Ask Trooper Steve: Can you get a ticket for not letting someone merge?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

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: “Can I get a ticket for not letting someone merge into a travel lane?”

There is no specific traffic law that talks about “failing to allow someone to merge”. Meaning, if you are traveling on a highway or multi lane road you have possession of that travel lane. The right of way to that road belongs to you -- and to you only.

Anyone wanting to merge into your lane would have to yield to you. You have no obligation to slow traffic down to allow other traffic to come in, unless it’s an active emergency vehicle of course.

But what is the right thing to do? It really takes teamwork on the highway when it comes to merging especially if you’re the driver located in that right travel lane.

Unfortunately, merging traffic is going to try to get into your lane, hopefully only when it’s safe to do so and they’re up to speed.

Some drivers in that right lane tend to sometimes speed up and close that gap available for a merger, ultimately eliminating the space for a vehicle to merge. Would this be considered following too closely? Or maybe even careless driving? Possibly.

There are a few traffic violations that could occur if someone had malicious intended to prevent someone from merging. But at the end of the day the roadway belongs to the person in that lane and the individual wanting to merge is obligated to yield right away.

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