Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — CROCKERY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The state Department of Transportation has adopted a new approach to cut down on late-merging motorists in a West Michigan construction zone, and officials are studying how well it works there and elsewhere.
"Do Not Pass When Flashing" signs require motorists on eastbound Interstate 96 in Ottawa County's Crockery Township to merge into a single lane well before a lane is closed for the state Route 231 construction zone, MLive.com reported.
When activated, the signs create a no passing zone ahead of the section of road where there's one lane open in each direction. MDOT said the so-called dynamic merge lanes are being used to head off the possibility of aggressive driving and late merges.
"It's all about safety," said John Richard, a spokesman for MDOT in Grand Rapids.
According to state police, drivers who don't merge ahead of the "Do Not Pass" signs when they are flashing could face a ticket.
MDOT began using dynamic merge lanes in some work zones a few years ago and research is evaluating the effectiveness of such lanes. The Interstate 96 project runs until November, and MDOT will be able to further evaluate the merge lanes.