Round-abouts & Road Rules

It amazes me the number of people that don’t know the road rules. Near where I live there is large round about, two lanes, that serves as a junction point between four busy roads. Each entry to the round-about is marked where you can and cannot go.

Let’s revise the rules for a second:

  1. The outside lane can indicate left to exit the round-about at any exit, so long as the car doesn’t pass the opposite point on the round-about. So in the case of a standard four entry round-about setup in a cross configuration, if you are in the outside lane when you enter, you can take your immediate exit or go straight.
  2. If we use the standard configuration again, the inside lane can exit at the opposite exit (ie: going straight through) or turn right and subsequently exit at any exit on the round about as they are on the inside lane.
  3. You may not enter in the left lane and turn right at the round about. This would conflict with point two where the inside lane can go straight through.
  4. You may not enter in the inside lane and take the immediate exit on your left. This would conflict with point one, where the outside lane can go straight through.

The above rules are very simple and are there to avoid accidents. However, without fail there is an accident every fortnight on our round-about. The most common cause is people breaking rule number three. Visualise this, two cars enter the round-about side by side. The inside car intends to go straight (within his rights) and the outside lane intends to turn right (breaking the rules). The inside car indicates to exit and go straight through however suddenly there is a car on his left turning right, smash boom bang.

The “problem” is caused by lazy and impatient drivers. In the afternoon, there is a huge amount of traffic turning right at this round about so the traffic does back up a little, maybe 100m or so. With that said, it does flow through very quickly – so if people had more than the patience of a gnat, everything would be ok. Instead, the impatient drivers will zoom up to the front of the queue in the left lane (where there is far less traffic) and just turn right, irrespective of the road rules.

Any person that lives near that round-about no doubt curses every time an impatient driver does this. Low and behold, yesterday on the way home from work, who should do it but a Police Officer! I just about couldn’t believe what I was seeing, the very person who is meant to enforce the law and road rules, breaking the very thing he is meant to be enforcing.


4 thoughts on “Round-abouts & Road Rules

  1. Thank you for the instructions. Where I live, I have never seen a round-a-bout, until there were two recently put on both corners of my street. I am stuck! I have been searching the rules! Your rules are simple, straight forward, and I can understand them! I don’t want to be one of the stupid un-informed police officers, I mean people, who drive through causing accidents! Thanks for the information! I can now safely leave my home!

  2. I’m glad I could be of help mariposa. Keep in mind though, the above rules reflect Australian road rules – so your mileage may vary if you don’t live in Australia. Maybe check with your state road authority.


  3. Thank you so much for this imformation!!!!!! today some one bashed in to my passenger side on a Round about. I go through these round abouts every day andno one following any rules!!!

  4. Thats all great with double lane, what about a single lane.

    Do you:

    1. only indicate when you are leaving/turning left
    2. use right indicator untill you are leaving
    3. use any indicators at all

    Looking at some round about it’s a circus.

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