GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga – Signs and street markings all over metro Atlanta tell drivers not to block intersections, but Commuter Dude Jerry Carnes found they are warnings that are often ignored.
You’ve no doubt seen the big white X’s painted inside numerous intersections in the city of Atlanta and suburban counties north and south of town. They warn drivers not to enter an intersection unless traffic allows room for them on the other side. Drivers trapped in the middle of the intersection, on top of the white X, can prevent other drivers from crossing or entering the intersection.
Efforts to prevent such rude behavior have increased throughout the metro area. With road striping, signs, and ticket writing, local jurisdictions have tried to send a message.
And yet, Commuter Dude Jerry Carnes spent more than an hour at an intersection near Gwinnett Place Mall to observe driver after driver “blocking the box”.
In fact, it happened with nearly every cycle of the light at Pleasant Hill Road and Venture Drive, where the stripes and signs are hard to miss. The only time drivers avoided blocking the box was due to the presence of a Gwinnett County Police officer.
Georgia law says that drivers should avoid entering an intersection “unless there is sufficient space on the other side.” The law goes on to say that drivers should not enter “notwithstanding any traffic-control signal indication to proceed,” meaning the driver should not see a green light as permission to enter when there is no room for them to clear the intersection.
Drivers can be fined as much as $500 for “blocking the box.”