Roundabout Rules of the Road
What is a roundabout?
A roundabout is an intersection where traffic flows in a counter clockwise circle around a centre island.
How Do I Use a Roundabout? - Drivers
- Reduce your speed.
- Watch for signs that may help you find your exit.
- Watch for people using the crosswalk, and be ready to stop.
- Yield to traffic already in the roundabout that comes from your immediate left before you enter.
- Enter the roundabout to your right (a counter clockwise direction) when there is a gap in traffic and you feel it is safe to do so.
- Continue until you reach your exit.
- Never come to a full stop in a roundabout unless traffic conditions require it.
- Use your right turn signal to let other road users know where you plan to exit.
- Exit at a slow speed.
- As you exit, watch for people using the crosswalk, and be ready to stop.
- If you miss your exit, keep going around the roundabout until you reach it again.
Pedestrians - Cyclists
- Cross at marked crosswalks only. You will find them before each road reaches the roundabout.
- Use the sidewalk and splitter island to wait for a gap in traffic that allows you time to cross.
- Cross one direction of traffic at a time.
- Never cross through the centre island.
Ride your bicycle through the roundabout as a motor vehicle.
- Walk your bike across the crosswalk as a pedestrian.
Why Do They Exist?
To improve road safety
Certain types of collisions that occur in normal intersections such as right-angle and head-on collisions often cause serious injury because traffic is moving quickly. Roundabouts provide a safer way to direct traffic than intersections with stop signs or traffic lights. Why? Because:
- Traffic moves more slowly through the intersection.
- There are no left turns in front of oncoming vehicles.
To keep traffic moving
Roundabouts can direct more traffic in less time than normal intersections. How? Since roundabouts do not have stop signs or traffic lights, traffic moves slowly around the circle. This means fewer stops and delays for drivers.
To reduce noise and air pollution
Roundabouts improve the quality of life for people living nearby. How?
- Slow moving traffic makes less noise than traffic that must stop and start, speed up and brake.
- Vehicles don't idle at stop signs or traffic lights. This means drivers use less gas and fewer idling cars means less exhaust fumes in the air.
The Roundabout Brochure acts as a reference guide for road users who are not familiar with the new modern day intersection called the Roundabout. This brochure contains information on how to drive through a roundabout. It also provides useful tips for pedestrians and cyclists. Facts concerning the benefits of roundabouts and why they exist are also included.
Alternative Formats Available
PDF (Portable Document Format)
To view the PDF version of The Roundabout Brochure, follow this link.
File size: 8.63 MB.
To view PDF documents you must use Adobe® Acrobat Reader. Visit the Adobe site to download the latest, free version.
If you need an alternative format or for more information, please contact us by e-mail at RoadSafetyWebMail@tc.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-333-0371 (Ottawa area (613) 998-8616).
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