There are 2 types of circular intersections in South Africa: traffic circles and mini-circles. This article only refers to traffic circles.
Traffic circles are sometimes referred to as roundabouts and are designed to allow traffic to flow easily and quickly. That being said there is a lot of confusion about how to navigate safely around them, but once you know and understand the rules that govern traffic circles, you’ll breeze happily through them.
- To turn left (taking the first exit / 9 o’clock):
- Use the extreme left-hand lane when approaching the circle.
- Signal to the left and turn left when safe to do so.
- To continue straight (taking the second exit / 12 o’clock)
- Select the left hand lane (unless road signs indicate otherwise) as you approach the circle.
- Enter the circle when it is safe to do so.
- Pass the first exit and immediately signal left to indicate that you will be leaving the circle at the next exit.
- To turn right (take the third exit / 3 o’clock):
- Select the right hand lane (unless otherwise instructed by a road sign) as you approach the circle.
- Enter the circle when safe to do so and travel around it.
- Signal to the left only after you have passed the second exit.
- Make sure there isn’t another vehicle entering the circle to your left (usually at the second exit) as you point your car towards your desired exit.