Sunday 25 April 2021

What is a ZIP merge?

 What is a ZIP merge?

Zip merging is when two rows of vehicles merge into one, and there are no lines marked on the road, and have a 'ZIP MERGE' sign. 
The road rules around merging on our roads are pretty simple, and there are now two rules for merging that drivers need to remember.
Until now, when a motorist is travelling in a marked lane that is coming to an end, they are required to merge into another lane across a broken painted line. In this case, the driver travelling in the ending lane must give way to traffic travelling in the lane being entered, even if they are slightly ahead.

Car A gives way to Car B as it is travelling in a lane 
that is ending and must cross broken painted lines. 

The new merging situation that drivers need to be aware of is the "zip merge".

When driving on a road without lane markings, or where the lane markings end before the two lines of traffic merge, and with a ‘ZIP MERGE’ sign, you must give way to the vehicle ahead of you. This is commonly known as a ‘zip merge’.  This allows traffic to move into a single lane seamlessly.

Car B gives way to Car A as the lane is merging into one, and 
vehicles must give way to those in front.

Approaching a zip merge is not difficult.

Look ahead for the ZIP MERGE sign.  Remember to check your mirrors, including your side mirror, and also check over your shoulder for any vehicles in your blind spot.

Vehicles in the left lane are required to use their right indicator when merging – indicating is not necessary if you’re in the right lane.

Maintain a sensible speed through the merge, it shouldn’t be faster than the vehicle in front of you or somewhat slower than other traffic on the same road.

Merging incorrectly can have serious consequences for both the person merging and those around them.  You could rear-end someone, cause an accident or slow everyone else down.

Sometimes, there is a real problem with drivers refusing to make room for people trying to merge which can be very frustrating for other drivers.

Not letting people in or merging dangerously isn't going to get you to your destination any quicker.

Motorists can be fined if they are caught not following the merging rules.  In Queensland, the fine is $400 with three demerit points.

However, there are sensible things you can do to help you stay safe, even if others get it wrong.

1. Don't drive too slowly when trying to merge. Keep your speed similar to the traffic you are trying to merge with so as not to disrupt the flow.

2. Avoid stopping in the merging lane, particularly when entering freeways, as this can make merging more difficult.

3. If there is a merging lane available on a multi-lane road use it instead of waiting to cross over to the lane you want to be in.

4. Always check your mirrors and blind spots before merging and use your indicators.

5. Maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you to avoid clipping the car when merging.

6. Be considerate in heavy traffic and allow other cars to merge.



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