Roundabouts – for most Malaysians, especially in densely populated areas, it rings a bell of frustration and despise. No roundabout will be complete without drivers merging into the wrong lane, trading honks along the way. Of course, not forgetting the ones who speed up intentionally to make their exit a fraction of a second quicker.
As profound as it may seem, roundabouts are actually designed to promote smoother traffic flow, lower accident opportunities and shorten the time of coming to a standstill as opposed to a traffic light junction. But no matter how you look at it, roundabouts in Malaysia always seem to be taken the complete opposite way. Why is that?The reason is simple, we don’t adhere to the correct methods of using a roundabout.
How many near misses have you had with the guy on the left simply because he was in the wrong lane while you were trying to make an exit? How many times have you had to come to a complete stop because the person on your right forcefully merged into your lane because he wanted to take the 9 o’ clock exit?
There are plenty of variations as to “the correct way” of using a roundabout; some bizarre, others are just plain moving hazards. This, is how you should do it.
According to the instructions listed in JPJs Kurikulum Pendidikan Pemandu (KPP) or learner’s guide that everyone has studied (at least, we hope you did) when trying to obtain a driver’s license, you need to remember two things: be in the correct lane before entering the roundabout and always give way to the vehicle on your right.
You should be on the left lane if you are taking 9 & 12 o’ clock exits and if you are exiting at 3 & 6 o’ clock you should be on the right lane. If everyone followed this cheat sheet, we will see far less instances of cars from the left lane forcing their way through and blocking those who are making an exit resulting in a congestion.
The key point here is that for a roundabout to function the way it was intended to, road users must always be on the correct lane before entering. Besides if you are not on the correct lane, you can always go around the circle and make the exit again.
Let us all be considerate drivers and make the road a safer and better environment for the benefit of our sanity. Happy driving!