The back and forth continues on the zipper merge: is it an efficient method of getting through a construction zone or an excuse to cut off other drivers?
The method was recently added to the province’s driver handbook, but some drivers against the zipper posted on the 980 CJME Facebook page and said they wouldn’t “let stupid people in” in reference to other drivers trying to merge in front of them.
SGI’s Tyler McMurchy explained the merge a different way, comparing it a grocery store having two tills open for customers and then simply alternating one by one out the store’s exit.
But other questions exist. What if there’s a crash at the merge point? Who would be at fault?
McMurchy said, generally speaking, if you’re merging into another lane, the onus is on the driver moving over to make sure it is safe to do so. He said it’s not a total breakdown if a driver is discourteous but things can be tripped up.
“It can make things a little messier for everyone so it is best that everybody buy into this,” he said. “Like in almost any traffic situation, when everyone is following the same rules things work a lot better.”
He said sometimes best practices may not necessarily be law.
“It might not be enshrined in law that you have to follow three seconds behind somebody but that’s the best practice in ideal conditions,” McMurchy used as an example.
“In the event of a collision if you are driving in what is deemed to be an unsafe manner that will ultimately affect how your liability for that collision is judged.”
McMurchy urged drivers to remain calm if another driver is unwilling to them in and simply wait for a driver who will.