Is Stopping WIthin A Traffic Circle Permitted? | K53

Q: Near my home is a traffic circle which is very close to a school. In both the mornings and afternoons the heavy traffic around the school leads to congestion at the circle and results in people stopping in the circle, thus obstructing all traffic flow. Are you allowed to stop in a circle?

A: A traffic circle (roundabout) is at an intersection to ease the flow of traffic. The rule of the road for intersections is that you may not enter an intersection if your vehicle will block the flow of traffic.

Comment: Normally, when one approaches an intersection or a traffic circle, you can see what the traffic situation is like near where you would want to exit the traffic circle. If there is congestion near the exit, due perhaps to some unexpected hold-up in the traffic flow on the road beyond the traffic circle, then the driver wishing to take that exist would be forced to stop in the circle, which amounts to having entered the intersection knowing that your vehicle will block the traffic flow. This would be ignoring a legal rule of the road.

If this is a daily situation, I would suggest that the local traffic authorities should be notified so that they can take corrective action, such as having an officer or two on duty at those times to direct the traffic flow, or even having the town engineers look at how the situation can be alleviated by means of some changes in the road layout.

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