What roundabouts are

A roundabout is a central island in the middle of an intersection, where all vehicles must travel to the left of the island. Roundabouts can be small, large, single-lane or multi-lane. The number of roads that come into a roundabout can range from three to five or even more.

Hamilton is a city full of roundabouts and we all need to remember to respect those around us and follow the road rules. Roundabouts can get really busy – especially at peak times in the morning.

Driver behaviour and know-how is the most important part of making sure roundabouts are safe and efficient. The main issues for drivers include:

  • not indicating
  • using the wrong lane
  • blocking 'keep clear' zones
  • going too fast.

When everyone shows some roundabout respect everyone wins, and more importantly, stays safe.

Using a roundabout correctly

Most roundabouts have more than one lane in each direction, and these are marked with lanes and arrows which help drivers enter and leave the roundabout correctly.

Not all roundabouts are marked the same way, so take extra care – especially at the exits.

Roundabout respect coming up to multi lane

Coming up to a roundabout

​When coming up to a multi-lane roundabout:

  • slow down, and be prepared to give way
  • be in the correct lane for where you want to go.
Roundabout respect turning left

Turning left

​​If you're turning left at the first exit of a roundabout, signal left as you come up
to the roundabou​t.


Roundabout respect going straight through

Going ‘straight’ through

​If you are going 'straight' through a roundabout:

  • don't signal as you come up to the roundabout
  • signal left as you pass the exit before the one you wish to take.
Roundabout respect travelling more than halfway

Travelling more than halfway around

If you're travelling more than halfway around a roundabout:

  • signal right as you come up to the roundabout
  • signal left as you pass the exit before the one you wish to take.​

Related pages


Learn what we’re doing about road safety and find out about travel planning.


Get information on bus lanes, roundabouts, Electric Vehicles (EVs) and skills training.

How can I?

Apply, request, report, or pay for all transport related things

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Last updated 30 June 2022