Roundabouts - An Australian perspective

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Re: Roundabouts - An Australian perspective

Postby simonn » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:02 pm

Puffy wrote:
tubby74 wrote:most australian drivers seem to believe the rule on roundabouts is give way to the right, hence they barrel through at unsafe speeds thinking everyone else better get out of the way.


You are right. The rule is to give way to traffic already on the round-about but traffic on the round-about, is on the right as you approach. :?:


So are people who have not yet entered the roundabout from an entrance on the right.

The point of the law, I guess, is to stop people flying through and t-boning someone ahead of them "There was nobody on my right, so I have right of way herp-a-de-derp!"
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Re: Roundabouts - An Australian perspective

Postby im_no_pro » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:08 pm

tubby74 wrote:most australian drivers seem to believe the rule on roundabouts is give way to the right, hence they barrel through at unsafe speeds thinking everyone else better get out of the way. If they actually followed the give way to traffic on the roundabout they would have to approach at a far more senisble speed. Many driving instructors teach this incorrectly, one of the current affairs shows had a section on roundabouts and even their expect didn't know the rules. As a calming device they are highly ineffective due to this.


Hear hear. The amount of times I have been flashed/honked/abused etc (in car and on bike) because people follow this 'rule' frustrates me greatly. There is a roundabout I turn left at almost everytime I leave my house which I approach with great trepidation each and every time, the road to my right (which I theoretically have to give way to in these peoples minds) is a downhill section where my view of them is partially blocked and their view to their right is clear and sees little traffic. End result, many people barrel through the roundabout at excessive speeds and due to the visibility issue im often already in the roundabout travelling at a considerably slower speed. Were they travelling at a safe speed the visibility issue would be a moot point. At times I wonder whether it would be worth getting hit by one of these clowns just so they can learn....

Indicating out of roundabouts is another one which is commonly misunderstood and/or not followed.
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Re: Roundabouts - An Australian perspective

Postby wellington_street » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:26 pm

im_no_pro wrote:Indicating out of roundabouts is another one which is commonly misunderstood and/or not followed.


The road rules in all states say that you need to indicate out of a roundabout "when practical" which is basically only larger roundabouts. On your average suburban roundabout a case can easily made that it's not practical.
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Re: Roundabouts - An Australian perspective

Postby im_no_pro » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:40 pm

wellington_street wrote:
im_no_pro wrote:Indicating out of roundabouts is another one which is commonly misunderstood and/or not followed.


The road rules in all states say that you need to indicate out of a roundabout "when practical" which is basically only larger roundabouts. On your average suburban roundabout a case can easily made that it's not practical.


Correct, not suggesting that people have to indicate out of a roundabout all time time (I know I certainly dont do it 100% of the time). Was moreso an (admittedly unclear) reference to people who dont understand the indicating for a right hand turn (as quote below direct from vicroads website) and continue to indicate right the entire way through the turn and exit until the indicator is automatically shut off by the driver turning the wheel back, and my experiences of it are mainly from a 5 entry/exit dual lane roundabout near where I used to live in which incorrect indicator use had the potential to confuse traffic significantly (and the roundabout is large enough to practicably indicate for your exit, which no-one does again further causing confusion). Primary impact being poor traffic flow moreso than increased risk of accident.

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If there are multiple lanes you must approach the roundabout in the right lane and stay in that lane. You must indicate a right turn on your approach, and indicate left, if practicable, just before the exit you are turning into, keeping the indicator on until you have left the roundabout.

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Re: Roundabouts - An Australian perspective

Postby wilddemon » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:17 pm

Puffy wrote:
tubby74 wrote:most australian drivers seem to believe the rule on roundabouts is give way to the right, hence they barrel through at unsafe speeds thinking everyone else better get out of the way.


You are right. The rule is to give way to traffic already on the round-about but traffic on the round-about, is on the right as you approach. :?:


It's always on the right, we use the roundabout in a clockwise direction.

Last weekend in a small bunch of three we gave way to driver, who slowed to an almost stop in front of us. We pulled in behind him as there were no other vehicles on the RB. We are waiting for this old timer to sort himself out, which he slowly does, and a car coming from opposite direction wants to turn right, flys around and sits on the horn because we haven't 'given way'. Actually we had been on that roundabout for about 30 seconds. Not the most appropriate time to explain the rules tho...
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Re: Roundabouts - An Australian perspective

Postby il padrone » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:11 pm

simonn wrote:
Puffy wrote:
tubby74 wrote:most australian drivers seem to believe the rule on roundabouts is give way to the right, hence they barrel through at unsafe speeds thinking everyone else better get out of the way.


