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Chattooga Public Safety

Walker County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Tip of the Month

Sheriff’s Office Traffic Tip of the Month

A Georgia motorist that has spent any significant time behind the wheel has likely experienced the headache of heavy traffic. It can be extremely frustrating to make a left turn onto a multi-lane highway with lots of traffic coming from either direction. It is common for motorists to utilize the central turning lane as a means to safely negotiate the heavy traffic from one direction and then travel down the central turning lane until it is safe to merge over again into the desired lane of travel. The vast majority of motorist have done this believing that it is lawful, and even though at times it probably is the safest option, it is important for motorist to understand that it is a violation of Georgia law to use the central turning lane in this manner and if an accident is caused from using the central turning lane in this manner, the motorist responsible can be liable both criminally and civilly.

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The central turning lane is the middle lane that separates some four-lane highways. It can be identified by the solid yellow lines on the outside of the lane and the segmented yellow line on the inside of the lane. The central turning lane will also have arrows painted (usually in white) depicting a left turn.

The Official Code of Georgia Annotated 40-6-126 describes the purpose of the central turning lane. It says that when a highway or roadway has a central turn lane that traffic can enter from either direction, no vehicle shall be driven into the central turn lane except for the purpose of making a left turn. Furthermore, no vehicle shall enter into such central turn lane at a location that is more than 300 feet from the location from which the vehicle will turn left across the oncoming lanes of traffic. Lastly, no vehicle shall be driven in a central turn lane for more than 300 feet.

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