Proper use of traffic circles still baffles some drivers. (Citizen file)

Proper use of traffic circles still baffles some drivers. (Citizen file)

Drivesmart: Round and round the roundabout

Yield as required, follow the signs and markings and around you go!

By Tim Schewe

Roundabouts and traffic circles are not new to British Columbia, but if the complaints in my inbox are any indication, they are still totally mystifying to some drivers.

Common issues include bulldozing into the circle without yielding, signalling when there is no need, not signalling when there is a need, and yes, going around them in the wrong direction.

Most emails observe that while new drivers may be taught how to use these intersections properly, the rest of us have to figure it out on our own and somebody has to clue us in. In general, fingers point to either the provincial government or ICBC having primary responsibility for this task.

There is certainly no lack of information on the subject. ICBC has a web page on How to Use a Roundabout, a Roundabout Information Guide and the Learn to Drive Smart manual. TranBC’s web site explains Rules of the Roundabout, a How to Use Roundabouts Guide and has videos to watch and learn from.

If you think about it, the task is not that difficult. As you approach any intersection you scan for other road users, vehicles, cycles and pedestrians, and signs that control your travel. Yield as required, follow the signs and markings and around you go!

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit DriveSmartBC.ca