Traffic CircleThe Hamilton Police Service Station is committed to creating safer roads within our community through education and enforcement. Due to the increase in traffic roundabouts within the City of Hamilton, we are disseminating information regarding roundabout safety and alerting the driving public that the chances of being caught for traveling a traffic roundabout incorrectly is greater than usual. 

What is a Modern Roundabout?

A Modern Roundabout is a type of circular intersection that has been successfully implemented in Europe, Australia, and the USA. 

Hamilton currently has retrofit traffic circles in the Stoney Creek area, many mini-roundabouts in Ancaster, and one Modern Roundabout at the intersection of Wilson Street West at Meadowbrook Drive and Hamilton Drive which was the first Modern Roundabout in southern Ontario when it opened on October 25, 2002.  

Several more roundabouts are in the design stage and are expected to be constructed over the next few years.  

Benefits of Roundabouts

Roundabouts have been shown to reduce fatal and injury collisions as much as 75%. The reduction in collisions is attributed to slower speeds and 50% reduction in conflict points compared to a traditional intersection. 

Other benefits to roundabouts are:

  • Maintenance - The roundabout eliminates maintenance and electricity costs associated with traffic signals. 
  • Delay - By yielding at the entry of a roundabout, rather than stopping and waiting for a green light, delay is significantly reduced. 
  • Capacity - High volume of left turns are better handled by a roundabout than a multi-phased traffic signal. 
  • Traffic Calming - A considerable speed reduction is necessary to negotiate the roundabout whereas at a traffic signal, vehicles may not slow down during the green phase. 
  • Environmental - A reduction in delay corresponds to a decrease in fuel consumption and air pollution.

Driving Through A Roundabout

  • As you approach a roundabout there will be a yield sign and a dashed painted yield line. Slow down, watch for pedestrians and bicyclists, and be prepared to stop only if necessary. 
  • When you enter the roundabout, yield to circulating traffic on the left, but do not stop if it is clear and safe to proceed. Roundabouts have one-way signs mounted in the central island. They guide traffic and indicate you must drive to the right of the center island.
  • Just prior to your exit, turn on your right turn signal, and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists as you exit. 

If you navigate a roundabout incorrectly the charge is City of Hamilton By-Law, "Drive clockwise in a traffic circle or roundabout", with an $80.00 total fine which does not carry any demerit points.

Remember, whenever you are driving, to plan ahead and allow enough time for delays, give your drive your full and undivided attention, drive according to road and weather conditions and slow down when entering traffic roundabouts.