Road signage by roundabouts

| 03/08/2017

I am glad to see that the NRA is putting up signs and painting arrows on the roads leading to the (Butterfield) roundabout from all directions.  Hopefully this will educate the drivers that don’t already know how to properly use roundabouts. Unfortunately, I think they have the signs and arrows wrong in one spot, which will surely lead to more confusion and the possibility of more collisions. Please see attached for details. Can you please liaise with your friends at the NRA to ensure the signage and the arrows are correct?  The same applies to the Century 21 roundabout if you are coming toward Camana Bay from West Bay.

Auntie’s answer: As requested, I brought your question to the National Roads Authority. I also shared with them the diagram that you included. In addition, you can view the official Streetskill brochure here on the proper way to use roundabouts.

Let’s hope, as you suggest, that the arrows painted on the road will help to teach drivers what they should be doing when approaching, entering and exiting roundabouts. I do confess, though, that I remain a bit sceptical that many drivers will figure it out.

But to your question: Yes, the exit marked “2” that leads to Godfrey Nixon Way in your diagram has one lane, but the NRA explained that there is sufficient space to enable merging when coming off the roundabout.

In general, as it is explained in the Streetskill brochure, drivers can follow the “Golden Rule” in which the roundabout is viewed as a clock and there are specific rules for exiting between 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock, and 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock.

You also asked about the Century 21 roundabout, but at this point with all the roadwork in that area, I believe the situation has changed since you posed the question, so I think we have to wait till the road is finished to sort out that one.

However, I do feel compelled to say that considering what I have seen on roundabouts in general, I am not optimistic about how smoothly traffic will be flowing when all three lanes and six exits on the new Camana Bay one open up.


Category: Ask Auntie, Traffic Questions

Comments (18)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    And yet you expect a quarter million tourists to be good at this without any instructions or decent signage.

  2. beep beep says:

    Always give way to traffic already on the roundabout coming from your right.

    Check rear and left view mirror, Indicate and Move into the left lane as you are passing the exit before the exit you intend to take. For example, using picture of a clock-face, get into left lane as you pass 9 o’clock in order to smoothly exit at 12 o’clock. Indicate, indicate, indicate! So many drivers show a complete lack of courtesy by not indicating their change of direction/lane to other road users, not just at r’bouts but on all roads. Sadly this sometimes includes law enforcement officers – come on guys, please set a good example!

    If going from 6 o’clock, intending to exit at 3 o’clock, start in the right hand lane, indicating right (remembering to yield to traffic already coming from your right).
    Drive onto the inside, right lane of r’bout, still indicating right, then start indicating left as you approach 12 o’clock and, when clear, move into left lane as you pass 12 o’clock. Continue indicating left as you smoothly drive into your 3 o’clock exit.

    All the double lanes take up too much space for commenting on here, but if you get the above fixed in your head, it should help. If you forget, no problem – just use common sense! Indicate to let others know what you are intending to do. That’s what that extremely easy-to-use turn indicator is for. It needs exercise – make it work for you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Those that don’t understand how roundabouts work, along with the thousands of unlicensed (and uninsured) drivers have no business operating motor vehicles on public roadways. It would be nice if the RCIPS quickly realize that enforcement of Traffic Law is their remit. Nobody else is going to do it for them. Their operating assumption for ticket issuance should be that the lesson and learning was completed before the license issued or the key turned in the ignition. Start ticketing now please.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A great first step…now all we have to do is teach people how to read and respect each other on the road. And give all tourists (especially from USA/Canada) the diagrams on how to use the roundabouts and have someone competent explain it to them.

    • Anonymous says:

      The teaching and learning should be done before the license is issued or the key turned in the ignition.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think the NRA have this one correct, you can’t have two entry lanes and one exit lane, you can only have two entry lanes when there are two exit lanes, that would include a merge lane, which isn’t the case here, it’s just a single exit lane. You can’t be expected to merge on the roundabout, which is what they are suggesting. I think the original poster has this correct. At the very least its ill conceived that you would direct two lanes of traffic to a single exit. If there were no signs painted on the road the default would be to use the left lane only, so why confuse the situation by allowing both lanes to approach a single exit without a clear right of way established. There should be no ambiguity, by painting a second straight ahead sign on the right lane they’ve just introduced it.

    • Anonymous says:

      No no no it’s the “two” lane marking at the entrance to the roundabout that needs removing not adding an extra lane on Godfrey Nixon Way.

    • Anonymous says:

      There IS a clear right-of way established.

      If two drivers are exiting onto a single-lane exit, then the driver in the left-hand lane always has the right-of way, as the driver in the right-hand lane is in the “wrong” lane at that point (“wrong” because they are attempting to move from the right-hand lane of the roundabout into the “left-hand lane” of the exit road, which is already occupied by the other vehicle).

      The driver in the right-hand lane should have merged into the left-hand lane after passing the exit BEFORE the one that he actually wants to use. If you entered the roundabout in the right-hand lane of a two-lane road, but want to leave by a single-lane exit, then you may have to give way to cars in the left-hand lane and merge AT the exit, making sure that you do not force any other vehicle to manoeuvre to avoid you (you have no right-of-way and the duty to avoid a collision) or alternatively, proceed all the way around the roundabout to avoid a collision and then try again on the next approach to their desired exit.

