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Thai roundabouts


Soloman
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Can someone explain the local rules for entering and exiting a roundabout please.  I have spent some time observing driver behaviour at a roundabout and i am none the wiser.  Seems like the general rule is the meek gives way to the bold? I’m more interested in the local rules rather than the official traffic code.  Thanks 

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2 minutes ago, Soloman said:

Can someone explain the local rules for entering and exiting a roundabout please.  I have spent some time observing driver behaviour at a roundabout and i am none the wiser.  Seems like the general rule is the meek gives way to the bold? I’m more interested in the local rules rather than the official traffic code.  Thanks 

That just about covers it. 

Unfortunately very few Thai drivers have any idea what to do when entering or leaving a roundabout.  Maddeningly, some will stop while ON the roundabout to a vehicle to enter.  This is of course very dangerous on those 'islands' with heavy central planting which obscures good views of other traffic.

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Thanks KB, it’s been bugging me for a while and I should have asked this a long time ago as a motorcyclist.  OK, I’ll be mild and treat roundabouts with caution from hereon.  The clocktower roundabout here in Chiang Rai is where i have been observing this morning. The added complication here is that it is at an intersection of a main road and a secondary road coming from the market.  Traffic entering from the main road may well assume that they have right of way hence traffic already in the roundabout stopping. In fact some absolutely zoom through, esp the bigger utes. 

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26 minutes ago, Soloman said:

Can someone explain the local rules for entering and exiting a roundabout please.  I have spent some time observing driver behaviour at a roundabout and i am none the wiser.  Seems like the general rule is the meek gives way to the bold? I’m more interested in the local rules rather than the official traffic code.  Thanks 

Law says that you give way to the person on the roundabout, that is from the right.  The Thais have no idea how to do it and don't follow this rule. In my area, the road markings on feeder roads onto the RBs are as clear as day, they just don't follow them.

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The rule is: ooze or creep. Ooze if you want to move laterally, creep if you're going forward. As long as you don't actually stop everything will work out. Eventually, opposing drivers will realize that they can score some karma and save the cost of a paint touch-up and let you in. Flip side is that sometimes you should reciprocate. Just. Don't. Stop. They'll smell your fear and be on you like white on rice.

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Where i live there is a large roundabout which is controlled by traffic lights which in theory should be safer ( no traffic coming from your right .

But, it throws up another problem:

There are 5 lanes ( plus a designated left turn lane ) all waiting for the green light, not many mc’s fortunately as they tend to scoot covertly around the outside !

Most of the traffic is destined for straight ahead. Anyway when the light goes green the 3 lanes furthest right have to manoeuvre to the left to traverse the roundabout while the two left hand lanes have no such obstacle in their paths 

Of course, there are road markings to guide each lane smoothly round the roundabout but it must be the glare from the green light which make the markings invisible 😀

It is a regular spot for accidents as the 3 right hand lanes get squeezed into 1 by the drivers, to their left,  who don’t feel the need to actually negotiate the roundabout and just plough straight ahead 😬

Usually the ones causing the accidents just go on their merry way oblivious ( although maybe not ) to the mayhem they caused.

In reality the roundabout is totally unnecessary as it is on a main road downtown with a minor road traversing it and probably wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t a f#ck-off huge Chedi on top of it 😯

 

6A7061A8-5374-420F-BD81-3036E713CD19.jpeg.1856dc0c6dd1b37e3cf179c89d179be4.jpeg

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Very few have a licence so have no idea of rules.  If on a bike you are road kill for anything with 4 wheels or more particularly loaded pickups. Wifes daughter will drive right up the exhaust pipe of a bike to intimidate the driver to pull over and let her through, if they don't she'll wait her chance passing with inches to spare scaring the hell out of the bike rider then cuts in front of them, probably why bikes stop on round abouts for cars.

Ride a bike in Thailand, sorry no bats in the belfrie yet.

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5 lanes entering a roundabout?  Scary! In an intersection of 2 roads which is your example here, the 5 lanes entering should be reduced to 2 max meaning 3 left most lanes are dedicated to turning 90 degrees left leaving two to exit 180, 270 or 360 into double lanes, not single.  The huge roundabout in Paris Arch de Triumph is something like what you described.  Total chaos and I have seen vehicles caught in the innermost circle going around a couple of times to get to the outer lane to exit.  Not sure if this will work in Thailand.  Not sure that roundabouts are designed to cope with more than two lanes entering it. 

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15 minutes ago, Soloman said:

5 lanes entering a roundabout?  Scary! In an intersection of 2 roads which is your example here, the 5 lanes entering should be reduced to 2 max meaning 3 left most lanes are dedicated to turning 90 degrees left leaving two to exit 180, 270 or 360 into double lanes, not single.  The huge roundabout in Paris Arch de Triumph is something like what you described.  Total chaos and I have seen vehicles caught in the innermost circle going around a couple of times to get to the outer lane to exit.  Not sure if this will work in Thailand.  Not sure that roundabouts are designed to cope with more than two lanes entering it. 

Indeed, on exiting the roundabout in one direction the traffic is immediately reduced to 2 lanes to cross a large bridge !!, reducing to 2 ( or 3 ) lanes before the roundabout would be the way to go as you suggest.

In the other direction the 5 lanes are separated by a concrete wall creating 3 lanes main road and 2 lanes frontage/service road but again this happens immediately after exiting the roundabout and this usually results in drivers changing lanes immediately for fear of getting stuck down a service road with no way back to the main road.

The layout of this roundabout is changed frequently but I suspect no actual monitoring is done before or after any changes.

The latest “ bright idea “ was to add a central u-turn on both the 5 lane entrances to the roundabout very close to the roundabout itself, but as usual the u-turn is badly designed and cars, especially pickups, cut across 2 lanes when exiting the u-turn. Meaning the 5 lanes of traffic getting a standing start off the green light and safely ( not always ) negotiating the roundabout are sometimes met with a car/pickup utilising 2 lanes of traffic as they exit the roundabout . It would have been safer to let cars  u-turn by going all the way round the roundabout !!

Last but not least is the traffic light itself, which you can see on the photo above , has a straight ahead and a right turn arrow which on occasion has sent traffic, not familiar with this debacle, to turn right before the Chedi and find themselves going the wrong way round the roundabout !!

 

Never a dull moment 😀

 

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