Traffic circle conundrum


In the past couple of weeks I’ve found myself wondering if I understood the rule of driving through a traffic circle.

A couple of mishaps, middle finger pointing from a number of unpleasant motorists made me do a little research on this traffic circle conundrum.

After reading around and even consulting the K53 learner driver book, I can confirm that I know the basic rule of driving through a traffic circle.

Many motorists do not know that there is a difference between the larger traffic circles and the mini traffic circles, other than their size. So, yes thank you very much! I have discovered that there is a difference between a large and a mini traffic circle. So in a residential area, that’s where you’ll find that mostly mini traffic circles are found.

So here goes…..

A traffic circle is classified as large when it has a minimum diameter of about 16 metres and a 1.5 to 2 metre flattened curb which allows heavy vehicles to drive onto a small section of the circle. A mini traffic circle is normally not more than seven to 10 metres in diameter and the entire circle is mountable for heavy vehicles.

What are the basic rules for driving through a large traffic circle?

– As you arrive at a large traffic circle, traffic coming from your right has right of way,
regardless of how many cars there are.

– Wait until there is s a gap in the traffic and then ease slowly into the circle.

– Watch out for other traffic in the circle and be aware that they may not be using
their indicators.

Use your indicators…

– Signal when you are going to turn – switch your indicator on immediately after
passing the exit prior to the one you intend taking
– If you are taking the first exit, i.e. you’re turning left, then flick on your left indicator
and keep in the outside/left-hand lane
– Keeping in the outside/left-hand lane also works well if you’re continuing straight
ahead as your exit is very close.
– After you’ve passed the left turn exit and yours is next, signal left and you’re free
– If you’re turning right or performing a U-turn, keep in the inside/right-hand lane
– Only signal left and change into the left-hand

Sounds all so very complicated…does it not? Phew!

Rules to remember at a mini traffic circle:

– The first vehicle to cross the line has the right of way, so it really works on the
same principle as a four-way stop or yield sign.
– Proceed in a clockwise direction around the circle, without driving on it.

You see, not bad…and that’s all I ever ask of my fellow motorists.

I hope the douche bags get to read this, just maybe, just maybe there will be less middle finger pointing and swearing at other motorists who are actually observing the rules of the road!


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