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Intersection Etiquette

Motorists driving straight on the highway prevail over a yield sign, and a yield sign prevails over a stop sign.  So who has the right of way when pulling out at an intersection?  First straight, next yield, then stop.  Always look both ways before crossing, even in a vehicle.  Don’t treat an intersection like a two-way stop, even though the driver in the intersection may be motioning you to come forward.  If you use this rule of thumb, you’ll know the answer the next time you’re sitting at one of many intersections along our four-lane highways throughout Missouri. 

Let's use Route U or Mette Road as an example.  As you attempt to cross Route 61 to enter into the median crossover, you do NOT have the right of way to any traffic.  Route 61 always has the first priority of right of way.  Any traffic already in the median waiting to complete their crossover of, or left turn onto, Route 61 has secondary right of way. You will find that as the traffic is allowed to clear out of the median area, the opportunities to make a safe crossing or left turn will increase.  With the new configuration at Route U and Mette Road, you will notice now that crossing and turning traffic doesn't compete for the same space, but actually pass each other on the opposite side as before.  This configuration reduces conflict points, increases driver visibility and improves safety.

Be a safe driver and pay attention.  Remove distractions…put down the cell phone, stop eating, and give your full attention to the task at hand – driving!  Take your time and make safe decisions.  Set a good example for our younger drivers. Our law enforcement partners ask each of us to drive as if you’re being tested for your license:  obey all laws and traffic signs, pay attention, wear your seat belt, use your blinkers, and please use common sense.

We have posted the diagram below to help drivers learn the rules of an intersection.  Please feel free to send this link to friends and family!

MoDOT and local law enforcement are partners in the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.  Locally know as the Northeast Regional Blueprint Committee, professionals are available to educate drivers – young, old and in between – about safe driving habits.  Sometimes we all just need reminders.  Call us if you would be interested in having a safe driving program presented to your organization, business or class.  The number is 1-888-275-6636 or email customerservice3@modot.mo.gov.

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