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Yellow Lines on the Road

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Yellow Lines on the Road

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 11, 2007

Just what do those solid yellow lines mean on the roadway?

You know the ones... the yellow lines in the middle of the road. The solid ones. The ones that mean "Don't pass" and "Don't drive on me."

Woodstock has a moderate problem on Route 47 with drivers who create their own special lanes because they are "special" people. They sort of look like ordinary people, but they must be "special" because they drive right up the middle of the road with complete disregard for traffic laws and safety.

You know how the left-turn lane curves out from the through lane, so that you have a protected place to stop and where you, hopefully, won't get rear-ended while you are waiting to turn left? The solid yellow lane lines mark the beginning of the left-turn lane.

Why do so many drivers drive into the middle of the road early and bypass those patient, law-abiding drivers who are waiting to reach the curve-out and enter the left-turn lane lawfully? Because they are rude? stupid? uncaring? ignorant? impatient? busy? Oh, now, "busy". There's a good one. Can you imagine Paris Hilton telling the judge that she is a "busy person" and has people to tell her what to sign? She's lucky the judge didn't toss her in the clink for contempt of court!

Law-abiding drivers are endangered when they wait for the beginning of the left-turn lane to enter it. Why? Because there might be a supermom tearing up the middle lane in her SUV, chatting on her cell phone, drinking her Starbuck's latte, yelling at the kids, heading for the soccer game. Or a redneck in his huge pick-up truck, bullying his way up the road and too busy to wait for traffic to move.

Not only had you better signal before entering the left-turn lane, you'd better look in your outside mirror AND look over your left shoulder to make darned sure that the roadway is really empty, and then look again!. Otherwise, that strange noise of metal scraping on metal will be a very expensive sound.

Okay, so the problems are on Route 47 - at Lake Avenue (both directions); at McConnell Road southbound; at Country Club Road (both directions); at Judd St./Irving Road; at McHenry Avenue.

And around the County? Try Route 31 in McHenry and Route 31 in Algonquin. It's a huge problem in both places!!!



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