Debate rages over seemingly simple road rule

Aerial view of cars driving through a roundabout in California.
A roundabout image, depicted here by a stock image, has gone viral. [Photo: Getty]

Sometimes it’s the simple questions that catch us off-guard, and that was the case for a number of Australian motorists who were somewhat stumped by a routine road rule question.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads in Queensland, Australia, left many of its Facebook followers flummoxed after it posed a seemingly simple question to its followers online, alongside a photo of a car driving straight through a roundabout.

“The blue car wants to travel straight ahead at the roundabout. How should they indicate?”

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The post attracted plenty of debate with more than 60 shares and 443 comments at the time of writing.

Of course, Australians drive on the left side of the road, as we do in the UK, so the post is equally likely to cause similar debate here in Blighty.

This seemingly simple quiz was shared on Monday. Source: Facebook
This seemingly simple quiz was shared on Monday. Source: Facebook

While most knew the answer, confusion reigned for some people who either got the answer wrong, or were confused about the need to indicate before the roundabout, and when exactly to indicate when leaving.

“I thought it was indicate right to go around and then left to exit. Am I wrong?” commented one person.

“Right on entry, left on exit,” said another, incorrectly.

How to indicate on roundabouts

The Australian government page stepped in and explained what drivers need to do in this situation.

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“Because they're travelling straight through, the driver of the blue car *doesn't* need to indicate when they enter the roundabout. They do though need to flick on the left indicator to exit the roundabout (and off again once they've exited),” it wrote.

“If it helps you can think of a roundabout like a clock face. Any turn that exits before 12 o'clock can be considered a left turn (so you'd indicate left when you're entering the roundabout). Any turn that exits after 12 o'clock can be considered a right turn (so you'd indicate right entering the roundabout). Straight ahead at a roundabout can be considered 12 o'clock (so you wouldn't indicate on entry).”

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