Frequently Asked Questions

Road and Driving Safety

What does a solid white center or separation line on the road indicate?

No lane changes allowed.  Solid white lines are typically used in road construction areas.  Passing or changing lanes here can be unsafe and dangerous. Other additional markings include:

  • Double solid yellow center lines mean no passing is allowed in either direction.
  • A single dashed yellow center line means you are allowed to pass if the road ahead is clear.
  • A combination of solid and dashed yellow center lines has two meanings: If the dashed line is in your lane, you can pass. If the solid line is in your lane, you can't pass.

Whose responsibility is it to ensure traffic merges efficiently?

Typically the merge sign is designated for the driver who is entering a dedicated roadway or expressway.  The driver merging has the responsibility to ensure he/she enters the expressway at a safe speed that does not cause undue hazards to the other motorists.  The merging driver should avoid sudden slow downs or stops and make sure there is ample merge space between other vehicles.  Merge at the end of an on-ramp. Trying to cut in early from the middle of the on-ramp can surprise other drivers and cause an accident. Although some drivers will move to the left lane to allow cars to merge, this is a courtesy and not a requirement.

Does traffic on all lanes required to stop if a school bus stops and has its red flashers activated?

School bus red lights and stop arm are intended to control only two lanes of traffic. Only traffic directly behind the school bus and traffic in the lane closest (typically the left lane) to the school bus must stop. Oncoming traffic must also stop.  You are not allowed to pass a school bus while lights are flashing red and the STOP sign is extended.

Is it okay to drive on the shoulder to get around traffic if you are turning right?

Shoulders are for emergency use only and serve as a buffer.  Don't use a highway shoulder as a travel lane or to back up to a missed ramp.

Are bicyclists allowed to ride on vehicle roadways and highways?

Bicyclists may ride on authorized streets and highways but must generally comply with the rules of the road that vehicle drivers must obey.  Bicyclists are not allowed to ride on interstate highways or where otherwise prohibited.  Check with your local police department for bicycle laws.