Tuesday, May 29, 2018

How Are You Managing the New Campbell County Roundabouts?


By Steven J. Franzen, Campbell County Attorney

Traffic Circles

A traffic circle or roundabout is an alternative form of intersection traffic control used more commonly today and replacing traffic signals and multi-way stop control intersections.  Generally, the purpose of a traffic circle or roundabout is to reduce speed and increase safety.  Moreover, a traffic circle or roundabout is supposed to reduce congestion and improve aesthetics.  However, this benefit only occurs if drivers understand and follow the rules in using a traffic circle or roundabout.


With all traffic circles or roundabouts, you enter to the right and continue around the circle or roundabout in a counterclockwise direction.  As most are well aware, all traffic circles or roundabouts are one way proceeding counterclockwise.  When you enter or change lanes in a traffic circle or roundabout, you should use your turning signal.

For a Single Lane Traffic Circle or Roundabout, please make sure you do the following:

Watch for the yellow “roundabout ahead” sign, then reduce your speed on approach.
Be on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Look left, and if you see traffic in the roundabout, yield.
When you see a break in the traffic, you can safely enter the circle.
Drive around the roundabout until you get to your exit.
Use your turn signal, watch for other cars, and exit safely.

For a Multi-Lane Traffic Circle or Roundabout, please make sure you do the following:

Watch for the yellow “roundabout ahead” sign and the white “lane choice” sign.
Be on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Choose a lane before entering: Use the right or outside lane to go right or straight. The inside or left lane should be used to go straight, in a sinistral (left) direction from where you entered or to exit the roundabout from the direction you entered.
Look left, and yield to traffic already in both lanes of the roundabout.
When you see a break in the traffic, you can safely enter.
Don’t make this common mistake — trying to go left from the right lane. Change lanes before safely exiting the roundabout.
 
Other common violations including driving the wrong way in round about or trying to do a U-turn in a traffic circle or roundabout.  For more information on traffic circles and roundabouts, please see the Kentucky Driver’s Manual, which can be found at: https://driving-tests.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/KY_drivers_manual_op.pdf or the following website on how to use roundabouts: https://www.cjponyparts.com/resources/how-to-use-roundabout-infographic.

All drivers should be extremely cautious when entering and exiting traffic circles or roundabouts because many are also crossing points for pedestrians.


The best advice that I can give is if you approach a traffic circle or roundabout, make sure to carefully observe the signs, then plan and prepare in advance by knowing the direction you want to exit from the traffic circle and ensuring you are in the proper lane before entering the traffic circle.    
           
If you have any topics you would like to have covered in this column, please contact my office by e-mail at countyattorney@campbellcountyky.org, by phone at (859) 491-7700 or by regular mail addressed to 319 York Street, Newport, Kentucky 41071.

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