Traffic circles: To go or not to go

2018-06-07 06:01

TRAFFIC circles have a way to confuse motorists. Some know the rules, most unfortunately not.

According to the Arrive Alive website there are the single lane mini circles and then the larger two lane traffic circles also known as roundabouts. It differs on how to enter these traffic circles which are are installed as traffic calming measures and to improve intersection capacity.

How to go around

. Mini circle:

Mini circles are usually found in residential areas. In fact all the circles in Despatch and Uitenhage are mini circles.

The regulatory yield sign at a mini circle is a red and white upside-down triangular board indicating traffic to proceed in a clockwise direction.

Motorists approaching a mini circle have to slow down and give way to vehicles that have already crossed the yield line. In other words, first come – first go!

Mini circles work like a four-way stop, but as it is for traffic calming you don’t have to stop, but in most instances just slow down.

So, when its a single lane circle with a red regulatory yield sign then it’s a mini circle: First come – first go!

. Traffic circle/Roundabout:

Traffic circles or roundabouts have two lanes. On approaching a traffic circle/roundabout, slow down or stop and always give right of way to traffic coming from your right. In other words “right go – left stay”.

The traffic regulatory sign at a traffic circle/roundabout is round and blue of colour indicating traffic to rotate clockwise.

Traffic circles or roundabouts are usually found at busy crossings to assist in traffic flow by giving way to the right.

As you have to switch from lanes, motorists should always use indicators to signal when they are going to turn either to exit the circle or to change to the inner lane.


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