‘‘PE drivers are the worst with traffic circles’’
With regards to the article Driving around in circles confuses motorists (June 25), it is actually in Port Elizabeth where the drivers are “bullies” when it comes to roundabouts or traffic circles.
All roundabouts are designated with the signage of a ‘Mini- Circle. That denotation entails a warning triangle with a white inner area on which 3 black arrows are imposed. This signage, according to the Road Traffic Ordinance states that the circle is considered a mini circle, hence the person entering first has the right of way.
Needless to say, one should still be on the look out to ensure that an errant motorist from the right is not endangering one’s own safety. I have to do this on many occasions in PE.
In contrast, at the bottom of Mount Road, there are two major circles with multiple lanes which should be designated with a board which has a blue background on which three white arrows are imposed. This compels the person to yield to traffic from the right irrespective who was at the circle first. But guess what? Not so in Port Elizabeth. The city is void of these sign boards.
It therefore stands to reason that motorists in Port Elizabeth think (incorrectly so) that irrespective of who was at or in the circle first, if they are to the right when approaching they have the right of way and the person (who was there first) to the left is simply “road bullied” and has to wait until traffic coming from his right has eased.
The correct behaviour is depicted in the official K53 manual on pages 48 and 50 but gives the incorrect info on page 138! The manual regretfully does not depict either of the two traffic signs with an appropriate explanation.
Submitted by Hans Nitzschke, Port Elizabeth