Am I the Only One Who Didn’t Know About This Rule at a Maine Roundabout?
You can file this one under "you learn something new every day."
Maine has seen a lot of busy intersections turned into roundabouts. You'll find a lot of them in the Gorham area, there's one at the intersection of River Road and Windham Center Road and one opened in 2021 at a five-way intersection on Brighton Avenue near USM.
Roundabouts are like small traffic circles, where everyone enters the circle to the right after yielding to traffic already in the circle and then exits in the direction they wish to travel.
It seems simple, but a lot of people still have trouble with this concept, so the Maine DOT released a handy flyer explaining everything you need to know about roundabouts. Here's a link to it. If you really need to study it, you can even print it out.
I have no idea how I stumbled across this, but when I read it there was one thing I saw that you're supposed to do at a roundabout that I had never done nor had I seen any other drivers ever do.
Have you ever seen anyone signal when they exit a roundabout or traffic circle? Me either, but when you think about it, it makes sense. You're probably thinking I'm nitpicking and I am one of those drivers that always obeys the speed limit. Well, part of that is right, and it's not the nitpicking.
Title 29-A, chapter 19, subchapter 1, section 2071 2a of Maine Statute reads "An operator may not turn a vehicle without giving an appropriate signal if other traffic may be affected by that movement."
That applies here. By signaling, you are letting the cars behind you and the ones entering ahead of you know that you're exiting the roundabout. That's a huge help to the person waiting to enter ahead of you. If you've signaled you're exiting, then they know it's safe for them to enter and don't have to wait to see what you're going to do.
How many times have you gotten frustrated when you're following someone and they slow down for what seems like no reason and they turn right without a signal? You probably say or yell in your out loud voice, "Ever heard of a signal moron?!?" Okay, maybe that's just me, but either way, now I always make sure I signal at a roundabout or rotary so there's no reason for me to be called the moron.
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