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California

Changing lanes in L.A. is an angst-ridden ballet. This motorist puts everyone else to shame

Los Angeles traffic congestion
Traffic jams the 110 Freeway and downtown streets as commuters make their weekend and Christmas holiday getaway on Dec. 20, 2013.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Changing lanes in Los Angeles traffic has long been an act filled with anxiety and emotions.

Lane changes are a top cause of accidents, as well as anger. In the 1990s and 2000s, The Times wrote stories about serious road rage incidents — including shootings — caused when one motorist merged in ways another didn’t appreciate. People have begged for better lane-change etiquette and for people to practice the golden rule.

Hollywood even turned an errant lane change that caused an accident into a 2002 revenge thriller starring Ben Affeck and Samuel L. Jackson. The name? “Changing Lanes,” of course.

So perhaps that’s why this video taken near Culver City this week has gotten so much attention. It shows a driver dangling a sign that reads “Please let me in” as he tries to squeeze his Lexus into the far left lane. When he’s let in, he hoists a sign that says “Thanks.”

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The woman who took the video from the a nearby car summed up the moment: “That’s so smart.”


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