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On roundabouts

By johnboy 8 October 2013 36

roundabout

With Canberra so famous for its roundabouts it’s worth noting The Economist has a story on their history, and the social capital required to make them work:

The fate of roundabouts abroad thus repeats in miniature that of another British export, parliamentary democracy—another fine idea that backfires when mixed with jiggery-pokery. Just as democracy tends not to work without a free press, an independent judiciary and other helpful institutions, so roundabouts need decent drivers, straight police and reasonable infrastructure to function. The lesson of both is that fine ideas can wind up looking naive if they take no account of context and history. Swindon wasn’t built in a day.

Something to think about.

What’s Your opinion?


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On roundabouts
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Shrilekha Chavda 8:26 am 15 Jan 18

My husband got stopped by police this morning on his way to work. He was going straight on a roundabout(that means no left or right just straight ahead). The cop told him he needs to indicate. My husband argued that he is going straight but the cop gave him warning and notice. Any suggestions?

    DJA 5:56 pm 15 Jan 18

    From my memory of the Australian Road Rules (ARR): No indication on entering the roundabout and (if safe and practicable) indicate left after passing the first exit to show other road users he is about to exit.

    Note that indicating to exit is ‘strongly encouraged’ (my paraphrasing) but, because of the practicality clause, cannot be enforced.

    I have not read the latest ARR, but that is my recollection. Myself, I would download the ARR, look at the relevant ACT Act to check for local variations, and then politely request the notice be withdrawn. But, I would also consider which roundabout – easier to argue about practicality on a small roundabout than a large one.

    Shrilekha Chavda 8:37 pm 17 Jan 18

    Thank you so much. That’s very helpful. I’ll definitely download the rules and read thoroughly. It was a small single lane roundabout. My husband goes through the same route everyday for work. Thank you replying.

Felix the Cat 12:43 pm 10 Oct 13

artuoui said :

And how do we stop those dickheads who think they need to indicate right to enter a roundabout, then indicate left to get out of it again?

Mandantory licence retesting every 5 years and getting Police to understand the rules and enforce them.

Aeek 11:33 am 10 Oct 13

BimboGeek said :

Geez this thread has jinxed the crazies out of hiding tonight. Just now on my 10 minute drive home some moron actually tried to turn right from the left lane of a roundabout

I had a Canberra driving instructor recommend I do that as, before the national rules, the left lane had right of way on roundabouts. (was)Legal but insane.

JC 9:18 am 10 Oct 13

BimboGeek said :

Geez this thread has jinxed the crazies out of hiding tonight. Just now on my 10 minute drive home some moron actually tried to turn right from the left lane of a roundabout… Over the top of me! Then having recovered from that, a few minutes later the next numpty tried to exit left from the middle lane… Over the top of me! What the hell, Canberra! Sober up and get a sense of direction!

Similar happened to me the other day. At the Parkes Way, Coranderrk Street roundabout had a car turn right (to do a u turn back down Parkes Way) from the left lane, though fortunately he was indicating right so I was expecting it. Then down at the roundabout leading into Russell Offices I had a car think it was a single lane roundabout and nearly got side swiped by him cutting the lanes.

bryansworld 5:31 am 10 Oct 13

What you said.

quote comment=”502251″]

watto23 said :

Not strictly law. There is a clause saying where it is safe and practical to do so. There is always give way to the right, which is a give way sign and not a stop sign. Yes some peoples definition of giving way amuses me, either very extreme or very conservative.

On a small 1 laned roundabout, indicate left to turn left, right to turn right and no indication to go straight. Basically a left indicator to exit straight would need to be made very late in the intersection to avoid confusion with those turning left and thus rendering it meaningless anyway.

On dual lane roundabounts and larger roundabouts the rules are simple but many have no idea.
Before entering the roundabout, indicate left to turn left and keep indicating as you exit. Generally only done from the left lane except where marked.

For straight ahead it enter the intersection in either lane, where safe to do so (giving way to right), then indicate left to exit, normally as you have past the last left hand exit and are around the middle of the intersection.

For right turn its indicate right entering in the right lane (unless otherwise marked) and then indicate left after you pass the straight exit.

I dare say the people who can’t navigate roundabouts also can’t merge at 80 or 100 though.

Watto23 close but no cigar. In your simple instructions you have made one classic roundabout mistake, which is you said to give way to the right. The law on roundabouts is give way to ANY vehicle already on the roundabout. That vehicle could be ‘in front’ (on your left if you will) of you already. Basically if a vehicle on your left enters the roundabout first you also need to give way to them as well as any vehicle on your right already on the roundabout.

Also the left indicate on exit there is no mention of safety. It basically says if practicable to do so a driver must give a left change of direction signal on exit.

But other than that most of what you wrote is ok.

BimboGeek 11:45 pm 09 Oct 13

Geez this thread has jinxed the crazies out of hiding tonight. Just now on my 10 minute drive home some moron actually tried to turn right from the left lane of a roundabout… Over the top of me! Then having recovered from that, a few minutes later the next numpty tried to exit left from the middle lane… Over the top of me! What the hell, Canberra! Sober up and get a sense of direction!

Holden Caulfield 9:20 pm 09 Oct 13

Aeek said :

I once nearly pulled out of a driveway, next to a roundabout, in front of a motorbike because he signalled left on entry, right on exit, to go straight through. I believe that was a Queensland thing.

That’s a bit harsh, implying all Queenslanders are stupid!

