Verify: Is it legal to use the median to merge?

Verify: Is it legal to use the median to merge?

John Atkinson sent us a message about a traffic law.

He wanted to know if using the median to merge is legal, saying, "Drivers do this a lot and I think it's a dangerous practice."

We wanted to get answers for John, so we took him on a road trip to Verify the facts.

He and Nicole Butler went straight to the source -- Captain Brad Wolfe with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office. 

Here's a look at what they learned.

Strapping in, John Atkinson is ready for a road trip to show us firsthand what's been grinding his gears on the road.

"And usually, like in this intersection, people will turn in that middle lane and then try to merge with the cars in the other lane," he says.

Atkinson says with businesses in the area going full throttle, cars using the median to merge has become more than just irritating, it's dangerous.

"It's aggravating when you're the one that they are trying to merge in front of and it looks like they may wreck into you," he says.

From a parking lot on Forsyth Road, Atkinson pointed out a handful of cars doing just that.

"Look at that car came in the middle lane and, see, he's driving literally driving in the middle lane," Atkinson says.

So we drove to the Bibb County Sheriff's Office so John could Verify, Is using the median as a way to merge legal?

Captain Brad Wolfe helped break down the law. 

"You are not allowed to use that center turn lane to merge, you're not supposed to enter that lane more than 300 feet before your intended turn, and you're not to ride in that lane more than 300 feet before you make your intended turn, so people that pull out and sit there to wait for traffic to clear is in violation of the law," Wolfe says.

Using the median to merge? We verified, it's illegal, and Wolfe says this leads to many rush hour accidents. 

Captain Wolfe says you can be pulled over and fined for using the median illegally.

The ticket can cost you from $70 up to $120.

Now if you have something you'd like for us to Verify, send us your question by visiting our Facebook page, tweeting us on Twitter, or you can send us an email at eyewitnessnews@13wmaz.com

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