Q: Are drivers required to use turn signals when entering or exiting a roundabout? With a newly constructed roundabout very recently opened in town, I have not once observed a turn signal used. What is the law?
A: Minnesota state law says that a signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning. A person whose vehicle is exiting a roundabout is exempt from this law. So per state law a signal is not required once in a roundabout.
My recommendation would be to use your signal anytime you change lanes or direction, to alert others of your intention.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation says that roundabouts are safer and produce better traffic flow. Roundabouts show an 86 percent decrease in fatal crashes, an 83 percent decrease in life-altering injury crashes, and a 42 percent overall decrease in the injury crash rate at intersections.
Roundabouts handle high levels of traffic with less delay than most stop signs or signals.
Tips for drivers entering a roundabout:
- Slow down when approaching a roundabout and obey the recommended posted speed limits.
- For multi-lane roundabouts, as with any intersection, get into the appropriate lane and signal prior to your lane change.
- 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.
Send your questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota to email@example.com or Sgt. Neil Dickenson – Minnesota State Patrol at 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811 . You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NE or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.