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What’s the correct way to enter a roundabout or traffic circle?

F.T. Norton
StarNews

Q. Can you explain to those who use the new round-about traffic circles the correct way to enter these circles? I pass through the one near Porters Neck/Figure Eight every day and notice that many do not understand that they are to “take turns” getting into the circle, not just follow the one ahead of them into the circle withour regard to who was there first, etc.

A. Actually, a roundabout does not work on a first-come-first-served basis.

According to Tammy Stewart, communications officer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, right-of-way only happens for a vehicle once it enters the roundabout.

Drivers should:

• Yield to vehicles already in the roundabout;

• Use your turn signal when exiting the roundabout; and

• Always be cautious and look for unexpected vehicles, pedestrians or bicycles.

A traffic circle is really a free-for-all.

If there’s enough room for you to safely enter the roundabout after the car in front of you has, then you can go.

It doesn’t matter if you reached the circle before the other cars around you. If they can get into the circle before you, then you’ll have to wait.

RELATED LINKS:

Who is responsible for enforcing yield laws in the roundabout at Middle Sound Loop Road?

How does a traffic circle or roundabout work?

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