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Roundabout rule sparks fierce debate among Aussie drivers: 'Defies logic'

A little-known road rule has sparked fierce debate among Australian drivers, with many claiming the roundabout exiting rule is "flawed".

The debate was re-ignited when the NRMA shared an instructional video reminding motorists of the rule, which requires drivers to indicate before exiting a roundabout, even if they're going straight on.

NRMA road rule for roundabouts diagram
The road rule requires all Aussie drivers to indicate left before exiting a roundabout, especially on multi-lane roundabouts. Source: NRMA

In the training video, the NRMA informs drivers using roundabouts to "indicate on the way out if practical" and "always indicate on the way out" on multi-lane roundabouts.

The NRMA also urges drivers approaching roundabouts to slow down and be prepared to stop, give way to vehicles already on the roundabout and indicate on the way in or out if turning left or right.

The NSW government confirmed the controversial roundabout exiting rule on its website, which states: "When exiting a roundabout you must signal left, if it is practical to do so."

Australian road rules video by the NRMA
Australian road rules state that all drivers must indicate left on the way out of roundabouts when practical to do so. Source: NRMA

They also confirmed that the indicator rule, which applies in all Australian states and territories, may not be practical when exiting a small single lane roundabout and drivers should use their discretion.

Improper use of indicator signals attracts a fine of $194 and two demerit points in NSW, while the penalty for not switching off your indicator is the same as failing to use it at all.

'The rule is flawed'

Many people were not shy about voicing their disdain for the rule, with several arguing that motorists who are driving straight through a roundabout shouldn't need to indicate when exiting.

"The rule is flawed. In a roundabout, you can do one of three things: turn right, turn left, or continue straight through. If turning left, indicate your intention, if turning right, indicate your intention, going straight through, why indicate?" commented a frustrated driver on the NRMA video.

The motorist added: "It sounds self-evident. You don't need to indicate to go straight. The rule defies logic."

"If I am not indicating, I am going through. It is not that difficult," commented another motorist.

"I think indicating on the way through is dangerous and causes accidents," wrote a third.

Other drivers defend roundabout rule: 'Needs more policing'

Meanwhile, several drivers defended the roundabout rule after witnessing near crashes and collisions due to people failing to indicate left as they exit.

"I think there needs to be more policing of this. Sadly, so many exit with their right blinker on. That confuses pedestrians and disrupts the flow of the roundabout," wrote one woman.

"Well stated, and to the point," wrote a second motorist about the rules outlined in the NRMA video. "They are not hard at all. They certainly work very well if everyone does what they should."

Diagram show road rule; roundabout sign
The roundabout exiting rule applies to drivers in all states in Australia. Source: NSW Government/Getty

A third driver pointed out that road rules apply to everyone and it takes minimal effort for drivers to use their indicator when exiting a roundabout.

"If you could just operate the blinker, it will cost you nothing in terms of dollars, time or effort. The road rules say to indicate so that actually applies to everyone. You don't get to make your own rules," he wrote.

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