Letter: Turn signals can lead to confusion
After reading the roundabout article in the Current’s April 18 Readers’ Views section, I felt the need to express my own personal opinion about the use of turn signals in the roundabouts.
The proposed enforcement to use turn signals is a very interesting proposition. I ride with friends who use turn signals in the roundabouts. A very noble gesture to let the other drivers know your intention. Unfortunately, too many times I have seen drivers in the roundabout with, for example, their left turn signal on. How do I interpret their intention? I already know they are making a left turn to go around the island. I appreciate that they are letting me know of this fact. I will anticipate their exit the same as if they had not used a signal. I have not read the proposed ordinance for enforcing the use of turn signals in roundabouts, but I wonder if a left turn signal is used in a roundabout, would that be acceptable to the law enforcement officers?
Then you have the driver who uses their right signal and will pass two exits before exiting the roundabout. Well, I knew they were warning me that they were about to make a right turn out of the roundabout, but which right turn they were going to use was somewhat of a mystery until they actually exit. Very early on in my experience, a driver was coming around with their right signal on, so I immediately thought that they were being polite to let me know their intention and I proceeded to make my way into the roundabout. But then I had to stomp on the brake because they kept coming around, with dirty looks and all. I was bewildered and wondered why they bothered to use the signal. Again, using a right turn signal and driving by one of the exits, would this also be acceptable to the law enforcement officers?
I’ll sit back and wait to see what the drivers will do next. After all, we yield to the left, anyway. As I see daily misuse of the turn signals today, it is very hard for me to know the intent of the current roundabout occupant. In regard to enforcing the use of turn signals, I honestly don’t think it will help. I’m pretty sure most people will have good intentions, but there is already too much confusion for the brief amount of time the drivers are in a roundabout for me to know what they’re going to do. With or without the turn signal, I’ll sit and wait until I know, for sure, what direction the drivers are going and proceed cautiously as I do today. And if the ordinance is approved, well, I’ll enjoy watching all the blinking lights on the cars as they progress through the roundabout waiting for my turn to pass through.
Jim Stephanidis, Carmel