We giggled, groaned and rolled our eyes for a moment when the Nixa Police Department reached out to discuss turn lane use, but after a moment, we supported their plea to get the word out about using the middle lane of major roads safely and correctly.
Police report that many of the turn lane violations in Nixa occur along Highway 14/Mount Vernon Street, along Nicholas Road in the area between Nixa High School and Highway 14 and along Aldersgate Drive near Walmart.
“Nixa Police see a lot of drivers using center turn lanes incorrectly. Not only is it a violation of the law, but it is dangerous and leads to traffic crashes,” a Nixa Police Department press release reads.
A turn violation is probably not the crime of the century, but the fact that Nixa police are concerned enough with the dangers such violations pose to the extent that they are willing to appeal to the general public to share information shows their concern. Traffic accidents, after all, could lead to injury or even death, so if certain parts of Nixa have become high-risk spots to drive, it’s worth noting.
Police officers and Nixa Public Information Officer Drew Douglas kicked off the campaign for safer turn lanes with a video on Facebook Live on April 18.
Here are some quick turn lane tips:
- It’s called a “center turn lane” not a “center cruise lane.”
- Only use the center turn lane to turn left.
- Don’t drive in the center turn lane for more than 500 feet.
- Don’t ever use the center turn lane as a passing lane.
- Don’t use the center turn lane as an on-ramp for gaining speed to merge. When turning left from a cross street, wait until all lanes are clear cross to your lane of travel.
- Police pledged to start enforcing a “zero-tolerance policy” on turn lane violations, which is where the eye rolling and giggling should come to an abrupt halt.
- “Our officers will write tickets for violations. Our stats show that when we step up traffic enforcement, the public begins driving better, and we see less crashes,” the press release states. “We don’t step up enforcement to be jerks, we do it to correct dangerous driving and hopefully keep you from having a crash.”
- We aren’t interested in having our police officers be jerks. Hopefully, this enforcement campaign will remind drivers to share the road responsibly and to reduce the risk of accidents on some of Nixa’s busiest streets.
- Hopefully, this campaign will also be a nice reminder on traffic rules for drivers in other parts of Christian County, where center turn lane violations also cause problems.