Based upon the statements of Kris Olsen, spokeswoman for the DOT, in the Dec. 30 Street Smarts column, Washington has no regulation designating right-of-way upon merging onto a freeway, when no yield or stop sign is present.
The only comment in the Washington state driver’s manual that deals with entering a roadway lacking any traffic control device, is misleading if mistakenly applied to merging: “Drivers entering a road from a driveway, alley, parking lot, or roadside must yield to vehicles already on the main road.”
Allow me to paraphrase Kris Olsen: DOT expects all drivers to play nice, when deciding who should yield during a merge. Oh, yes! That will work! I have already been involved in a road rage incident that began with a misunderstanding while merging, and witnessed others.
Since DOT supports this puerile play-nice theory, rather than precise road rules, perhaps they plan to remove all the “Right of Way” regulations. That would allow drivers to play nice at every intersection.
David W. Jessup