They are also better at keeping traffic flowing than traffic lights, but can cause frustration and confusion for some motorists. This is often because drivers are uncertain of what they are meant to do, or what other drivers are intending to do. Clearly signalling your intentions helps motorists waiting at other entrances to decide if it is safe to enter and also helps maintain traffic flow. Failing to indicate as required at roundabouts can incur a $150 fine.
There are clear rules for signalling and correct lane use at roundabouts:
• Before entering a roundabout you must indicate if you intend to exit left or go more than halfway around and exit right. The only time you don’t need to indicate upon entry is if you are going straight ahead.
• You must give way to all traffic that will cross your path from your right as you enter the roundabout.
• You must also signal left as you pass the exit before the one you intend taking (including if you’re taking the straight ahead exit).
• At some small roundabouts it may not be possible to give three seconds warning, but it is courteous to give as much indication as you can.
• At multi-lane roundabouts, you need to approach and enter the roundabout in the correct lane for where you intend to exit. If taking the first exit, it is the left lane. If going straight ahead (e.g. halfway around), use any lane which is marked for that purpose. If going more than halfway around, you must approach in the right-hand lane (or any other lane marked for that purpose).
Also look out for cyclists who may find it difficult to maintain a turn signal on a roundabout and are exempt from this requirement.
Reported for our AA Directions Autumn 2020 issue
NZTA for more information.