Challenge to educate drivers on roundabout rules

ROUNDABOUT: Mayor Graeme Hanger, at the launch of the roundabout campaign on Wednesday, near the Bradwardine Road, Suttor Street roundabout, in West Bathurst.
ROUNDABOUT: Mayor Graeme Hanger, at the launch of the roundabout campaign on Wednesday, near the Bradwardine Road, Suttor Street roundabout, in West Bathurst.

DRIVERS who speed up as they approach roundabouts or fail to indicate as they leave one are putting the safety of other motorists at risk.

But a new driver education program aims to instruct drivers with the best practice advice to ensure their safety and that of other road users.

Tablelands Road Safety Officer, Iris Dorsett said the Tablelands Area Road Safety Program has taken on the challenge to educate the community of Bathurst and surrounding areas about the correct way to use a roundabout.

She said the three main rules when approaching a roundabout are to slow down, give way and to indicate.

“The Round a Roundabout project will deliver this information to the community. Motorists have identified they experience an increasing amount of frustration and confusion when approaching and using a roundabout.”

Ms Dorsett said observations by police and engineers confirm that the majority of drivers do not know the correct way to use a roundabout.

She said observational studies of motorists using roundabouts have witnessed some motorists not slowing down and a large percentage not giving way or indicating.

“By law the roundabout sign means slow down and prepare to give way and if necessary stop to avoid a collision. When approaching a roundabout, if you are turning left or right you must indicate left or right. When exiting a roundabout, whether you are turning left, right or even going straight ahead, you must always indicate a left turn before you exit, unless it is not practical to do so.’

Drivers failing to give way on a roundabout can expect an infringement notice for $330 as well as three points off their licence. Drivers failing to indicate leaving a roundabout can be fined $183 and lose two points off their licence. 

Ms Dorsett further advised a driver or rider entering a roundabout must give way to any vehicle in the roundabout.

“The driver or rider must only enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in the traffic and no risk of collision.

“It is also important to take into consideration other road users when using a roundabout such as heavy vehicles, buses, cyclists and pedestrians.”