Do you pull up at the Give Way line at a roundabout, look right, see a car approaching the roundabout in the next entry, often too fast and hence Give Way to this approaching car? If so, you aren’t alone. Crazy isn’t it! Even though you got to the roundabout first, before the approaching car, like many, you Give Way even though all the rights belong to you, you have right of way! Why does this happen in WA but not over East, in the UK or Europe? Is it that WA drivers are stupid, scared, etc? I don’t think so.
WA roundabouts are badly designed!
Instead of having a slow entry and fast exit, like everywhere else, WA roundabouts are designed, essentially by MRWA, to do the opposite, ie, fast entry and slow exit!
Thinking about the standard roundabout, ie, an island and 4 entry/exits, in WA the fast smoothed out entry leads to slowest point for cars ‘going straight over’, isn’t their entry give way line but rather a point, just past the first exit, just before the next entry. So if you are waiting to enter at that second entry point, you are looking straight down the throat of a fast vehicle, all you see is the radiator grill and two headlights aiming straight at you driving at speed! Are you scared, bloody right you are! It may even have cut the corner to go even faster! This car has to slow as it passes you because the exit is significantly sharper than the entry.
The solution is easy!
Instead of a fast entry, design all 4 entry points as if they were conventional Give Ways at a simple intersection. That starts by having a clear line of sight obstacle, in this case entries face the island; drivers can clearly see if they don’t slow down they are going to crash into and over the island! The car in the next entry, sees an oblique view of the car approaching to their right, not the grill and headlights pointing straight at them, also sees them slowing, and as they are already at their entry, they just drive on, without the unnecessary need to Give Way.
WA doesn’t need the current ‘fad’ of having ‘snake like’ entries to roundabouts, which create other serious issues, like pinch points for cyclists, scooters and m/bikes!
Well designed roundabouts, together with well designed driver education, improve the flow of traffic from all directions, ie, instead of start/stop of traffic lights, there is a more even spread and flow, without unnecessary stops. They should not be places of intimidation as they are in WA!