Roundabouts are like a microcosm of society. Some people go through them too aggressively and some are too defensive, not enough are sensible.

At Mount Gambier in 2010, I reported that authorities preferred roundabouts over traffic lights on major roads because truck drivers don’t like to stop.

At the town’s worst unmitigated intersection, the transport boffins reckoned it would cost a million dollars 13 years ago to install traffic lights.

I found that hard to believe, but there were still many people who thought a roundabout was a better solution, because heaven forbid, trucks might have to stop if there were traffic lights

Roundabouts take up more space and sometimes require compulsory land acquisition and major engineering works, costing at least as much as traffic lights.

I found in Mount Gambier that if you saw a truck approaching a roundabout, you couldn’t assume the driver would stop because often he wouldn’t.

If you were behind an elderly driver, you couldn’t assume they would proceed through the roundabout when it was clear of traffic, because chances were they wouldn’t.

That’s very much the case in Bundaberg, and might reflect the high proportion of elderly residents. I’ve learnt here that nearly everybody stops when they approach a roundabout, regardless of traffic.

On a positive note, I’ve found that roundabouts in Canberra and on the Sunshine Coast keep traffic flowing and most drivers seem to approach them sensibly.

For anyone who wants a refresher, here are the Queensland road rules in relation to roundabouts.

Michael Gorey

A traveller through the universe. Not everyone who wanders is lost.

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