Roundabouts have been in Australia for about 30 years, and their introduction has caused some confusion for many drivers.
Over the years there have been many interpretations of the ‘rules’ on roundabout, and no matter who you talk to there seems to be many variations on the road rules.
Let’s help clear it up:
Indicating on the roundabouts:
Left and right turns a driver must have their indicator on at least 30 – 60 metres before the roundabout to give sufficient warning of their intentions.
Turning left: Indicate to the left before you get to the roundabout and leave your indicator on until you are off the roundabout.
Turning right: Indicate to the right before you get to the roundabout and leave your right indicator on until you get to the exit before your exit, then turn on your left indicator to signal off the roundabout.
Straight ahead: This is the one that doesn’t seem to make sense to drivers, however, there is NO indicator to enter the roundabout, when you get just past the halfway point indicate left to signal you are leaving the roundabout where practical.
U Turn: Proceed the same as a right turn, and change to the left indicator at the exit before your exit.
Who has right of way?
The person already on the roundabout. This does NOT mean a driver can speed into a roundabout to be the first one on. We must approach the roundabout with caution and most importantly – be polite and safe.
Cyclists MUST be treated as a vehicle and have the same right of way as a car. LOOK for cyclists before entering.
To enter the roundabout:
When approaching the roundabout slow your speed in the last 30 metres to approximately 25 km/ hr, this will give you sufficient time to assess the dangers on your right side which is where the imminent danger is. Once you have sufficient clearance enter the roundabout taking care to assess the left side of any drivers entering in front of you. If a driver does enter by mistake in front of you slow and take caution to avoid a collision. All drivers have the responsibility under the road rules to avoid a collision where possible. Common-sense must prevail, do not risk your life to assert your right of way if someone is entering in a dangerous manner.
More and more we see drivers approach the roundabouts at high speed and not look at their right or left side and go through at a dangerous pace. To make these work all drivers need to understand the road rules and slow down. Be courteous to other drivers and understand that an accident at low speed on a roundabout will cause major injuries and possible death. Our behaviour and attitude to these traffic situations must change to reduce the risk to other road users.
Not indicating on a roundabout incurs a penalty and loss of points. The current fine is $ 173 and 2 demerit points.
But rather than focus on the penalties as drivers let’s focus on keeping everyone safe and alive.
To see an animated video of how to indicate on a roundabout go to www.highlandsdrivesafe.com
A downloadable brochure is available from the RMS website.