Editor: Thank you for Claire Vipond’s letter in the June 21 edition of the Langley Times. It’s a great reminder of the rules of using a traffic roundabout. I’d like to add just one suggestion (which admittedly is not (yet) in the Ministry rules of the road) to bullet 1 (Approach) in Claire’s (Ministry) Code of Practice.
In Europe, where roundabouts have been used very safely and efficiently for decades, it is normal practice when approaching the roundabout to indicate (signal) the left indicator if you intend to turn left (typically the third exit at a normal four-road roundabout).
This has two significant benefits:
First, it enables vehicles approaching from the opposite side of the roundabout to know your intentions, so enabling them to enter safely if times permits and it is safe to do so — this allows the traffic circle to do what it is intended to do: improve safe traffic flow. Not indicating means the roundabout can at best only perform like a four-way intersection, wasting time and creating unnecessary pollution.
Second, it reduces the potential for accidents from those (incorrectly) ‘jumping’ into the circle in front of a non-indicating vehicle which subsequently does turn left and so passes in front of the vehicle entering the roundabout.
While they should not be entering until they are sure of the on-coming vehicle’s intention to turn left, why would we cause everyone to stop unnecessarily?
After all, most of us would not think to turn left at a four-way without indicating, so why not indicate at roundabouts?
Thanks, Claire, for the reminder and let’s all be safe and efficient in our roundabout use.