State, county have tutorials for driving in a roundaboutJanuary 9th, 2013 by travis baker
The in basket: John Stokes writes, “I was leaving Silverdale today and when I got to the roundabout at Chico Way, I say a car facing the wrong way trying to turn left on Chico Way. This is not the first time I have seen this.
“I also noticed a car stopped in the roundabout at the Manette Bridge, letting traffic into the roundabout coming off the Manette Bridge,” he said.
“Does the county or state have any plans to teach people how to use roundabouts, as they are becoming more common?” John asked.
The out basket: I saw the same thing once in the Manette roundabout. I can’t say if it was a different driver than John saw. It’s the wrong thing to do, but not likely to cause an accident, which going clockwise in a roundabout very well could.
There is a learning curve with any new traffic control, but both the state and Kitsap County provide instructions on using a roundabout,
The county’s is the best, and can be seen at http://www.kitsapgov.com/pw/roundabout.htm
The state says the following in its drivers guide, the tutorial for all new drivers and a reference for any driver:
“A roundabout is an intersection control device with traffic circulating around an island. Approaching vehicles must yield to the traffic in the circle. Always yield to pedestrians and bicyclists who are legally crossing the road. Inside the circle, always drive around the circle to the right.
How to drive in a roundabout:
1. Slow down as you approach the intersection; roundabouts are designed for speeds of 15-20 mph.
2. Enter the roundabout when there is a gap in traffic. Once inside, do not stop. Follow directions on signs or pavement markings about which lane to use.
3. You may exit at any street or continue around if you miss your exit.”
The county recommends signaling while approaching and while in a roundabout and readers often advocate it in contacting the Road Warrior column. The state is mum on that subject. It’s not required unless you change lanes, which doesn’t happen in a one-lane roundabout.
I find the speed and position of the car to be more helpful in predicting what it will do than what it might be signaling.