Confession in 3, 2, 1...

We were today-years-old when we found out we'd been misusing the center lane our entire adult lives.

How we've managed to avoid a dozen+ traffic tickets is truly mind-blowing. Even stranger, we know we've pulled this maneuver in front of Idaho State Police, Boise Sheriffs, and every other law enforcement agency that patrols the Treasure Valley. But they never gigged us for it.

In full disclosure, we've been slapped with a number of moving violations over the last decade (we're lookin' at you, Garden City Police).

The Wrong Way/Our Way

We were under the impression that the center lane, or what Idaho drivers refer to as the suicide lane, made merging into oncoming traffic on busy roads safer, easier, and faster. We weren't wrong, we just weren't doing it right.

For example, if we were pulling out of Eagle Christian Church in Star, and we needed to go west on State Street/Highway 44, we would:

  1. clear traffic to our right and left (of course);
  2. gun it to the center lane;
  3. clear the lane to our right;
  4. then, gain enough speed to merge into traffic without getting hit or slowing it down.

Title 49: Motor Vehicles, Chapter 6 Rules of the Road (Title 49) from the Idaho State Legislature explains why our way was the wrong way. We sum it up in four parts in our gallery below!

The driver of a vehicle intending to turn will do as follows:

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

The 100 Feet Rule

Apparently, we either forgot or we never knew the 100 feet rule. We just always drove as far as we needed to to pick up speed and join the traffic flow. If we had to ballpark it, we've probably gone as far as 500-to-1,000 feet in the suicide lane.

Come to think of it, that's probably why they coined it that.

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