You are right. The rule is to give way to traffic already on the round-about but traffic on the round-about, is on the right as you approach. :?:


So are people who have not yet entered the roundabout from an entrance on the right.

The point of the law, I guess, is to stop people flying through and t-boning someone ahead of them "There was nobody on my right, so I have right of way herp-a-de-derp!"

+1

A cyclist may have entered the roundabout, on the 'left' of a driver fanging it into the roundabout. Drivers are required to approach a roundabout at a safe speed to be able to give way, and the cyclist must be given-way to.
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Re: Roundabouts - An Australian perspective

Postby baabaa » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:52 pm

The only way roundabouts would work properly in Oz is if nasty, sump tearing speedbumps were to be installed on all entry points.
Wont help bike riders, but I dislike current roundabouts and any chicane like traffic calming devices as they do no favours to any bike riders as drivers often rush to overtake before they "may" have to slowdown.
Would like to see these pre roundabout speed bumps also combined with a zebra crossing.
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Re: Roundabouts - An Australian perspective

Postby il padrone » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:04 pm

Simple zebra crossings would do the trick, possibly combined with some police-enforcement of safe approach speeds - as distinct from just speed limits.
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Re: Roundabouts - An Australian perspective

Postby tubby74 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:18 pm

baabaa wrote:The only way roundabouts would work properly in Oz is if nasty, sump tearing speedbumps were to be installed on all entry points.
Wont help bike riders, but I dislike current roundabouts and any chicane like traffic calming devices as they do no favours to any bike riders as drivers often rush to overtake before they "may" have to slowdown.
Would like to see these pre roundabout speed bumps also combined with a zebra crossing.


Nothing will be perfect but some are worse than others. Any calming device that doesn't enforce a lane leaves the door open for impatient drivers to make that critical dash in front of a bike.ma decent island before a roundabout entrance makes it much more effective to claim a lane. Chicanes i find to be one of the best options as you can claim effectively. Split speed humps with no centre island would be the very worst calming device in use. Cars rush past, avoid on coming car and swerve through.

Speed humps pr rumble strips on roundabout approach wpuld be annoying for everyone but sure would be effective
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Re: Roundabouts - An Australian perspective

Postby AndyTheMan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:22 pm

Here is the problem with road design in Austrlalia - especially the design of main arterial routes. Please note that this perspective comes from years working in development/urban planning and dealing with people like RMS (former NSW RTA) as well as Highways Agency in the UK etc.

(I'll use the RTA/RMS in this, but I'm sure it will apply to most state/local agencies dealing with the primary road network)

The RMS has been pretty much focused on one thing - that is, getting cars/buses/trucks from A to B as quickly as possible. Everything about road design and associated infrastructure is built around this one main premise. Any other consideration (safety for pedestrians, parking, access to side roads, cycle lanes) come a distant second.

We can see this in dozens of examples in every neighbourhood. This includes clearways and no parking zones, fencing to prevent people straying onto the road, the phasing of traffic lights and placement of pedestrian corssings, the prevention of development that will have access roads/carparks entering onto a main road, closing intersections to make them 'left in/left out' only, or blocking access altogether, installing queuing lanes so turning traffic doesn't impede the main flow of traffic.....

This includes the design of roundabouts and lights/intersections - they are designed not to be safe for cyclists or pedestrians, but to get cars flowing a quickly as possible.

There are numerous cases of things like parking out the front of businesses being taken away to create no stopping areas, because cars stopping/parking slows traffic. Near me the traffic light phasing on every intersection is designed around ensuring the main road is unimpeded by pedestrians crossing it, or cars entering the flow of traffic. The actual people living their lives and running businesses, walking home from school etc have been relegated to being a secondary consideration, because the free and fast flow of traffic is seen as paramount.

This is emphasises in media and even government reporting - we've all seen the reports of how much slower traffic is on X, Y or Z primary traffic route - its now a key test of whether various traffic/roads agencies are being successful (ie whether they can improve traffic

This is fundamentally opposite to creating safer intersections for pedestrians/cyclists and completely the opposite of 'traffic calming'.

Funnily, it would perhaps be by creating more cycle and pedestrian friendly environments that they improved road travel times, as people would be more tempted to walk/ride/use public transport rather than getting in the car to go 3km for the milk....
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