Troopers speak out against 'exit jumping' on Charlotte interstates

Troopers speak out against exit jumping on Charlotte interstates

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte commuters often do anything they can to shave a minute or two off their morning drive.

A move that drivers are resorting to more often is known as exit jumping, which is when they get off the interstate to avoid a traffic backup, then merge right back on at the same exit.

The risky maneuver has become more of an issue as Charlotte continues to grow.

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"It's not saving you much time, and it's putting you at risk and causing more wear and tear to your car," North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Ray Pierce said.

Driving apps like Waze or Google Maps try to show you the shortest route, and apps like those often direct motorists to exit jump to save time.

Arrowood Road in south Charlotte on Interstate 77 is an example of where it happens a lot.

At the end of the exit ramp, there are clear traffic arrows telling drivers to turn left or right. Some drivers, however, go straight across the road onto the I-77 on ramp and back onto the highway.

That is an illegal move, and drivers could get a ticket.

"Those are the ones we usually get a call about an accident later on,” Pierce said. “They are the more aggressive drivers."

Exit jumping legally slows traffic more when impatient drivers merge back onto the road.

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It also requires jumpers to make U-turns on the side roads to get back onto the interstate.

David Harvie is annoyed by people who exit jump.

“It's frustrating because they've gotta get back into traffic with you, and so trying to come in, usually they cut in. It's very aggravating," he said.