Did you know about multiple lane roundabouts?

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Over the past few months we have received a number of queries from members in relation to riding on the road and giving way at roundabouts. Most people are aware that a driver entering a roundabout must give way to any vehicle in the roundabout. As a bike is a vehicle, a driver must give way to you if you are already riding in the roundabout.

When a car exits a roundabout – who is it that has right of way? Is it the bike rider, or the car?

On a single lane roundabout it should be pretty straightforward. But on a multilane roundabout a car might want to take the first exit while you want to continue riding to the next one.

On a multilane roundabout you can ride in the left lane, but you must give way to vehicles leaving it. According to the ACT Road Rules:

Giving way by the rider of a bicycle or animal to a vehicle leaving a roundabout

If you are riding in the far left marked lane of a roundabout with 2 or more marked lanes, or the far left line of traffic in a roundabout with 2 or more lines of traffic, you must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout – ACT Road Rule 119.

Pedal Power ACT recommends:

  • if you can, simply avoid multi laneroundabouts when possible (and push for safer off-road cycling facilities)
  • on a single Lane roundabout ‘claim the lane’ so people driving aren’t tempted to cut you off
  • be more conscious of your surrounds when riding on a roundabout and are prepared to give a exiting vehicle right of way on a multilane roundabout.

If there’s a road rule you would like to check in relation to how cars and bike riders interact, or you believe you’ve uncovered an anomaly in the law, please email your query to advocacy@pedalpower.org.au. If there’s a particular area in Canberra you feel is dangerous for riders, please notify Access Canberra.

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1 Comment

  1. Israel Vaughn 23/06/2016 at 7:50 PM - 

    I ride through a couple of multi-lane roundabouts everyday, can you clarify this a bit?

    I could reasonably understand this to mean that when I’m riding to the left of a car in a bike lane or sharing the lane itself, I have to yield if that car wants to exit the roundabout.

    What about if I taking the outside (left) lane, do I have to yield to car on in the inside (right) lane that is trying to cross into my lane and exit? This is certainly NOT allowed for vehicles and is a recipe for disaster if allowed.

    Am I allowed to take the outside lane as a vehicle would in a multi-lane roundabout? After a car honked at me, then cut me off and ran me into the roundabout curb as I was riding in the left of the outside (left lane), I now take (block) the outside (left) lane on the multi-lane roundabouts that I ride through everyday. This way, any car behind me has to wait for whatever exit they are going for.

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