Roundabout Rules in WA

roundabout

What is a Roundabout?

It is an intersection where the traffic flows around a circular junction. There are certain instances where the roundabout might be anything but circular and the way to recognise this is to be aware of what a roundabout signage looks like. A roundabout can have anything from 3 to any number of exits.

Its purpose is to regulate a continuous flow of traffic. Road rules are in place to produce a better combination of travel safety and efficiency which would otherwise cause traffic to degenerate into a disorganised mess.

How to Use a Roundabout?

• Slow down as you approach the intersection.

• Give way to pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the roadway.

• Watch for signs and directional markings.

• Enter the roundabout if the gap in traffic is sufficient.

• Drive in a clockwise direction around the roundabout until you reach your exit. Do not stop or overtake other vehicles.

• If you miss your exit, continue around until you return to your exit.

Roundabout Rules in WA

When turning left at a roundabout:

  • Make your intentions clear by indicating left
  • Indicate early giving enough warning to both following and approaching traffic
  • Most times you will exit from the left but on the odd occasion where you will need to exit from a lane other than the left be sure to indicate and check your blind spot i.e. over your shoulder, before doing so.

When making a U-turn at a roundabout, or when turning right:

  • Make your intentions clear by indicating right
  • Indicate early giving enough warning to both following and approaching traffic
  • Indicate your intentions to turn left prior to the exit.

When driving straight through a roundabout:

  • Do not indicate on entry
  • Indicating left, prior to the exit.
  • If you have to change lanes, indicate your intentions and make sure that it is safe to do so.
Roundabout Rules
Road rules are in place to produce a better combination of travel safety and efficiency which would otherwise cause traffic to degenerate into a disorganised mess.

Some History & Information

Roundabouts or circular junctions, as it was called, date back to 1768 but it was not until the 1960s that the modern roundabout was in fact created.

In Britain, mandatory road rules for roundabout use were introduced in 1966. In America however, it was the 1990s when rules were introduced and at that time it was confusing for a lot of drivers and because of it many drivers were opposed to it.

Roundabout Penalties

  • 3 demerit points and a fine of $150 for failure to give way at a roundabout.
  • 2 demerit points and a fine of $100 for all other offenses in regard to not correctly using a roundabout.

We hope this creates more awareness and understanding of how roundabouts ought to be used.

Contact us if you want to get more information and/or if you want to schedule a driving lesson.

General Tips for Merging Safely

Merging Safely

Tips for Merging Safely (A two-lane merge)

Check Your Mirrors

You must periodically check your side and rear-view mirrors for cars that are around you. This applies to merging, changing lanes and moving off from kerbside.

Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you and take turns to merge, if there are long lines of merging traffic.

Use of Indicators

You want the other road users around you to have sufficient time to see what you are planning to do and make the proper adjustments to react properly to it.

Always use your indicator to signal your intentions early to other road users when merging. You want the other road users around you to have sufficient time to see what you are planning to do and make the proper adjustments to react to it.

Merging Safely
Learning the correct steps to merging can help to reduce driving anxiety.

Match the Speed of the Other Road Users

Try to match the legal speed of the road you’re merging into, without speeding up to get your vehicle ahead of others.

Check Out Your Blind Spot

Just before you change lanes turn your head and glance quickly over your shoulder. This move is vital to avoid cars that you may not have seen in your mirror!

Avoid Slowing Down Or Stopping

Be certain to always maintain the speed the other traffic is going at when seeking to merge safely, slowing down or being overly cautious may have the opposite effect.

Obey The Traffic Laws

Traffic rules must always be obeyed, one example, crossing a continuous white line to merge is against the rules.

Give Way to Other Drivers

Understand that the other drivers not looking to merge have the right of way and it is your responsibility to yield to them and not vice-versa.

Merging Safely
Always remember that when two lanes are merging into one, the car in front is the one that has the right of way.

Take Your Time

You will often have 15-20 seconds to merge onto the highway. Use it carefully and adjust your speed properly to make your entry.

