Roundabouts and right of way challenge drivers

| 22/07/2013

(CNS): Police and government officials from various relevant agencies helped drivers with a number of road safety questions recently when the Streetskill team hosted a booth at the Islands Living Show. Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing (DVDL) Supervisor of Operations, Roy Bush, said, "The most common inquiries concerned the proper use of roundabouts and the right-of-way of road users.”  To help make such matters clear for drivers, he recommended the Road Code book, which he describes as a 'must have' for all road users, including new and experienced drivers, cyclists and motorcyclists. 

“In addition to rules and laws, a simple understanding of the right-of-way, the use of courtesy, and indicators/hand signals can often reduce confusion on the road and avoid incidents,” he explained.

First published in September 2012, the booklet is available for sale at the DVDL offices in George Town, West Bay and Cayman Brac, at a cost of CI$10. The booklet was available for sale at the Island Living show and hundreds of the free NRA ‘How to use a roundabout’ brochures were given out to the public.

Over 2,200 attended the exhibition, which was held earlier this month, many of whom visited the booth manned by Streetskill representatives from the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing(DVDL), National Roads Authority (NRA), Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), Public Works Department (PWD), and Government Information Services (GIS), who answered drivers’ questions.

RCIPS Chief Inspector and George Town Area Commander, Angelique Howell, said the group was motivated by a need to improve the information and education that is available to drivers. “Our roads are busy with many different users, all of whom need to take responsibility to know the rules of the roads and to ensure safety for all road users,” she added.

The Streetskill campaign was launched on 1 May 2006 by the National Roads Authority (NRA), the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), Cayman Islands Road Safety Advisory Council (CIRSAC) and Government Information Services (GIS). It aims to educate motorists and influence their driving behaviour.

For more information, or to contact Streetskill, email and like Streetskill on Facebook.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope the Police see this as well, I have seen a few of them almost causing an accident in the Police Car on CNB roundabout, and watching their mouth you could tell they were arguing with the person that was in the right that they almost hit.. SMH.

     They need to do a course on roundabouts when you go to renew your license, and a requirement for new Officers.  #just saying#

  2. Anonymous says:

    The cars going straight on in this cartoon/gif only indicate when leaving.  They do not indicate on entering.  This is consistent with most of the world that uses roundabouts/circles.  Some in Cayman say someone going striaght on must indicate right when entering a roundabout.  There is no good reason for this peculiar view.

    • Anonymous says:

      Speaking as a frequent visitor, it would have helped me to have signs before the roundabout entrances that clearly indicated the exits and where they went. Signs telling what street you are on would be a plus. You can drive for miles on some main roads with no indication of what road it is. It would also have helped to get a handout at the rental place that explained roundabouts. Now I know all the rules and where everything is but it's still scary trying to avoid the crazy people.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps all drivers should have to undergo a short, written  "refresher" driving test that focussed on problem areas like  roundabouts, indicators and headlights, when they renew their driving licence. Anyone who failed the ten-minute test would be obliged  to retake their full driving test. Those of us who drive correctly would willingly take the test, knowing that the process was slowly  weeding out the idiots. Within three years, you would upgrade all drivers on the island.

  4. Anonymous says:

    That's a very good graphic you have posted, CNS. If people can't figure out how to enter and exit a roundabout by studying that for a few moments, then they probably shouldn't be driving in the first place.

    Thank you for using technology to finally illustrate the proper use of the roundabout.

  5. Bear Baiter says:

    I sure do wish CNS could decide which way we should go 'round about these round-abouts!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I travel quite often through the round about near the Red Bay School.

      AsI see it in the morning there are two very big problems.

      In coming to town there are an abundance of cars going right around the round about on the outside lane.

      Second cars exiting into old Prospect wait until the very last minute to go to the outside lane, this is a major reason why traffic coming from the east gets to a bottle neck in this location.

      Further east the Thomplinson round about in Prospect is a disaster waiting to happen. Drivers constantly stay in the outer lane and go right around the round about. I personally have no problem if we are dealing with bumper to bumper traffic as they might not have the chance to get over but there are numerous times where the lane is open and they still stay in the outer lane.

