The rules for merging in traffic

| 28/05/2018

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian statusI feel I should know the answer to this, but I don’t. With several roads now with merge lanes it’s probably worth asking. Do the cars in the merging, lesser lane, give way to the main lane, or has it changed like the UK did to “zipper” merging (like a zip) where each car should naturally filter together with one car joining the main lane in turn. I find some people will let many cars in, some will not let any cars in, and some “zipper filter”. I tend to go with the flow, but would like to know who has right of way should something go wrong!

Auntie’s answer: The National Roads Authority (NRA) has a section dedicated to merging on its website, complete with a diagram. I encourage you to read through that explanation, which is clear and does a much better job than I could of describing how to merge.

However, I can address your query about zipper merging, thanks to a very helpful NRA official. While there are times, usually when there is traffic congestion, when Cayman drivers will exercise courtesy and merge one at a time like a zipper, the standard operating procedure is to give way to vehicles on the main road.

There are other details covering merging, including priority and non-priority versions, but again I defer to the NRA explanation if you want to learn more.


Category: Ask Auntie, Traffic Questions

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Best one is Agnes Way merging onto Crewe Road. Not sure which genius thought that one up but it’s an awesome intersection. And I love that drivers are so well educated on how to use it properly.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The NRA doesn’t write the Traffic Code – which, by the way, needs massive updating. Their diagram shows well-dispersed 100 foot long vehicles that are merging happily…not really all that helpful. Nobody has any problem until it is the grueling stop-and-go situation under 5mph, where the most aggressive chiseling always wins. To be fair, it should be a zipper, without the aggression, but some people just do whatever they want – let ’em go.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “the standard operating procedure is to give way to vehicles on the main road”!! Tell that to everyone using Old Crewe Road as a shortcut thinking they have the right of way over all the cars on South Sound Road. I have to wait for 10-20 cars to get out of my work parking lot onto South Church Street but almost all of them will then let someone on Old Crewe Road butt into traffic when they don’t have the right of way. That’s another road the police need to think about restricting to local traffic if they want to ease congestion

  4. Anonymous says:

    The link does not address where an extra lane begins. For example exiting the Hurley’s complex to join Eastbound traffic. As a cyclist going East, I can find myself sandwiched between two lanes because exiting traffic is entering a lane that is marked off with cones from the Eastbound traffic. The ‘Give way’ sign appears to be ignored, possibly because they think they are protected by the cones. The second part of the problem is vehicles that want to enter the gas station ther have almost zero space to do so.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The flow of traffic always has the right of way. Now, this does not mean that when you see someone trying to merge, you should speed up to get in front of the person merging. We have more than enough selfish inconsiderate drivers as it is.The person merging should always speed up to the flow of traffic to join. Not join traffic that is moving at 40+ mph, doing 30 mph. I think we need to have people do a written test every 5 years.