11 February 2013:
For the majority of motorists, one of the most confusing driving laws is the correct use of a traffic circle. In fact, many motorists do not know that there is a difference between the larger traffic circles and the mini traffic circles, besides their size. Can you really be frustrated if someone cuts you off at a traffic circle if you don’t know the rules? The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) provides you with the important differences and rules of traffic circles.
Firstly what is the difference between the two circles? A traffic circle is classified as large when it has a minimum diameter of around 16 metres and a 1.5 to 2 metre flattened curb which allows heavy vehicles to drive onto a small section of the circle. A mini traffic circle is normally not more than 7 to 10 metres in diameter and the entire circle is mountable for heavy vehicles.
Are there differing rules for each?
“The rule of thumb is that mini traffic circles, which are usually found in residential areas, have the same rules as a four-way stop – first come first served. For larger traffic circles, which are usually found at busy crossings to assist with the flow of traffic, you need to give way to the right,” says the Automobile Association of South Africa.
Rules to remember at a large traffic circle:
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1126