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What’s the “Gore Point” You Ask?

Posted Friday, August 19, 2016 by Andrew Charles Huff

I know this sounds like a phrase from a slasher movie focusing on maximum carnage. But for those who enjoy Hollywood’s blood and gore, you will not be impressed. In roadway parlance, the “gore point” is the section of two merging roadways that usually are marked with white tapering lines. This area is officially called the “gore point” and traveling over this area is prohibited.

To put the lawyer hat on, RCW 46.61.150 states: “Whenever any highway has been divided into two or more roadways by leaving an intervening space or by a physical barrier or clearly indicated dividing section or by a median island not less than eighteen inches wide formed either by solid yellow pavement markings or by a yellow crosshatching between two solid yellow lines so installed as to control vehicular traffic, every vehicle shall be driven only upon the right-hand roadway unless directed or permitted to use another roadway by official traffic-control devices or police officers.”

I understand this law can be frustrating because a “gore point” is hardly a physical barrier and is usually just empty, unused space that could be put to good use, in some cases widening roadways or adding an extra turn lane. However, my advice is to stay out of that space while driving unless directed by law enforcement. Otherwise you could be subjected to a $411 fine…yes, for driving in empty space.

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