Rotary rules

OK, for all those who don't know this already, read this aloud:

Rule #1: The traffic in the rotary (traffic circle) has the right of way.

Rule #2: The traffic entering the rotary must yield to the traffic in the rotary.

Rule #3: If yielding means stop, that's OK.

Rule #4: If you are in the rotary and you yield to incoming traffic, expect my horn.

Rule #5: If there's any doubt, refer to Rule #1.

These are the five rules of rotaries in Massachusetts. And yet, for every one of these dozens of roadway phenomena, there are at least 10 people driving cars with Massachusetts plates who don't get it.

I am constantly having to swerve around someone coming in too fast who is expecting me to stop, or jamming on my breaks because someone else stopped to let incoming traffic through.

There's this one rotary I am on every day. At least once a week when I am stopped waiting to enter the rotary, another car comes up behind me and whizzes into traffic, nearly causing an accident with the rotary traffic; or as I come around the rotary cars are whipping down another road so fast they treat the rotary like an extension of the road so they can slingshot their way out. The latter has caused me to adopt a very aggressive posture coming around that particular part of the loop, and sometimes means I or an oncoming driver must swerve or hit the brakes. One of these days though, knowing the incoming driver has to yield, I would love to let the person hit me. Just once. The trouble is it wouldn't be worth it because I would only teach one person a lesson, not the public masses. So, it's an ill-advised example to set.

On a final note, I was on a different rotary recently. I won't mention the town because I don't wish to anger the cops there, but I had someone else very nearly fail to yield. In fact the car was all the way in the rotary before it acknowledged my horn and my moving steel. Two cars behind it was a cop. I wished the cop would have pulled over the driver and cited him. Instead, the cop went on his own way never to be seen again, and that's partly why we have these problems.


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