ZIPPER MERGE: Motorists doing the right thing in afternoon traffic approaching the Grafton bridge on the Grafton side.
ZIPPER MERGE: Motorists doing the right thing in afternoon traffic approaching the Grafton bridge on the Grafton side. Jarrard Potter

OUR SAY: Merging patience needed on Grafton bridge

WITH traffic seemingly getting worse by the day on the Grafton bridge, the need for drivers to be smart and courteous is greater now more than ever. But it appears there are some who seem to fail to grasp the basics of the road rules surrounding merging when getting on and off the bridge.

I know, I get it. None of us want to be stuck in traffic for any longer than we have to. But attempting to muscle your way ahead of the queue, or refusing to let others merge in front of you, isn't just making the traffic worse, it's also dangerous.

Those two very things happened to me in the space of two days this week.

The first instance was when I left work to go home on Tuesday afternoon. As I was in the left hand lane on the Grafton side approaching the bridge, the time had come for me to merge lanes. However, a driver in the right hand lane had other ideas, and tailgated the car in front of them, refusing to let me merge in front, forcing the car behind to let in two cars to allow traffic to flow.

Just yesterday morning, on the South Grafton side of the bridge, I was in the right hand lane as the time came to merge. I was giving way to the car ahead, when another car started to also force its way into the space. Not wanting to cause an accident, I had to let the car in.

Looking at the road rules, it's obvious that the zipper merging style is appropriate. The lanes end before the merge, so cars in the right hand lane must give way to the car in front in the left lane. Sticking to this basic principal will save us all some headaches I think.

Merging rules:

 

KNOW THE RULES: There are two types of merging techniques.
KNOW THE RULES: There are two types of merging techniques. Roads and Maritime Services

According to the Roads and Maritime Services, when the lane lines end before the lanes merge, as shown at the top of the image, the car in the right hand lane that is trailing must give way.

However, when the lane ends and a car must cross lane lines to merge with traffic in another lane, the cars in the left-hand lane must give way.

For more details, visit the RMS website.

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