CROCKERY TWP. (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Department of Transportation has adopted a new approach to cut down on late-merging motorists in a West Michigan construction zone. Officials are studying how well it works there and may try using the approach elsewhere.

“Do Not Pass When Flashing” signs require motorists on eastbound I-96 in Ottawa County’s Crockery Township to merge into a single lane well before a lane is closed for the state Route 231 construction zone.

When activated, the signs create a no passing zone ahead of the section of road where there’s one lane open in each direction. MDOT said the so-called dynamic merge lanes are being used to head off the possibility of aggressive driving and late merges.

“It’s all about safety,” said John Richard, a spokesman for MDOT in Grand Rapids.

According to state police, drivers who don’t merge ahead of the “Do Not Pass” signs when they are flashing could face a ticket.

MDOT began using dynamic merge lanes in some work zones a few years ago and research is evaluating the effectiveness of such lanes. The I-96 project runs until November, and MDOT will be able to further evaluate the merge lanes.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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