Traffic Circles And Roundabouts – K53

A traffic circle is a junction with an island in the centre of it. The island is intended to assist with traffic flow by causing traffic to travel around it in a clockwise direction before continuing either straight ahead or turning off into one of the other intersecting roads. Traffic circles also reduce the likelihood of head-on and broadside collisions because of the angles of the vehicles as they travel through the junction from a mini-circle, as is explained on the next page.


Two kinds of traffic circles

There are two categories of traffic circles; they are called roundabouts and mini-circles. Each of these has its own type of regulatory road sign and road markings, and its own set of rules. Some traffic circles are also controlled by traffic lights.

Important note about the regulatory road signs

Yield at Mini-circle – a Regulatory ‘Control’ sign

The regulatory Yield At Mini-Circle road sign has very specific rules that must be obeyedIn the past, all traffic circles were governed by one kind of regulatory Control sign: Yield At Traffic Circle. This sign was similar to the example shown here on the left. Later, mini-circles were introduced to be controlled in a similar way to a 4-Way Stop (without the need to come to a complete standstill). The old Yield At Traffic Circle sign was adapted for use at such intersections and is now called the Yield At Mini-circle sign, or simply a Mini-circle sign. A new blue and white Command sign (shown below left) was introduced to regulate traffic at larger traffic circles which are called Roundabouts. This Command sign is called a Roundabout sign.

However, at many roundabouts today the old Yield at Traffic Circle sign (which looks similar to the current Yield at Mini-circle sign) is still being used. This is technically wrong and can lead to confusion because those roundabouts are not mini-circles at all, and have different rules from those of a mini-circle.

Roundabout – a Regulatory ‘Command’ sign

The Roundabout 'Control' sign has a set of rules that must be obeyed. They are different from those of the Yield At Mini-circle signThe following page explains the road signs and markings that should appear at the different types of traffic circles, along with the rules and driving procedures that apply for each. This is followed by diagrams of road layouts showing the right of way and associated rules.


Drive with caution – obey the rules

Road layouts vary between different roundabouts, and the traffic situation is always different at different times. Larger roundabouts may have more than one lane around the island and also more than one lane on a road approaching the roundabout. A driver must therefore be very vigilant when approaching a roundabout and also when driving within the traffic circle. Common sense must also be applied to ensure a safe journey.

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Pages in this topic

1. Traffic Circles And Roundabouts
2. Traffic Circle General Rules
3. Mini-circle Rules
4. Roundabout Rules