      • Anonymous says:

        10.28 You might have added, regarding the Tomlinson roudabout, that travelling east, many drivers start to overtake you on the outside lane of the bypass, at which point  they should be committed to turning left or continuing straight on. They then try to overtake you on the outside and block  your inside-lane exit  up to Ocean Club, presumably thinking they are very clever. Worse, some continue round on the outside, all the while  refusing to indicate, in their lunatic return to where they came from. I'm thinking of investing in an armoured vehicle and giving free diving lessons on the move, so to speak. That way, anyone with khaki paint on their right side is to be avoided at all costs. (Satire)

  6. Richard Wadd says:

    I thought that a road-user needed to be proficient in their knowledge of the 'Road code' and prove this by means of a 'written' Examination / test BEFORE being granted a drivers' license?

    This begs the questions:

    1) What is the percentage needed for one to achieve a 'Passing Grade' in the Theory Test?

    2)  How can a single applicant be allowed to re-take the same Test 4 times in a single day?

          (Yes, I have personal knowledge of this happening).


    • Anonymous says:


      This all boils down to corruption, and greed for the money. Half the people on these islands never got their licenses through a test.

      We have adaptd a culture where money talks. The government dont care, as long as the corrupt system brings in revenue.

      It is so anoying to see these lunatics on our roads, not abiding by the speed limit, running the red lights, disregarding the use of their indicator, stopping in the middle of the road.

      It makes one wonder if we are living in a lawless country. 


    • Anonymous says:

      If I remember correctly it is about 70 percent.

      It's 40 questions when I did it 3 years ago, half of which are road signs.


      I actually got a stop sign on my test!

  7. SSM345 says:

     "The most common inquiries concerned the proper use of roundabouts and the right-of-way of road users.” 

    Why do these people have licenses in the first place?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Roundabouts are easy if we all think of every exit from a roundabout like a T-junction. That is, I (the driver) am either going left or right. If I am taking this exit then I am turning left and should be indicating left. If I am not taking this exit then I am turning right and should be indicating that way (continuing around the junction). As I travel around the roundabout I need to make that decision as soon as I am heading towards each exit, i.e. I have passed the previous exit and need to continue signaling my intentions.

    This way every vehicle on a roundabout is indicating all of the time they are using the junction. As a driver waiting to enter this roundabout, when I look to the right and see a vehicle coming it is clear what they intend to do. If indicating left then they are exiting next to me so I can proceed without waiting, if my lane is clear. If they are indicating right then I have to stop as they will be passing in front of my position.

    This works on roundabouts regardless of size, regardless of the number of exits and regardless of the number of lanes. Try it and see. Every driver will know what the other drivers are doing and therefore what action to take.

    • biker says:

      It seems to me that most Cayman drivers would rather take a beating than to move their fingers an inch or two and use their indicators. Then, of course, no apparent traffic laws enforcement doesn't help this sad, stupid and dangerous situation either.

    • Tufty says:

      How complicated do you want to make it?

      1) Going left ?  Indicate left and go from left lane.

      2) Going right?  Indicate right from roght lane and move across to outside lane and indicate left before you exit.

      3) Going straight on?  Just indicate when leaving by indicating left and enter and exit from either lane if it is a two lane roundabout and a two lane road.

      4) Don't go onto the roundabout if there is a car in your way and don't trust others' indicators to tell you where they are going.

      3) is controversial, since some numpty back in time decided that it was good to suggest to people going straight on to indicate right when they entered the roundabout.   But if it is good enough for the Highway Code it is good enough for me.

      • Anonymous says:

        Spot on.  XXXX  It makes absolutely NO sense for people going straight ahead to indicate right.  This is my biggest pet peeve.  Why, why why!!!  On the NRA leaflet for using roundabouts it makes no reference to indicate right when going straight ahead so at least they got something right for a change.

        Please people when going straight ahead DO NOT indicate right.  You are causing confusion to other road users (who do know how to use roundabouts correctly) and disrupting the flow of traffic by making approaching drivers slow down because they are thinking you are turning RIGHT…..indicating right = turning right GET IT!!!!

        Oh boy, brick wall and head.

        • round and round and round says:

          Exactly.  Fact is, the NRA state this is correct, therefore everyone should just accept it and do it.  People do what they THINK is right, not what the 'official' documentation asks everyone to do.  Do not indicate right when going straight ahead (only if actually turning right), but do indicate left when exiting (or actually turning left prior to getting to he roundabout).  Just like a normal road – do you indicate right when driving straight ahead?  No.  I get the argument it makes people think twice about pulling out in to the roundabout when you pass the fisrt exit after you joined, but if we all rolled over due to others stupidity, we would be back in the caves.  Just be prepared to stamp on your brakes, drive defensively, lets face it, we all learn to very quickly here and in 7.5 years i have yet to have a smash because of it.  The last time i posted this about going straight ahead, I had to laugh at some of the responses, one of which – "but how am I supposed to know where you are going, I can't see you over the roundabout, duuuuhhh"?  Ok then….should have gone to specsavers maybe?

