Kokua Line: Don’t stop in roundabout to let another vehicle enter
Question: I was wondering whether you could take the time to inform drivers about the correct way to use a roundabout. I live in Salt Lake and use the one on Ala Napunani quite often.
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Question: I was wondering whether you could take the time to inform drivers about the correct way to use a roundabout. I live in Salt Lake and use the one on Ala Napunani quite often. I have observed drivers (including TheBus) muscle their way on as if it were a four-way stop, as well as drivers actually on the roundabout coming to a complete stop in order to allow cars to enter.
Answer: The state Department of Transportation has a video on its website that shows how to drive in circular intersections known as roundabouts, at which traffic flows one way, counterclockwise around a center island. These are not four-way stops. The intent is the opposite: to keep traffic moving continuously.
Vehicles already in the traffic circle have the right of way; they should not be stopping to allow other vehicles to enter. Entering vehicles must yield, proceeding when there is a sufficient gap in the traffic flow. Vehicles exit by turning right at any intersecting street.
Readers can watch the video at 808ne.ws/howtodrive. We’ll recap some of its main tips, plus add information from the Hawaii Driver’s Manual and the DOT website.
>> Slow down as you approach the roundabout.
>> Yield to pedestrians as you enter and exit.
>> Look to the left for traffic and yield to vehicles, including bicyclists, already in the roundabout.
>> Keep right as you enter. Proceed in a counterclockwise direction.
>> Keep your speed low (about 15 mph) while in the roundabout.
>> Use your right-turn signal when exiting.
>> If you miss your exit, drive around the traffic circle again.
Bicycles are allowed in roundabouts and should be treated as vehicles. Bicyclists should ride in the center of the lane. Other vehicles should not try to pass a bicycle in a roundabout.
Some roundabouts have a “truck apron” around the center island that is slightly higher than the adjoining pavement. This extra space allows large trucks and buses to make the turn. They can use the apron, but regular-size vehicles should not.
Q:What about if an ambulance approaches with its sirens on?
A: Yield to emergency vehicles. If you have not yet entered the roundabout, pull over and allow the ambulance to pass. If you are already in the roundabout, continue to your exit and then pull over. Avoid stopping in the roundabout.
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