When approaching a roundabout always give way to your right, right?
That’s the road rule that’s been drilled into many of our brains ever since we were taught how to drive. But it’s actually wrong.
There’s more to just giving way to your right when travelling through a roundabout – and it could cost you up to $450 and a loss of three demerit points if you don’t follow the road rules correctly.
When navigating through a roundabout, the correct rule is to give way to alldrivers travelling through the roundabout. The rule is the same for all states and territories nationwide and carries some pretty heavy penalties for drivers who ignore it.
For ACT drivers, roundabout rules are the most stringent. Failing to give way to a vehicle at a roundabout will land them with a $451 fine and three demerit points.
The same offence for NSW drivers will result in a loss of three demerit points and a $330 sting, and three demerit points and a fine of $378 for Queenslanders.
In Victoria and Tasmania, if you fail to properly give way to other drivers at a roundabout it’ll cost you $159 and three demerit points.
The state with the lowest fine for this offence is Western Australia, with drivers getting slapped with a $150 fine and three demerit points for failing to follow the rules.
Most of the time the car you’re giving way to will have entered the roundabout from your right-hand side, which may have caused this road rule to become misconstrued.
To help debunk this common roundabout myth that could cause an accident and cost you money and licence points, we’ve listed the Aussie roundabout rules you should always abide by.
Australian roundabout road rules
Approaching a roundabout: You must always use your indicator when approaching a roundabout and give other drivers enough notice of your intention to turn.
Entering a roundabout: When entering a roundabout, you must indicate to show other drives which direction you plan on going and give way to all other drivers already travelling through the roundabout.
Turning left and right: When turning left or right, you must indicate which way you plan on turning and remain in that lane. For example, if you’re turning left be sure to travel in the left-hand lane and stay and exit in the same lane. The same rule applies when you’re turning right.
Driving straight ahead: If you’re driving straight ahead there’s no need to indicate when approaching the roundabout. When driving in a multi-lane roundabout, travel in a lane that has arrows marked on the road which leads straight and exit from that lane.
Making a U-turn: When making a U-turn at a roundabout, you must approach it using the right-hand lane, signal right and continue to use the right-hand lane as you make the U-turn and exit the roundabout.
Changing lanes in a roundabout: Changing lanes at a roundabout is allowed only if necessary. As long as the marked lines are broken, you indicate and give way to motorists in the lane you’re moving to, and won’t affect the traffic from flowing.
If the roundabout is marked with solid lines throughout, you’re locked into your lane choice and must remain in your lane until the lines are broken after exiting the roundabout.
Exiting a roundabout: Much like exiting a road,it’s best practice to indicate towards the direction you’re going if it’s practical to do so. In this case, you’d indicate left when departing a roundabout and stop indicating as soon as you’ve exited.
As a preventative method, if there’s a chance of an accident happening while driving around a roundabout, it’s vital to slow down or stop.