Traffic Circles – Roundabout Rules – K53

The information on this page is a combination of:

  • the rules applicable to the Roundabout sign
  • the rules and K53 driving test procedure applicable to changing lanes
  • the K53 driving test requirements applicable to roundabouts
  • road sense, where noted as such below

 

Roundabouts

  • A roundabout is a larger kind of traffic circle.The Roundabout 'Control' sign has a set of rules that must be obeyed. They are different from those of the Yield At Mini-circle sign
  • Some roundabouts have several lanes around the centre island, indicated by painted lane lines (see aerial photo lower down).
  • A Priority Road information sign means that at the next intersection your road has priority

    Priority Road

    At some roundabouts, you may see a Priority Road information sign as you approach. This means that the road you are travelling on has priority over traffic already within the circle. Therefore, YOU have the right of way and traffic already in the circle must give way to YOU, instead of the usual Roundabout rule applying. Nevertheless, drive cautiously because those drivers in the traffic circle may not be alert enough to realise that they must give way to you.

 

General rules for roundabouts

  • Roundabouts can be confusing to some drivers, especially if they are not familiar with that particular route. Therefore, apply common-sense, courtesy and caution.
  • If you intend taking the first exit, indicate left on your approach to the roundabout intersection.

    Traffic Roundabout

    Image courtesy of Topscore K53 Test Success Interactive CD

  • Before reaching the roundabout, slow down enough to be able to stop safely if necessary in order to yield to vehicles from your right.
  • Before entering the roundabout, give way to traffic:
    • already in the circle,
      and
    • approaching from your right,

    where such vehicles are so close as to constitute a danger or potential danger.

  • Move in a clockwise direction within the traffic circle.
  • Once you’re already in the circle, if there is a steady stream of vehicles behind you, and you can see that there is a vehicle waiting to enter the circle ahead of you, apply a similar behaviour as required when passing a freeway on-ramp: adjust your speed (by slowing down) to give more safe-space in front of you for the other driver to enter the roundabout safely. This is applying common-sense and courtesy.
  • Before changing lanes, check in the mirrors and applicable blind spot that it is safe to signal, and then check again that it is safe to move into the next lane, before doing so.
  • To exit the circle at any exit after the first one, indicate to the left after you pass the road before the one at which you intend to exit the circle.
  • Once you have indicated to leave the circle, you must leave at the very next exit.

 

Entering a roundabout from a multi-lane approach road

  • If you intend turning left at the first intersecting road, try to enter the roundabout from the left lane of the road you are travelling on.
  • If you intend turning left at any other exit, you can enter the roundabout from any lane in the approaching road.

 

Driving round the centre island:

  • If you are in the left or centre lane of the traffic circle, look out for vehicles on your right – next to or ahead of you – that are indicating left, and give way to them where it is safe to do so.

 

Changing lanes to leave a multi-lane roundabout:

  • If you are in the inside lane (next to the island) you will need to cross over to one of the other (left or centre) lane/s in order to leave the circle.
  • Before signalling left, check in the mirrors and left blind spot to ensure that it is safe to signal and change lanes.
  • If it is safe to change lanes, signal your intention.
  • Before turning the steering to change lanes, check in the mirrors and blind spots again.
  • If it is still safe to change lanes, move across to the left.
  • Sometimes – when it is not safe to change lanes – it may be necessary to drive all the way round the island again in order to wait for a gap and thereby maintain a clear space around your vehicle at all times so as to minimise the risk of a collision.

 

Leaving the roundabout – when to signal left

  • Don’t signal left until you have passed the road before the one at which you want to leave the roundabout.
  • Once you have signalled left to leave the roundabout, you must leave that the very next exit.


 

Multi-lane roundabouts – example and comments

Traffic Roundabout - Aerial View

Traffic Roundabout – Aerial View

(Image Acknowledgement: Google Maps)

Note that in the situation above, the outside (left) lane – in the lower left of the image – has a white left-turn direction arrow (circled here in red) which indicates that vehicles entering this particular circle in that lane should exit the roundabout at the first road leading to the left. Note: This is not a yellow arrow, so turning left from this lane is not mandatory.

The other lanes do not have arrows and it is up to the drivers to determine the most appropriate lane to use according to where they wish to exit the circle.

 

Pages in this topic

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

Traffic circle safety at ArriveAlive.co.za
Driving the Roundabout / Traffic Circle safely with the dashboard camera and voice narration

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