Navigating roundabouts

The City of Ottawa is installing more and more roundabouts. Roundabouts are actually pretty simple to use and, more importantly, safer than traditional intersections. Because navigating roundabouts is new to many residents of Ottawa, the following information will help steer you in the right direction. Use the commands in the box in the left hand corner of the animation below to see how to properly navigate a roundabout as a car, truck, bicycle or pedestrian. You will also discover what to do if an emergency vehicle approaches you in a roundabout as well as a series of things you should NEVER do as a driver in a roundabout.

Car Turning Left

  • Yield to all traffic in all lanes of the roundabout. Do not enter beside a driver already in the roundabout.
  • Stay in the inner lane as you pass the first and second exits.
  • As you approach the third exit, signal right.

Car Turning Right

  • Signal right.
  • Yield to all traffic in all lanes of the roundabout. Do not enter beside a driver already in the roundabout.
  • Stay in the outer lane, signal right and exit at the first exit

Car Going Straight

  • These lane signs say that you can use either lane. Do not signal because you are going straight through.
  • Yield to all traffic in all lanes of the roundabout. Do not enter beside a driver already in the roundabout
  • Stay in the inner or outer lane as you pass the first exit.
  • As you approach the second exit, signal right.
  • Exit from the inner lane into the left lane or from the outer lane into the right lane.

Car Making A U-Turn

  • Signal left.
  • Yield to all traffic in all lanes of the roundabout. Do not enter beside a driver already in the roundabout.
  • Stay in the inner lane as you pass the first three exits.
  • As you approach the fourth exit, signal right.

Truck Turning Left

  • Straddle the entry lanes and signal left.
  • Yield to all traffic in all lanes of the roundabout. Do not enter beside a driver already in the roundabout.
  • Use both lanes in the roundabout as you pass the first and second exits. Do not try to keep to one lane so that other drivers can pass you.
  • As you approach the third exit, signal right.

Trucks Turning Right

  • Signal right.
  • Yield to all traffic in all lanes of the roundabout. Do not enter beside a driver already in the roundabout.
  • Signal right and exit at the first exit.

Truck Going Straight Through

  • Straddle the entry lanes. Do not signal because you are going straight through.
  • Yield to all traffic in all lanes of the roundabout. Do not enter beside a driver already in the roundabout.
  • Use both lanes in the roundabout as you pass the first exit. Do not try to keep to one lane so that other drivers can pass you.
  • As you approach the second exit, signal right.

Truck Making a U-Turn

  • Straddle the entry lanes and signal left.
  • Yield to all traffic in all lanes of the roundabout. Do not enter beside a driver already in the roundabout.
  • Use both lanes as you pass the first three exits. Do not try to keep to one lane so that other drivers can pass you.
  • As you approach the fourth exit, signal right.

Bicycle Driving Straight Through as a Vehicle

  • Start in the right lane.
  • Yield to all traffic in all lanes of the roundabout. Do not enter beside a driver already in the roundabout
  • Stay in the outer lane as you pass the first exit. Ride in the middle of the lane. Don't hug the curb.
  • As you approach the second exit, signal right.
  • Exit from the outer lane into the right lane.

Bicyclist as a Pedestrian

  • Use the ramp that leads to the sidewalk.
  • Dismount and walk your bicycle.

Pedestrian Crossing at a Roundabout

  • Use the sidewalks and crosswalks around the outside of the roundabout. Do not cut across the middle of the roundabout.
  • Point your finger across the crosswalk to say to drivers you intend to cross. Look and listen for a safe gap in traffic.
  • Step up to the curb. Look at the drivers. You decide when to step out and go.
  • Start to cross as soon as you are sure the driver intends to slow or stop to yield the crosswalk to you.
  • Watch for a driver coming in the next lane. Make sure that the driver sees you.
  • Keep watching all the way across.
  • Wait on the splitter island for a safe gap in traffic before crossing to the other side of the road.
  • Step up to the curb. Keep pointing your finger across the crosswalk to say to drivers that you intend to cross.

Emergency Vehicles

  • If you have not yet entered the roundabout, pull to the right and let the emergency vehicle pass you.
  • If you are already in the roundabout, do not stop in the roundabout because the emergency vehicle may not be able to get by you. Continue on and exit as normal.
  • Do not enter a roundabout when an emergency vehicle is approaching.
  • After you have exited the roundabout, pull to the right where there is room for the emergency vehicle to pass you.

Incorrect Roundabout Use

  • This driver should have yielded to the driver in the inner lane.
  • This driver should be in the inner lane to make a left turn.
  • This driver should have signalled right for the next exit.
  • This driver should have given the large truck more space.
  • This driver should have exited into the right lane.