What Is a Gore Area?
The gore is the triangular area located in between the lanes of a highway and either an entrance or an exit ramp. They are at their narrowest point when the entrance ramp joins the highway and when the exit ramp first leaves it, and slowly widen as the ramp pulls away.
Typically, the gore has two parts to it: There's a paved portion and an unpaved portion.
The unpaved portion of the gore area is the physical gore, and is often an island of grass that fills the area between the ramp and the highway.
The paved portion is the theoretical gore, and stretches from the outermost white line of the highway to the innermost white line of the entrance or exit ramp. This part of the gore is often marked with lines or chevrons, painted on the pavement to warn drivers not to drive there. When the physical gore has an object in it that could cause injuries if crashed into, like a light post or slabs of concrete, the theoretical gore will often have a crash attenuator to minimize the impact of an accident.
Crossing a Gore Area is Illegal
A.R.S. §28-644 makes it illegal to enter or park in any portion of the gore area in Arizona unless instructed to do so by police or unless it's necessary to get a disabled vehicle out of harm's way. If you violate this law, you'll get a traffic ticket, though many gore crossing incidents also involve other traffic violations as well, like speeding, or merging without signaling.
In addition to the ticket, crossing a gore area in Arizona also adds 3 points to your driving record, the same as you would get if you were speeding.
Why Crossing a Gore Area is Illegal
When someone drives through the gore area to enter a highway, the people who are already on the highway are left with very little time to react and give the new car the room they need to merge. On the other hand, when going through the gore area to leave the highway, drivers who are already on the exit ramp are often unable to see the new car coming, and are left defenseless.
Arizona's law prohibiting gore driving is a reactionary one. It was only passed in 1998 after a police officer was hit and killed by someone passing through the gore area.
Arizona Criminal Traffic Defense Attorneys Can Help
Unless you're fresh out of driving school, you might not even know what a gore is, nevermind that it can saddle your driving record with a significant blemish and net you a costly ticket. Getting arrested for driving through a gore area can be a shock and can put your driving privileges at risk. Contact the Arizona Criminal Traffic law firm if you want to preserve your rights to drive by defending against a ticket for driving through a gore area. Call us at (888) 202-9222 or contact us online.