The City of Ammon opened their new mini-roundabout yesterday evening at the intersection of 45th E. and 17th St. As there are several types of roundabouts located within our area, the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind motorists of a few key points to remember as you negotiate them.
The purpose of these various roundabouts are to slow traffic down enough to allow for navigation from all sides to all exits while maintaining a safe, smooth, slow, and continuous flow. There are times where traffic yields the right of way to several vehicles at a time, however each leg must yield at some point to traffic entering the roundabout from a point on their left which opens a window for traffic to enter to the right. It’s very important to pay attention to traffic control signage posted on the sides of the road and on the road itself, the same as required in any other portion of public roadway, in advance of your approach so you can navigate your vehicle safely and properly.
A common problem observed at our roundabouts are vehicles that fail to properly yield to traffic inside the roundabout and failure to maintain your designated lane. Idaho Statute 49-807(3) states the driver of a vehicle approaching a Yield sign shall “slow down to a speed reasonable for existing conditions and, if required for safety stop” at the marked stop line, prior to a crosswalk, or before the point nearest to the intersecting road, in this case the lanes inside the roundabout circle. Idaho Statute 49-637(1) states “a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable and entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from that lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety.” Idaho Statute 49-808 requires vehicles changing lanes to do so with reasonable safety and use of appropriate signals, an action that requires “not less than five (5) seconds” and “not less than one hundred (100) feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.” Vehicles that fail to slow down to a reasonable speed and drive past the yield sign typically have trouble maintaining the lanes of travel and changing lanes appropriately and could be violating several areas of these traffic laws. These traffic violations carry a fine of $90 in most situations for each violation.
Motorists who wish to safely negotiate the roundabouts and any other intersection with traffic control devices should remember these three basic steps:
1 – Slow down
2 – Yield to all lanes of traffic
3 – Maintain your lane
The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office always recommends wearing your seatbelts and utilizing child car seats for your children along with obeying the speed limit and all traffic control signs and devices. Most importantly to aid in this is to make paying attention to your driving a priority and avoid distractions.