      As a rule of thumb – try not to exit a roundabout directly from the right-hand lane. If you have to, be very careful, because you are potentially crossing the path of other vehicles.

      Also – give way to vehicles already on the roundabout. They may be in the right-hand lane as they come around, but they may be planning to merge into the left-hand lane as they pass your junction – so if you sneak out into the left-hand lane “because I just want to turn left”, you are effectively pulling out straight in front of them.

      Oh, and ffs, USE your indicators – no-one can read your mind.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Some drivers don’t know that when they are on a roundabout, you have to give way to traffic coming from the right of you.

    • Followbthe rules says:

      So true i deal with this everyday some try to use it as a fourway stop i sometimes have 4 cars coming to my right i just wait untill they all go true yet the one behind me is hunking for me to go ?

  7. ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

    The response from the NRA is not helpful and only shows that they themselves do not understand the basic rules of the road. If there is sufficient space to merge going onto Godfrey Nixon Way then lines should be painted on the road that way. Without lines painted on the road indicating there is a merge lane it is considered to be one lane. Just because the road is wide enough to physically fit two cars side by side does not mean there is a merge lane there if it is not marked as two lanes accordingly. Driving is bad enough here already without having ambiguous, unmarked lanes that some drivers consider one lane and some consider two lanes. The confusing signs and road markings are only going to make things worse not better.

  8. Anonymous says:

    As a roundabout is a circle, every vehicle using it should be indicating ALL the time. The vehicle is either turning left (at the next/approaching exit) or turning right (continuing round the circle) until it is time to indicate & exit. Thus ALWAYS indicating.
    As I recall these junctions were first called traffic circles. If drivers follow this pattern then we will all know what each other is doing. Regardless of roundabout size. For example, when travelling north/south via Island Heritage roundabout, indicating left when entering the junction shows you are taking the first exit, even though that is straight on (12 oclock).

    • Anonymous says:

      The indicating always thing is unfortunately wrong, but widely perpetuated in Cayman. You indicate left turns on approach and you indicate right turns, meaning anything past straight ahead, but not right then left when going straight over.

      From the highway code, straight over is an ‘intermediate’.exit

      “When taking any intermediate exit, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise

      select the appropriate lane on approach to the roundabout
      you should not normally need to signal on approach
      stay in this lane until you need to alter course to exit the roundabout
      signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want.”

      • Anonymous says:

        When I am on the roundabout and indicating right and approaching you waiting to enter the roundabout you KNOW that I am continuing past the front of your vehicle. Therefore you stop unless you may be only going to the first exit on your left and have your own lane. IF I was not indicating what the hell do you KNOW?
        I cannot travel “straight” on a circle. How do you KNOW what I am doing if I am not signalling? I may be going “straight over”. I may be taking an exit just before that point. I may even be exiting right next to you and simply ignoring all rules.
        Everyone indicating seems to be the only true solution with no room for assumptions.

  9. Anonymous says:

    “but the NRA explained that there is sufficient space” Absolute rubbish. There is ONE lane & ONE lane only. What sort of third world mentality says you operate on roads as there is sufficient space!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why are there no signs on roundabouts prompting people to indicate right, especially if they will be on the roundabout passing two or more exits! NRA can surely do better with signage. No one uses indicators, and there are no signs as reminders.

    • Anonymous says:

      The “two or more exits” rule is only really suitable for roundabouts with 4 exits at 90 degrees to each other. It has been superceded by the “Golden rule”, which allows for roundabouts with (for example) two exits off to the left, one straight ahead and none to the right (like the Kings roundabout coming from the Hurleys direction). The only reason that you would enter that roundabout, signalling right, is if you intended to go all the way round and exit on the road back towards Hurleys, as there are no exits between 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock. If you want to go up Crewe Road (at 12 o’clock – i.e. straight ahead), past the airport, you can enter in either lane, without signalling left or right. As it is a single-lane exit onto Crewe Road, then the left-hand lane has right-of-way at that exit. If you are heading up Old Crewe Road or Linford Pierson, then you should be signalling left (and in the left hand lane as you enter the roundabout – the merge lane on Linford Pierson is for vehicles coming along Crewe Road FROM the airport and turning right into Linford Pierson), not for selfish people who feel that they shouldn’t have to wait in a queue

      I agree, however, better signage and road markings are the way forward.

      Even the NRA seems a bit confused. They put out a press-release about the new roundabout at Camana Bay that said that you should be in the right-hand lane turning right, in the centre lane going straight ahead and the left hand lane to turn left, yet the actual road markings and signage indicate that you can go straight ahead in any lane.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve already been “cut off” by idiots crossing all THREE lanes (inside to outside) going towards the Butterfield roundabout on the new 3 lane abomination at Camana Bay. If the average driver is totally confused with 2 lanes, why not just add a third and sit back and watch the carnage!

        The US abandoned “traffic circles” back in the 50’s & 60’s because they were the top location of “fender benders” due to inept drivers. This NRA is “ROUNDABOUT CRAZY” and this is a major cause of “fender benders” and also abnormal tire wear! A set of tyres I had on my US vehicle with a ‘600’ tread wear rating gave me 65,000-70,000 miles consistently. The same exact tyres here barely get past 15,000. I firmly believe all this “roundabout mania” is a serious contributor. That plus the ineptitude of the driving public makes for a comedy of errors.