          CNS, excellent graphic, thank you.  Can someone lobby the NRA to have some signage at the major roundabouts clearly noting which lane to be in – this will also stop the confusion at roundabouts such as at Kings Gym heading East – many people use the left lane coming off the by-pass from the cricket ground yet go round 270 degrees to head on towards the Hurleys roundabout, or on the by-pass by the cricket ground/runway heading west – technically continuing on the by-pass towards the butterfield roundabout is a right hand turn as the exit is >180 degrees due to the way the roundabout was built – same with the new Dart road from West Bay – many people use the left lane and turn the 270 degrees to continue on south over the shiny new bridge.  Technically, > 180 degrees and you must be in the right lane, but in those situations does it make sense given the traffic flow?  I'm sure many folk get bored of comparisons to the UK, but you do see many many roundabouts with 'straight aheads' being far past 180 degrees – but no problem as the roads themselves are clearly marked, and people actually do follow the instructions painted on the ground.  The govt does need to clarify those junctions (or at least clearly paint arrows on the approaching roads to the two lane roundabouts making it clear which lane to be in).  Whatever the NRA says, everyone should follow, not what anyone thinks it right.  OK, following what a govt says can be…dangerous…but when it comes to roads, it would work, at least so everyone then knew who was right!

      • Anonymous says:

        Unfortunately, 3) is also controversial because of all the numpties who don't indicate AT ALL. I've personally taken to indicating right when I enter a roundabout and am going straight if I think it will help me not get in an accident (e.g. using the outside lane of the roundabout by Galleria Plaza/Brittania when coming from town through Camana Bay and onto the bypass toward West Bay – far too many people assume I'm turning left to go onto West Bay Road at the roundabout by Blue Cilantro/Galleria and zoom in front of me onto the roundabout from this same side road, forcing me to brake to avoid a collision). In an ideal world no indicator would mean a car is going straight, but here no indicator can mean ANYTHING!

        Additionally, I believe it's generally safer to not ever change lanes while on a roundabout. I can't think of a single one in Cayman where this would actually be necessary (unlike the even crazier multi-lane and multi-exit ones in the UKor Washington, DC), and far too many people who change lanes while on a roundabout are just cutting off other vehicles. It is certainly more convenient to change from the inside lane to the outside lane when exiting onto Elgin Avenue at the CNB roundabout, or onto the bypass or into Industrial from the Butterfield roundabout, just to name a few examples. However, if there is heavy traffic flow this is not always safe/considerate because traffic flows more efficiently if you stay in the inner lane the whole time you are on the roundabout. There are two exit lanes in each of these examples, and people should be able to exit from the inner lane onto the right lane and merge quickly. While considerate drivers can safely change lanes because they have due care and consideration for other drivers, the numpties have yet again screwed this option up for the rest of us by changing lanes to cut people off and get ahead of traffic.

        In general, I feel like if people have common sense, consideration for others and an appreciation for life, personal safety and the property of themselves and others… they will drive in a way that essentially complies with the Road Code. Unfortunately, all three of those qualities are sorely lacking on our roads.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The police need to be on the streets morefining a lot more people for dangerous or careless driving. The message will get through in a few months.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully all of the RCIPS officers each have a copy of the road code book and especially have studied the section in regards to using your indicator while navigating a roundabout.  

  11. Anonymous says:

    The most dangerous roundabout is the Tomlinson Roundabout – made more so by the fact that the NRA or someone removed the roadsigns when the roundabout decoration was put in – specifically the signs that showed Newlands – left lane and Bodden town – right lane – and since then, despite repeated complaints to the NRA, the sign has not been put back and the road surface has no proper arrow directions signage.

    There seems to be budget for paint depicting straight arrows on Shamrock road where there are no turnings but no budget for this huge safety issue.

    Shame on the NRA. And shame on the idiots who think you can turn right at any roundabout by approaching it in the left lane of a two lane road.

    When someone gets killed on the Tomlinson roundabout, I hope those who have not properly maintained the roundabout signage are held accountable. Of course it will almost certainly be someone turning right from the left lane who will meet this fate. Sad really. 

  12. Cheese Face says:

    It might help if the Police knew how to use their indicators, never mind roundabouts.