Opinion: Roundabouts make safer intersections

Roundabouts require understanding, etiquette and awareness, but they are safer.

The three-vehicle crash that sent one woman to hospital Saturday evening offers a stark reminder of the efficacy of roundabouts.

True, not everyone appreciates their design.

But they offer a distinct advantage that would have been welcome on Saturday: They lower speeds and reduce the severity of an impact.

Saturday’s incident is still under investigation and police have only released limited information. However, witnesses say one vehicle went through the stop sign before hitting two other vehicles.

These kinds of accidents are exactly what roundabouts are intended to prevent.

As vehicles approach, they slow down and yield to vehicles in the traffic circle. If an accident does occur, the speed is slower and the angle is less direct. That results in fewer injuries, or injuries that are less serious.

Granted, they are not perfect. They require understanding, etiquette and awareness. They are not intended to be high-speed chicanes. And drivers must remain mindful of others on the road, including pedestrians and cyclists.

But as the new roundabouts recently installed on Tyson Road demonstrate, they keep the traffic moving. The four-way stops they replaced were cumbersome and often backed up traffic for blocks.

The new roundabouts are far more efficient. And they offer far greater safety – once motorists learn to use them properly.

The City of Chilliwack has made pains to keep drivers informed. It has held open houses and offers plenty of information on its website.

It’s good information to have, because roundabouts aren’t going away any time soon. Two more are slated for Prest Road, including one at the site of Saturday’s crash.

Of course safety is still ultimately the responsibility of the driver. But more thoughtful road and intersection design is making Chilliwack a better place.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Garage sale happening now at Atchelitz Threshermen’s Association in Chilliwack

Due to COVID-19, the event is one of the association’s only sources of income for the year

UPDATE: Traffic moving again after rollover on Highway 1 in Chilliwack

This is the second collision in four days in the same area of the highway in the ess curves

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

PJHL delays start of season as teams struggle to secure facilities

The junior B hockey league was hoping to start Sept. 29 but is now targeting mid-October

Missing Chilliwack woman last seen on Wednesday

Friends and family concerned for Joy-Lynn Leon, 42, who was last seen Sept. 23 on Mary Street

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

Most Read