Are you going right?

idea_authority 19 January 2008 73

A rather concerning pattern of blinker usage has cropped up over the past six months and is becoming more and more common.

People are using there right blinker on round-a-bouts when going straight. Now sometimes it can be an honest mistake when people in the right lane decide they don’t want to go right and instead go straight. However more and more people are putting their right blinker on even in the left land causing confusion and a couple of near misses I have witnessed. Even the ACTION drivers are now doing this, going straight in the left lane but indicating right as they come off.

So I want to make it clear to Canberra drivers, that if you are going straight at a round-a-bout, as per the Jan 07 revision of the ACT Road Rules Guide, no blinker is mandatory. You may choose to indicate left as you exit the round-a-bout but you should not indicate right unless you are off the round-a-bout and merging.

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73 Responses to Are you going right?
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howdy howdy 5:49 pm 19 Jan 08

Yay roundabouts again : P

They may have thought they could turn right from the left lane, realised this was actually a silly idea and gone straight?

I know of someone who thought they were allowed to do that. They crashed : P

Seems odd, but the idea of someone intentionally indicating right to go straight on a roundabout is just odd. Just plain odd.

I think there’s just been a screw up at a Canberra optical store..

Or a driving instructor never learnt his right from his left and is confusing young students…

howdy howdy 5:52 pm 19 Jan 08

ah ha! They are indicating right cause they saw the form one lane up ahead!

toriness toriness 5:56 pm 19 Jan 08

my partner drives me MAD with indicating left to leave the roundabout when going straight through – and has always insisted that it is the law to do so hence i ama bad driver for not doing it. it is exceptionally pleasing to find out that the law is on my side! i am convinced that blinker use in roundabouts should be exactly the same as in any other road situation – ie indicate in the direction you are going, if you are going anything other than straight ahead. to do anything other than this is just confusing for those drivers waiting to enter the roundabout safely.

ooby ooby 6:47 pm 19 Jan 08

I have a little saying for round-a-abouts
‘Going straight no indicate’

Feel free to pass it on 😉

OpenYourMind2 OpenYourMind2 7:31 pm 19 Jan 08

I’m glad to hear other people get annoyed by those indicating right and going straight at roundabouts. I just don’t get it.

yeahright yeahright 7:41 pm 19 Jan 08

I agree, indicating right when going straight is silly. I think that toriness misses the point though (I.E. their partner is correct), aindicating left to exit is within the law (if possibly optional).

Mælinar Mælinar 7:51 pm 19 Jan 08

Given that in the ACT the lanes merge sometimes within 10 meters of the roundabout exit – they are actually within their 3 second indicator time to merge right.

Vic Bitterman Vic Bitterman 8:01 pm 19 Jan 08

Not true according to the road rules guide on the ACT Govt website –

(download part C2 for the roundabout info)

“In simple terms: When approaching a
multi-lane roundabout with the intention
of continuing straight ahead, approach in
either the left or right hand lane (Example
2 refers) and operate the left hand
indicator after entering the roundabout
and continue to indicate throughout the

Doesn’t seem to say anything about non-multi lane roundabouts.

Thumper Thumper 8:16 pm 19 Jan 08


I’m a Canberra driver, I have no need for trivial traffic devices.


Actually, best bet is watch out, and give way to anyone….

JC JC 8:25 pm 19 Jan 08

Troiness, listen to your wife because she is correct. You have to indicate left to exit a roundabout.

idea_authority idea_authority 8:41 pm 19 Jan 08

“They are indicating right cause they saw the form one lane up ahead!”
Quite possible, though one should not turn the blinker on as they enter the roundabout if they are doing so for an upcomming merging lane.

“Given that in the ACT the lanes merge sometimes within 10 meters of the roundabout exit – they are actually within their 3 second indicator time to merge right.”
Correct, there may sometimes be overlaps. However this cannot explain people at the Drakeford-Athlon Roundabout and roundabouts of similar sizes actually entering the roundabout with the right blinker activated while in the left lane.

But it’s not so much the act as the frequency and whose doing it. You always got people indicating strangely on roundabouts, but to me it seems to be occurring much more often, more often involving the right indicator for people going straight from either land (yes people in the left land indicating right but going straight) and even involving buses who have set routes and so should not indicate mistakenly as I have seen on 5 occasions.

