Senate OKs ramp meters, ferry ads

Posted July 1, 2014

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is looking into the installation of ramp meters, which are signals along interstate ramps that control merging traffic.

— State senators gave unanimous approval Tuesday to an omnibus bill authorizing interstate ramp meters, ads on ferries and sponsorships of Department of Transportation operations.

The measure, House Bill 1025, would allow the DOT to sell ad space and even naming rights on ferries and at ferry terminals and sponsorships of rest stops and other DOT facilities or projects to raise revenue for ferries and maintenance work, respectively.

It also directs the DOT to move forward with ramp meters – simple stoplights installed on high-volume on-ramps that are used to space traffic flowing onto interstates at rush hour.  

The DOT already had the authority to install ramp meters, but under current law, running a red light on a meter would have been treated the same as running a regular red light, subject to a ticket and insurance points. Anticipating a public outcry, the agency postponed use of the meters.

House Bill 1025 clarifies that running a ramp meter is an infraction, which doesn't carry points or an insurance surcharge.

A provision in the House version allowing drivers to renew their licenses for four years by phone, email or online was removed from the Senate version of the bill. That provision has already passed the House in another measure.   

The bill now goes back to the House for a final vote on the Senate's changes.


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  • Billy the Kid Jul 2, 2014

    This should make the secondary roads nice a jam packed full of people waiting to go. I guarantee that this will do nothing!

  • tobywilliamson1973 Jul 2, 2014

    Insurance companies are going to make a killing from the accidents on the ramps now!

  • Pepe Silvia Jul 2, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Because no one cares about some ad space at a ferries and rest stops! Big whoop.

    I drive on the highway every day.
    I stop at rest stops a few times a year.
    I ride ferries... basically never.

  • Pepe Silvia Jul 2, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Its not the same as a light at an intersection.

    The light is just to limit the number of cars attempting to enter the highway at the same time. You are still responsible for merging safely just like you are now.

  • European American Jul 2, 2014

    View quoted thread

    No, the ramp light is located half-way along the on-ramp. So you have half the length to gain enough speed to merge.

  • Jul 2, 2014

    Don't like it? Complain to your elected officials. Evidently, this is exactly what you were hoping for. Well, you got it.

  • Andrew Stephenson Jul 2, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    How is this any different than how it works today? The light is at the top of the ramp, not the end of the acceleration lane. After the light turns green, you have the entire acceleration lane to get up to speed, which rarely gets above 30mph.

  • killerkestrel Jul 2, 2014

    View quoted thread

    If the other driver hits you from behind, they are at fault. If you hit the driver while they are on the mainline and you are entering on the ramp, you are at fault.

  • KittenClaws Jul 2, 2014

    Oh, no! Not another traffic device for southern drivers to figure out.

    Really? Do you really think only "southern" drivers may not have experienced ramp lights before? Really?

  • Jump1 Jul 2, 2014

    Lets see I stop for the red ramp light then it turns green I get hit as I pull on the road.. Is the other driver a fault, as I had a green light????