Have you ever wondered whether you are the only person doing something wrong, or the only person doing it right? Roundabouts. Yes, roundabouts. Every weekday I go through nineteen roundabouts to go to work and nineteen roundabouts to come home. Thirty eight roundabouts. Every time, every time without fail, I see the same thing. Everyone stops to give way to their right. Interesting. The fact that the rule is to ‘slow down and prepare to give way as you approach the roundabout’ seems to escape a lot of people. The fact that there is a ‘give way’ sign there seems to escape a lot of people. The fact that the rule is to ‘give way to traffic already on the roundabout’ seems to escape a lot of people, and so does the rule about signalling (if practicable) out of the roundabout. If I follow the rules, how it’s written in the rule book and how I learned to drive, I get strange looks or I get tootled melodiously or both.
So, how did this happen? Okay, older drivers only got the ad campaigns when roundabouts were introduced and maybe they forgot. But if people learned the rules, and demonstrated through theory and practical tests they knew them, then why did they stop following them? Is it sheep mentality? Is it because if they stop to give way, even if they are on the right of traffic already on the roundabout, they will get tootled melodiously? People to the left of them will look at them going ‘why the hell did you stop to give way?’.
Let’s picture the intersection without the roundabout in the middle. Just give way signs. Do we give way to traffic on the right? Do we continue through the give way sign because we are on the main road? Do we ignore the give way sign because we were there first? Do we not bother to indicate where we’re going because it’s nobody else’s business?
Roundabouts. They were intended to improve the flow of traffic, and they do. But only if you’re on the right apparently. On my right or your right?
Happy driving, stay safe.