You are correct though I must say the wording in the Guide is quite dangerous, suggesting that someone go around a roundabout with their left blinker activated on entering the roundabout, it could lead other drivers to believe they are turning left after all.
However, I draw to your attention to pg48 of the guide which says “If practicable, a driver driving in a roundabout must give a left change of direction signal when leaving the roundabout”
“If practicable” is open to interpretation. Given that very few people indicate left anymore when going straight and relatively few do so when exiting more then half way round the roundabout, I contacted TAMS to find out the latest some time ago. They essential said the presence of “if practical” as good as means optional because it leaves it up to the driver to judge if it is safe for them to operate the turn signal when exiting. I take the view that coming of a round about and diverting one hand to operating the turn signal is often not practicable (and is annoying). I might add I have not indicated as stated in the guide twice now with a Police car behind and not had issue.
But if one follows the letter of the law exactly, it is required. Apologies for not stating that my previous post provided an interpretation of the law rather than an exact provision of the conditions.

Deano Deano 9:13 pm 19 Jan 08

We would actually be better off if no one signalled on a roundabout – as it is I don’t trust any signals given by anyone in one and half tonnes of metal on a collision course with me.

howdy howdy 9:14 pm 19 Jan 08

If you are traveling straight in the right lane (and middle lane for three lane messes like the Kings ave Bridge ‘what the’) it is very WISE to indicate left off the roundabout when exiting (obviously not when entering). It helps stops confused people from running into you.

If you really insist on not indicating, do so at your own risk and feel free to get annoyed at all the ‘near misses’ you seem to be having.

(Oh not forgetting jokes aside please don’t kill anyone)

Maeliar – Nice theory : ) It all makes sense now.

howdy howdy 9:25 pm 19 Jan 08

Deano – It may sound crazy but your idea may actually work.

Can I just throw in another doosy.
A car two cars in front of me today was doing 70 in an 80 zone (it was raining so I wasn’t really upset). They were being mildly tailgated by the car in front of me. Only when they got to a roundabout they would speed up and travel straight through in the right lane, preventing the car from passing.

Then we got to another roundabout, the car traveled in both lanes, blocking the car behind them, swerved over to the right, the car behind then went to the left, THEN, they indicated left, cutting the other car off and they turned.

I wish really the car had beeped them.
If you want to go slow why would you also want someone licking your but? Or even ramming your but. Roundabouts are great opportunities to LET THEM PAST.

ant ant 9:42 pm 19 Jan 08

This blinker thing is my PET HATE at the moment!!!!!! Roundabouts are so busy and crowded, and yet you can’t get on because the car coming has its right blinker on…. and then he exits, with the blinker still going.

Why on earth would someone be indicating right while turning their wheel left? It’s either stupidity or bastardry, but it’s pathetic and ignorant. It doesn’t signal what they are intending to do, I wonder what’s going through their minds?

Naturally, the police completely ignore it.

JC JC 9:50 pm 19 Jan 08

If practicle would tend to mean that on a larger roundabout you indicate left to exit. On the smaller ones that happen so quick then it might not be practicle. In any case it is a matter of politeness, lets everyone know what you are up to.

sepi sepi 10:03 pm 19 Jan 08

Wasn’t there a tv ad a few years ago saying we all had to indicate on entering and leaving roundabouts.

Back when they standardised the various state road rules?

howdy howdy 10:03 pm 19 Jan 08

ant- sounds like they made a right turn but the blinker has remained on. Another good reason to then indicate left to exit, your right indicator comes off too!

Therefore indicating left also helps cars approaching from the other direction know it’s safe for them to go and you aren’t doing a big U turn.

See, it’s useful : )

cranky cranky 10:13 pm 19 Jan 08


I’m with you. Bugger the indicators, just use your eyes and brains to work out who’s going where.

The nonsense of indicating when lanes merge for instance. Where the bloody hell else is the car in front going to go but in front of you in the merged lane. Just don’t hit it if it is front of you – it has right of way.

OK – There are idiots who hang a right at roundabouts from the left lane. They should feel the full force of the law – total incompetence.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 10:34 pm 19 Jan 08

The nonsense of indicating when lanes merge for instance. Where the bloody hell else is the car in front going to go but in front of you in the merged lane. Just don’t hit it if it is front of you – it has right of way.

Don’t get me started on this! Every day at every Form One Lane I get idiots that speed up and try and overtake or undertake when the lane has ended, regardless if I am in front or have my indicator on. Flemington Rd in Mitchell and the roundabouts near the Brand Depot on Majura Rd are major problem areas IMO.

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