Ask a Trooper: How to properly use a roundabout?
Roundabouts are becoming more common in Minnesota.
Question: Hello Sergeant Grabow, I really enjoy reading your column. I was hoping in a future column you could talk about safely navigating a roundabout. Last fall, a roundabout was put in by our elementary school. Since the start of the 2020-21 school year, I've been using it 20 times a week dropping my kids off and picking them up. I see many drivers stopping at the yield sign in order to let other drivers in the roundabout continue on their way. It's my understanding that when using a roundabout, you are to slow down and merge into the roundabout to continue on your way. Could you please clarify how to safely and legally navigate a roundabout for your readers. Thank you.
Answer: This is a good topic as we are seeing more roundabouts all over Minnesota. Here is some information to help everyone out.
- Slow down when approaching a roundabout. For multi-lane roundabouts, as with any intersection, get into the appropriate lane.
- Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. It is the law.
- Yield to vehicles already in the roundabout. Merge into the traffic flow when it is safe.
- Continue through the roundabout until you reach your exit. Do not stop or pass in a roundabout.
- Exit the roundabout immediately if an emergency vehicle approaches, and then pull over. Do not stop in the roundabout.
- Give large trucks extra space in a roundabout. Large trucks may straddle both lanes while driving through a multi-lane roundabout.
- Cross only at crosswalks, and always stay on the designated walkways.
- Never cross to the central island.
- Cross the roundabout one approach at a time. Use the median island as a halfway point where you can check for approaching traffic.
- Ride with traffic inside the roundabout or use the crosswalks appropriately.
- Follow the same rules as vehicles when riding with traffic and yield when entering the roundabout. Since traffic is slower inside the roundabout, cyclists should be able to travel at or near the same speed as motorists, staying in line with the circulating traffic.
Roundabouts are not complicated but can be confusing as it is something new. Sometimes it’s easier to learn by seeing it than reading about it. Feel free to access this navigational video to help you: youtu.be/hsFAs9gEYNQ
For additional information go to: https://www.dot.state.mn.us/roundabouts/index.html
Send questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota to: Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol, 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. Follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at email@example.com.