Highway Roundabouts

Roundabouts are a type of intersection at which all traffic circulates in a counterclockwise direction, to the right of a central island.

What is a roundabout?

Roundabouts are a type of intersection at which all traffic circulates in a counterclockwise direction, to the right of a central island. All entering vehicles must yield to traffic already in the roundabout.

Roundabout Video

Transcript | Mobile

Quick Tips

  • Slow down as you approach the roundabout.
  • Choose the correct entry lane.
  • Watch for pedestrians crossing the roadway when approaching or exiting a roundabout.
  • Traffic in the roundabout has the right-of-way.
  • Give large vehicles extra space to manoeuvre.
  • Avoid passing other vehicles in the roundabout.
  • Signal your exit.

Benefits of roundabouts

Roundabouts have a number of benefits over traditional intersections including:

  • Improved safety - Reducing the number of vehicular conflict points and reducing vehicular speeds, in turn, reduces the potential for severe crashes and serious injury.
  • Reduced speeds - A reduction in speed is necessary to negotiate the roundabout, whereas vehicles may not slow down during the green phase of a traffic signal.
  • Increased capacity – A high volume of left turning vehicles is better handled by a roundabout than a multi-phased traffic signal.
  • Fewer stops and reduced delays - Delay is significantly reduced by yielding at the entry of a roundabout, rather than stopping and waiting for a green light at a signalized intersection; or waiting for a gap in the traffic at a stop sign.
  • Less idling and air pollution – Reduced delays mean reduced fuel consumption and improved air quality by reducing emissions.
  • Reduced maintenance costs – The roundabout eliminates maintenance and electricity costs associated with traffic signals.
  • Aesthetically pleasing – There is an opportunity for landscaping within the central island.

Rules for roundabouts

  • Slow down as you approach the roundabout. Keep to the right of the Splitter Island.
  • Use the correct lane for your intended destination.
  • Pay special attention to pedestrians who may be crossing the roadway.
  • Watch for vehicles already in the roundabout, including cyclists.
  • Traffic in the roundabout always has the right-of-way. Entering vehicles must always yield.
  • Enter the roundabout when there is an adequate gap in the circulating traffic.
  • In the roundabout, keep to the right of the Central Island and travel in a Counterclockwise direction.
  • Do not stop, pass large vehicles or change lanes within the roundabout.
  • Use your right-turn signal when exiting the roundabout.
  • If you miss your exit, continue around the roundabout again and exit.

Large Vehicles

Large vehicles may need to use more than one lane when approaching, within and exiting the roundabout. Within the roundabout, large vehicles may also need to use the Truck Apron. Give large vehicles plenty of room to navigate within the roundabout.

Pedestrians

Never cross to the Central Island of the roundabout. The Splitter Islands will allow you to cross one direction of traffic at a time. Pedestrians should always wait for gaps in the traffic and only cross when it is safe to do so.

Cyclists

Experienced cyclists may ride through the roundabout as if they were any other vehicle. Before entering the roundabout, cyclists should carefully move into the centre of the appropriate travel lane. They should stay in the middle of the lane until they are clear of the roundabout. Less experienced cyclists should dismount and walk their bicycles, following the same rules that apply to pedestrians.

Emergency Vehicles

If you have not yet entered the roundabout, pull over to the right if possible and allow the emergency vehicle to pass you. If you are in the roundabout, take your intended exit and proceed beyond the Splitter Island before pulling over to the right to allow the emergency vehicle to pass you. Never stop inside the roundabout.


Location of roundabouts on provincial highways

Roundabouts can be found throughout the province. Please visit any of the sub links located on the left hand side of this page for project-specific roundabout information and locations.


Typical signs and pavement markings at roundabouts

What do these signs mean?

Slow down, the roundabout is 300m ahead. Slow down, the roundabout is 300m ahead
Directional guide signs show the exits and where they will take you. Directional guide signs show the exits and where they will take you.
Choose the correct lane based on which direction you want to go. Keep to the right of the Central Island. Choose the correct lane based on which direction you want to go. Keep to the right of the Central Island.
Yield to all traffic in the roundabout, wait for an adequate gap, and then enter the circulatory roadway. Traffic inside the roundabout always has the right-of-way. In the roundabout travel only in a Counterclockwise Direction. Yield to all traffic in the roundabout.
These signs mark the exits from the roundabout and show the road name and its destination. As you approach your intended exit, signal right and carefully exit the roundabout. Watch for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the roadway as you exit the roundabout. As you approach your intended exit, signal right and carefully exit the roundabout.
Do not drive beside large trucks when approaching or within the roundabout. Large trucks may need both lanes to pass through the roundabout. Do not drive beside large trucks when approaching or within the roundabout.