Do You Need To Signal When You’re Entering Or Exiting Pittsfield’s Roundabout?
So you think you know the rules of the road, Berkshire County? Because I've got one for you and it concerns the Tyler Street roundabout in Pittsfield. And this only occurred to me recently because I was unsure myself so I had to do some checking.
The question is this: Are you supposed to use your turn signal when you are entering or exiting a roundabout? Or even a rotary for that matter? I hardly ever see drivers using their turn signals at all anymore, so I figured it was a legitimate question.
And not to go off on a tangent, but what has happened to motor vehicle operators over the past 2 or 3 years? I mean, yeah, we've always had our fair share of crazy drivers (just like anywhere else) but it just seems like lately, the floodgates have opened.
Since the pandemic, I've seen more drivers pull crazy stunts or commit risky behavior than I've seen in my entire life combined! True story: The other day, I saw a school bus loaded with kids run through a red light. Stupid. And dangerous.
Anyway, my point is, when I'm entering(or exiting) the roundabout and I observe all the other drivers not using turn signals, I have to ask myself, "Are they all bad drivers or do you not need to use your directionals and they're observing the rules of the road?"
So I did some fact-checking and according to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles driving manual, they don't get really specific concerning roundabouts, but they do say this:
When entering a roundabout and choosing a lane, you should follow the same rules as for a rotary.
And for rotaries, the driving manual does get specific:
Use your turn signals in the same way as any other intersection. Travel through the rotary and, when you are ready to exit, use your right turn signal.
I guess it makes sense. When entering a rotary, you can only do so by going right(because traffic is moving counter-clockwise), so I guess you don't need to use your turn signal.
However, when exiting the roundabout, you should use your turn signal. It's just safer that way and lets other drivers who are ready to enter the roundabout know that it's safe to do so.