”

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