Into The Next Lane, Make A Smooth Transition

Allow the car to merge at a relaxed but steady and consistent pace.

WA Merging Rules

Always remember that when two lanes are merging into one, the car in front is the one that has the right of way. In the case of multiple marked lanes, be certain to give way to the vehicles in the lane you are seeking to enter.

Remember:

Always use your signal to advise the other drivers of your intentions.
Make every effort to match the speed of the lane you are seeking to enter into.

The most important thing you can give to your family is yourself. If you want to take driving lessons and know how to drive safely, contact us right away.

New freeway and highway merge lines (by main roads department of road safety)

The problem

Merge points are often congested on freeways and highways in peak periods as through traffic must allow for incoming vehicles causing disruption to speed and traffic flow. Previously, where there were no dotted line markings at merge points, the vehicle in front would have right of way. This has often caused issues regarding which vehicle has priority, with some motorists speeding up just to get in front.

The solution

New merge lines have been introduced at all freeway and highway on-ramps to prompt motorists to get up to speed and merge into traffic in the same way as changing lanes. While new to Perth, merge lines are common practice in other states around Australia.

A total of 85 sites on our freeways and highways have been painted with new merge lines in an effort to improve traffic flow.

New merging rules

Here’s how the new rules work.

  1. Get up to speed and indicate.

Once you’ve got up to speed with freeway traffic, indicate and merge into the next lane – just like when you are changing lanes.

  1. Merge earlier.

Don’t leave it to the last minute – be sure to merge right as soon as you’re at speed and it is safe.

  1. Let people in.

Drivers on the freeway should have a gap to let new traffic from the merge lane in or move right to make more room.

Worst Crash Spots in Perth

A motor vehicle accident is the last thing any commuter wants. Still, there are some spots that seem to attract them. Below, we take a closer look at some of the worst crash spots in Perth, Australia.

1 – Albany Highway

Albany Highway in Cannington currently holds the number one spot as the worst crash spot in Perth. This is according to an analysis of insurance claims to insurer AAMI (Australian Associated Motor Insurers Limited). In total, there were 89 claims made during the year as of August.

According to Michael Mills (AAMI spokesman), the high crash rate is hardly surprising. This is due to the fact that the Albany Highway is one of Perth’s key thoroughfares and so constantly has a high stream of traffic.

2 – Nicholson Road, Canning Vale

Following behind Albany Highway with a total of 57 claims during the same period is Nicholson Road, Canning Vale.

3 – Great Eastern Highway, Midland

Great Eastern Highway, Midland is next with 56 claims.

4 – Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, and Mitchell Freeway.

5 – Osborne Park

Osborne Park rounds out the top five spots with a total of 53 and 47 claims respectively.

Mr. Mills continued that while there was little change to the worst crash spots, there have been substantial changes to the top ten spots between August 1 last year and July 31 this year. He noted that Mitchell Freeway, Osborne Park jumped to the number 5 spot from number 13. He attributed this to the freeway extension which has seen an increase in the number of motorists using the thoroughfare to travel north.

In a similar manner, Ranford Road, Canning Vale moved from 14th to 6th spot, again thanks to an increase in traffic and usage. This time the increase is attributed to persons using that particular thoroughfare to access a new housing development in the area.

car accident

So, how does one go about reducing the number of crashes on these increasingly heavily used roadways? Mills, suggests that concentration is the key – particularly when traffic is heavy.

He reiterates that motorists must leave enough room between themselves and the vehicle in front. He states that it is “vital to leave enough room” between your vehicle and the vehicles travelling in front. He also mentions that motorists should be keen to “keep the speed limit and avoid distractions like mobile phones.”

In addition to keeping distractions at a minimum, practising defensive driving can also go a long way in helping to reduce crashes. Defensive driving skills help to alert motorists and avert disasters by simply following a few key rules. Anyone wishing to learn more about defensive driving can contact the Defensive Driving School today.