Seriously St. Cloud….When Will We Learn How To Use Roundabouts?
Do you dread seeing a roundabout up ahead every time you get out of your house? Does the thought of entering roundabouts frighten you so much that you'll take any other route possible to avoid them?
STOP THE CRAZINESS
In the past week, I've seen someone approach a roundabout and start turning left into the roundabout, before correcting themselves as an oncoming car quickly reminded them of the direction of the flow of traffic. I've also had one of my son's vehicles possibly totaled this week, as he was exiting a roundabout, and someone didn't yield, entering the roundabout and wiping out the whole front passenger side of his vehicle. Why are we acting like we don't know how these things work? They are actually quite simple to navigate, once you educate yourself. So let's get educated. Let's just learn how they work instead of avoiding them and hoping they will go away. Roundabouts are actually quite brilliant, and if everyone would just slow down and learn how to yield properly, things will be much better for everyone.
THE RULES OF ROUNDABOUTS ARE SIMPLE
According to The Minnesota Department of Transportation, there are some simple things to keep in mind regarding roundabouts that you can share with your family and friends so that they can be better drivers:
- Drivers should slow down when entering a roundabout.
- Know which lane you need to be in before entering the roundabout, and get in the appropriate lane well before you enter if possible.
- It is the law to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
- Vehicles already IN the roundabout, have the right of way. You must Yield to vehicles that are IN the roundabout.
- Never STOP OR PASSS in a roundabout. Continue through the roundabout and exit at the appropriate exit. If you MISS your exit, continue going around the roundabout until you can exit safely.
- If Emergency Vehicles are approaching, exit the roundabout immediately on your exit, and THEN pull over and let the Emergency Vehicles pass by. NEVER STOP IN THE ROUNDABOUT.
- When exiting the roundabout, you must still yield to Pedestrians.
- Give large trucks extra space in a roundabout. They may need to straddle both lanes. Be courteous and give them the space they need to get through.
PEDESTRIANS NEED TO KNOW HOW TO USE ROUNDABOUTS TOO
If you are a Pedestrian using a roundabout, these are the things you need to know:
- Cross ONLY at crosswalks and stay in the designated walkways.
- Never cross to the center island.
- Cross the roundabout one approach at a time, using the median island as the halfway point, and then continue to check for traffic before entering the walkway.
Oh yes. You can't make up your own bike rules. If you are on a bike:
- Ride WITH the traffic inside the roundabout, or use the crosswalks appropriately.
- Follow the same rules as vehicles when you are riding with traffic, and yield when entering the roundabout.
- Cyclists should also be able to ride at the same speed in the roundabout as vehicles. Stay in line with circulating vehicles until your exit.
Just remember, traffic flows to the right. You won't turn left into a roundabout.