Currently, in Carroll County there are 8 roundabout traffic circles that citizens will encounter while driving through the county. A roundabout is a circular flowing road created to reduce traffic accidents. The State of Maryland first began looking into roundabouts in the early 90's after seeing the success of this type of traffic control across seas in the United Kingdom. Traffic circles have been around since 1905, but in the United Kingdom they found that allowing traffic to yield as they approach the circle would alleviate accidents. The first roundabout in Maryland was constructed in Howard County at MD 94 and MD 144 after there was a high rate of accidents found at that intersection. By the year 2000 only one police reported incident was found in that year. The average annual rate of crashes at intersections with newly built roundabouts has fallen 70% with an 80% decrease in injury related crashes.
Cut to John Concannon- Introduction and History
There are five reasons why roundabouts are used in MD.
Keeps Traffic Moving
Reduces Unnecessary stops
Improves intersection aesthetics
Reduces air pollution
Improves intersection safety ( Graphic)
6 of the 8 roundabouts in Carroll County are on state roads and county roads at Gorsuch road and Center Street in Westminster and Bennett Rd in Eldersburg MD. The newest of the roundabouts in Carroll County are located at the recently opened RT. 30 bypass in Hampstead, MD and may surprise people who are not used to navigating through this type of intersection.
Cut to John Concannon- 2:31
Traveling through a roundabout is quite simple. The entrance to the roundabout by cars and trucks is controlled by Yield Signs. Entering traffic must always yield to circulating traffic. Whenever you see a roundabout sign remember to slow down. When making a right use only the right--hand lane if there are multiple approach lanes and use your right--turn signal. Move up to the yield line and wait for an acceptable gap in traffic. Do not enter next to someone already in the roundabout, as that vehicle may be exiting at the next exit. Within the roundabout, do not stop except to avoid a collision; you have the right--of--way over entering traffic. Always keep to the right of the central island and travel in a counterclockwise direction.
When going straight through a roundabout intersection slow down your car, stay to the right of the island. When you have passed the last exit before the one you want, use your right--turn signal and continue to use your right--turn signal through your exit while still maintaining a slow speed.
When making a left turn or a u-turn remember to first slow down your approach and most importantly yield to oncoming traffic already in the intersection. Then enter the roundabout and stay to the right of the center island. Maintain your position relative to other vehicles. Stay to the inside. Do not change lanes until you are ready to exit. Do not overtake other vehicles or bicyclists when in the roundabout. When you have passed the last exit before the one you want, use your right--turn signal and continue to use your right--turn signal through your exit. Maintain a slow speed.
You must always Watch for and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk or waiting to cross.
Using these helpful hints will help keep Carroll County's roads safe and still manage to get you to work on time.