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Which is right, letting ‘cutters’ through or blocking the lane?

Cellphone video shows truck driver stopped in left lane, impeding traffic.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Video of a semitruck blocking traffic from merging near an accident in Grand Rapids is getting a lot of attention.

The truck is intentionally blocking the lane, preventing other drivers from using a "zipper style" merge which allows drivers to take turns getting over when traffic goes down to one lane. 

On Facebook there are hundreds of comments, some praising it, others say it's wrong. 

"If they're coming up to perhaps a lane closure a mile or two up ahead, use both lanes up until the final moment that the lane closure is present," said Michigan State Police Lt. David Cope.

RELATED: Zipper merge explained: Settling the debate of what's right

This cellphone video from earlier this week was taken on on Interstate-96 west, just past Plainfield Avenue. 

The semitruck came to a rolling stop in the left lane despite the entire lane being open for at least another mile. It made it impossible for drivers to utilize the zipper merge. 

We posted the video on Facebook and it triggered a passionate conversation. 

Credit: 13 ON YOUR SIDE
Credit: 13 ON YOUR SIDE
Credit: 13 ON YOUR SIDE
Credit: 13 ON YOUR SIDE

Michigan State Police Lt. Cope said any driver who impedes traffic is breaking the law. 

"What happens in these situations where you might have a commercial vehicle sometimes may move into a lane that's closed up ahead, what that does is reduces the normal flow of traffic causing an even further backup and a lot of times an unintended consequence of that is drivers becoming agitated," Cope said.

On top of being frustrating, under state law it's illegal to block traffic. The law specifically says a person without authority shall not block or obstruct traffic on a public street. 

So, use the zipper merge up until the last minute and take turns. 


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