JC 8:13 pm 09 Oct 13

watto23 said :

Not strictly law. There is a clause saying where it is safe and practical to do so. There is always give way to the right, which is a give way sign and not a stop sign. Yes some peoples definition of giving way amuses me, either very extreme or very conservative.

On a small 1 laned roundabout, indicate left to turn left, right to turn right and no indication to go straight. Basically a left indicator to exit straight would need to be made very late in the intersection to avoid confusion with those turning left and thus rendering it meaningless anyway.

On dual lane roundabounts and larger roundabouts the rules are simple but many have no idea.
Before entering the roundabout, indicate left to turn left and keep indicating as you exit. Generally only done from the left lane except where marked.

For straight ahead it enter the intersection in either lane, where safe to do so (giving way to right), then indicate left to exit, normally as you have past the last left hand exit and are around the middle of the intersection.

For right turn its indicate right entering in the right lane (unless otherwise marked) and then indicate left after you pass the straight exit.

I dare say the people who can’t navigate roundabouts also can’t merge at 80 or 100 though.

Watto23 close but no cigar. In your simple instructions you have made one classic roundabout mistake, which is you said to give way to the right. The law on roundabouts is give way to ANY vehicle already on the roundabout. That vehicle could be ‘in front’ (on your left if you will) of you already. Basically if a vehicle on your left enters the roundabout first you also need to give way to them as well as any vehicle on your right already on the roundabout.

Also the left indicate on exit there is no mention of safety. It basically says if practicable to do so a driver must give a left change of direction signal on exit.

But other than that most of what you wrote is ok.

caf 5:41 pm 09 Oct 13

johnboy said :

if two cars arrive at the roundabout at the same time, they can both enter seeing as they’re already separated and going in the same direction.

All traffic on a roundabout (in this country) comes from the right. If they’re already on the roundabout give way to them.

Give way to the right therefore is almost always the thing to do.

Although be aware that you might have to give way to the left as well – if you’re blasting in at 80 from the right, and someone turns onto the roundabout to your left before you get there but only doing 40, you will necessarily need to slow down for them.

Madam Cholet 4:58 pm 09 Oct 13

BimboGeek said :

Majuraman it probably depends where you learned to drive. I did my lessons in Canberra then sat the test in Wodonga, where I was promptly failed for doing a normal Canberra style duck and dodge instead of waiting for the roundabout to be completely clear, which to be fair, is pretty easy on that one (it wasn’t on Beechworth Road…)

quote]

I learned to drive in the UK where the rule all that time ago was give way to the right. This obviously works well for me as it was the first rule I learned.

My problem with the ‘first on the roundabout’ rule is that if you are sitting at a roundabout where cars just keep flying through – and I’m thinking here of the one at the bottom of Johnson Drive in Calwell where cars coming down Johnson Drive go 80Ks (or more) onto the roundabout. Because the roads coming onto the roundabout form the other directions are quiet, they don’t expect anyone to get on in front of them. It would be taking your life into your hands to do it I can tell you even if you could tell the polis that you had the legal right away after a car ploughed right into the drivers side door! So, it’s all very well having this as the rule, but it doesn’t always work.

My favourite roundabout of all time is one in the UK that was lovingly called ‘the magic roundabout’. It once was the biggest roundabout you’d ever seen, but having realised as I said above that some traffic could not get onto it at peak hours without risking life and limb, they decided to modify it – by putting six mini roundabouts around the big roundabout. So the rule was that you could go any direction around the big roundabout, but you had to go clockwise around the little ones. And it worked a treat. It was like some kind of vehicular ballet.

Aeek 4:52 pm 09 Oct 13

I once nearly pulled out of a driveway, next to a roundabout, in front of a motorbike because he signalled left on entry, right on exit, to go straight through. I believe that was a Queensland thing.

niftydog 4:51 pm 09 Oct 13

majuraman said :

Can anyone answer this?- I am under the impression that the first car on the roundabout has right of way. It seems that the majority of drivers are under the impression that cars entering the roundabout from the right, have right of way- Which is true?

“A driver entering a roundabout must give way to any vehicle in the roundabout.”

But this is where the ‘social capital’ comes in; two cars arrive at the same time, someone has to yield. As far as I know there’s no ‘rule’ governing it, it’s just accepted convention.

I’ve been road-raged over this type of thing – that’s why it makes sense to me to stick to the convention.

    johnboy 4:56 pm 09 Oct 13

    if two cars arrive at the roundabout at the same time, they can both enter seeing as they’re already separated and going in the same direction.

    All traffic on a roundabout (in this country) comes from the right. If they’re already on the roundabout give way to them.

    Give way to the right therefore is almost always the thing to do.

    But the point is to wait until there’s a gap to get on.

    Unlike a four way stop a roundabout can, and is intended to, have multiple cars on it at the same time.

BimboGeek 4:16 pm 09 Oct 13

Majuraman it probably depends where you learned to drive. I did my lessons in Canberra then sat the test in Wodonga, where I was promptly failed for doing a normal Canberra style duck and dodge instead of waiting for the roundabout to be completely clear, which to be fair, is pretty easy on that one (it wasn’t on Beechworth Road…)

If people are being trained to be timid on roundabouts it takes a while for them to get used to the big ones, even if they’ve already got ACT plates you can’t assume they are locals.

I only once had someone indicate right to exit while alongside me. I was in the right lane going through, he was in the left lane also going through then hit his right indicator as if to turn right after all. Naturally I hit the anchors pretty hard and got ready to steer around to the right if needed to avoid a crash then watched him sail out straight ahead as if nothing strange had happened. What a failure of a human!!

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