About driving

Giving way

Giving way at roundabouts

A roundabout is a central island in the middle of an intersection, where all vehicles must travel to the left of the island. Roundabouts can be small, large, single-laned or multi-laned. The number of roads that come into a roundabout can range from three to five or even more.

Single-laned roundabouts

When you come up to a roundabout that has only one lane in each direction:

  • slow down as you come up to the roundabout
  • give way to all vehicles that will cross your path from your right as you enter the roundabout.
Picture of a single-laned roundabout

Single-laned roundabout

Multi-laned roundabouts

Most roundabouts that have more than one lane in each direction are marked with lanes and arrows, which help you enter and leave the roundabout. The lane markings and arrows will tell you which lane to use.

Not all roundabouts are marked the same way, so take extra care – especially at the exits. If you need to cross from one lane to another near an exit, give way to any vehicles in the lane that you want to enter.

When coming up to a multi-laned roundabout:

  • try to get into the correct lane
  • give way to all vehicles that will cross your path from your right as you enter the roundabout.
Picture of a mult-laned roundabout

Multi-laned roundabout

 

Signal use at roundabouts

If you are turning left at the first exit of a roundabout:

  • signal left as you come up to the roundabout.
Picture of a car signalling left at a single-laned roundabout Picture of a car signalling left at a multi-laned roundabout

Single-laned roundabout                Multi-laned roundabout

If you are travelling more than halfway around a roundabout:

  • signal right as you come up to the roundabout
  • signal left as you pass the exit before the one you wish to take.
Picture of a car signalling right at a single-laned roundabout Picture of a car signalling right at a multi-laned roundabout

Single-laned roundabout                Multi-laned roundabout

If you are going 'straight' through a roundabout:

  • don't signal as you come up to the roundabout
  • signal left as you pass the exit before the one you wish to take. 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.
Picture of a car driving straight through a single-laned roundabout Picture of a car driving straight through a multi-laned roundabout

Single-laned roundabout                Multi-laned roundabout

Look out for cyclists who may find it difficult to maintain a turn signal on a roundabout and are exempt from this requirement.

Important

At roundabouts, look out for vehicles that:

  • may have to change lanes to exit
  • may not be able to stay in their lane because they are:
    • large (for example, buses)
    • travelling too fast.

Roundabout signs

Some of the signs you may see at a roundabout are shown below.

The sign below tells you that you are coming up to a roundabout. You should be ready to give way.

Picture of a roundabout warning sign

Roundabout

The sign below tells you to keep to the left of the traffic island as you come up to the roundabout.

Picture of a keep left sign

Keep left

The signs below tell you that you must apply the roundabout give way rules.

Roundabout Give Way sign

Give Way

The picture below shows you where you can expect to see these signs at a roundabout.

Picture showing where roundabout signs will be positioned

Roundabout signs

< previous | next >

Last updated: 3 October 2013