Hawkwell Driving School - Driving lessons in Hockley, Rayleigh, Rochford, & Hullbridge. Tel. 01702 204674
Mini-roundabouts - are they just paint on the road?
There is no difference between flat or humped mini-roundabouts, and no difference between single or double give way lines on the approach. Mini-roundabouts are defined by the fact that they are only paint on the road, and do not have any kerbs or bollards. They are all treated the same.
The law (Road Traffic Act) says that "you must drive around the central markings unless the size of your vehicle or the road layout makes it impractical to do so."
In practice this means you should go over a mini roundabout as much as necessary if: there is not enough room to get around it; or you are in the right-hand lane to turn right, and moving back to the left to avoid it would cause you to swerve into traffic on your left (below).
At a mini roundabout GIVE WAY to your RIGHT. This means anything that if it turns would hit your car in the driver’s door. So it includes a vehicle entering from the road to your right, a vehicle from straight ahead that is turning to its right, and even a vehicle from the left that is doing a U-turn. Anything that is in the roundabout before you, and on your right-hand side, you must give way to.
Remember also that give way does not mean “wait for”, it means “Don’t get in the way of”, which is completely different.
Example: 2 mini roundabouts in Rochford:
The second, near the station, should be driven around when turning right, from the town square, and NOT over. This is because there is no reason to drive over it. Any left turning traffic will be moving away from you on your left.
When to pull out:
The best time to go is usually as soon as the car on your right hesitates - if you wait too long then the crossing vehicle will have gone and the car on the right will move rapidly out behind it. Aim to be in the middle of the roundabout at the same time as the vehicle you are using as the block (ie. silver taxi in photo below).
When you approach a mini roundabout do so at a speed that will enable you stop behind the line, and to deal with any situation that arises: Maybe a car from the left that should give way but doesn’t. Or a car from the right that isn’t indicating to turn, but does anyway. If possible time your approach so that you don’t arrive at the roundabout at the same time as another vehicle that you may have to give way to. Look at other vehicle's speed, indicators, and road position, and where the driver is looking, before you make your decision to go.
When entering a busy mini roundabout you may have to be assertive to proceed. If you have to push your way in then use a two-stage technique. First of all move yourself carefully across the lane you have to give way to (your right) so that you are in the middle of the roundabout; then before proceeding any further make sure that traffic that has to give way to you (your left) is stopping for you.
Double mini roundabouts: