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Does California law allow merging across two highway lanes?

Merging can either be a simple or difficult task, depending on the traffic.

When it comes to finding your way into the bustling highway, when do you have the right to merge and can you do so across two lanes?

The California Highway Patrol Valley Division’s Office said these are the state’s laws for merging on a highway:

What are the rules for merging?

When merging onto a highway from an on-ramp, Officer Margarito Meza, a spokesperson for CHP, said a driver should build speed, with consideration to the maximum posted speed limit, to safely merge into the traffic already traveling on the highway.

“The merging of lanes must be done as safely as possible with consideration of other vehicles as to not cause an accident,” Meza wrote in an email to The Bee. “Adjust speed accordingly to allow for a safe merge, whether that is speeding up or slowing down.”

According to California Vehicle Code 21658, drivers should follow official signs directing how slow-moving traffic should use a designated lane to safely merge into lanes moving in the same direction.

Can you merge across two lanes at once?

“Merging on a highway is a very fluid situation,” Meza wrote.

When a roadway has two or more lanes for traffic traveling in the same direction, the vehicle code states a driver should not switch lanes until it is safe to do so.

“It is recommended to merge one lane at a time to be safe and considerate to other drivers,” Meza said.

While the vehicle code does not explicitly state merging across two lanes is against the law, Meza said a driver can be cited by law enforcement for an unsafe lane change, in accordance with the vehicle code, if it affects other drivers.

Who has the right of way when merging in California?

The driver of any vehicle about to enter or cross a highway has to yield the right-of-way to all traffic.

If highway traffic is clear and it is reasonably safe to merge, California Vehicle Code 21804 states a driver can enter the highway lane.

“Both, drivers already on the highway and those attempting to merge on, need to be considerate of one-another,” Meza wrote. “Everyone has a destination they are trying to get to, but what is most important is that we all get their safely.”

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Angela Rodriguez is a service journalism reporter for The Bee. She is a graduate of Sacramento State with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. During her time there, she worked on the State Hornet covering arts and entertainment.

https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/article280138389.html Does California law allow merging across two highway lanes?

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