Technology and Changes in the Driving World: Traffic Circles & Roundabouts

BC defines a roundabout with having a median divider on approach to the circle. A traffic circle does not have a median and was the predecessor to the modern roundabout. The rules state that a signal is not required to enter the traffic circle or the roundabout. The roundabout does however require a signal right when exiting the circle; the traffic circle does not. It is advisable to use the left signal when going more than one exit in the traffic circle/roundabout, as most North Americans do not use these types of intersections well for clear communication and the benefit of other motorists.

Examples of traffic circles:

  • Single lane roundabout (21st and Fulton, West Vancouver, BC)
  • Multi-lane (UBC Campus, Vancouver, BC).

Freeways & Signs

Merging onto the freeway has been addressed in the B.C. GLP road test since August 1998. What is required is that the driver coming onto the freeway needs to speed up to match the traffic on the freeway and fit into the flow of traffic. Then when the posted speed limit sign is seen, comply with that speed in reasonable time.

But where does the entrance ramp start speeding up?

Seeing the white line on the left, when it has changed from yellow to white, is not a good indicator. You will not be fast enough to match the speed of the traffic by the time you are forced to merge. There is a sign in most cases that can tell you.

This is a minimum speed limit sign for highways/freeways in BC. At this time you should ramp up and match traffic speed.

What is the speed limit of the freeway?

Assumed speed is 80, but speed can be anywhere from 60 to 100 km/h The Inland Island highway and the Coquihalla highway are 120 km/h

Near the end of the ramp or further on will be the posted speed limit. You can know the speed limit of the road by passing an entry ramp or intersection on a highway or freeway. This is a common pattern throughout North America.

As you travel along the freeway and deal with those that still enter the freeway at 60 km/h, a warning sign at least 50 meters ahead of the merging traffic will let you know that there is merging traffic and you should move over if you can. If you can notice the warning sign 150 M beforehand, then that is more than enough time to deal with them. I’m not fond of the driver driving in the fast lane/passing lane for the entire trip. Please be sure to merge back into the right hand lane when it is safe to do so.

Exiting the Freeway

That 50 km/h ‘Exit’ sign: Is that the speed that you need to get down to now or is it warning you to start slowing down to that speed?

This sign indicates that the recommended speed for the area would be 50km/h. It is important to drive in accordance of the road conditions and use caution and common sense when driving. Slowing down to the recommended speed will give you more control of your vehicle as you navigate the exit ramp.
What if it says 30 or 60 k/mh?

The same general rules apply.

Regain Confidence with a Driving Refresher Course from North Shore Driving School

Do you feel nervous or anxious entering or exiting roundabouts, traffic circles or freeways in B.C.? Consider contacting the friendly and professional driving instructors at North Shore Driving School at our North Vancouver Car Division. Our experienced staff will guide you through the B.C. GLP driving test and defensive driving best practices. We are also proud to offer refresher courses for seniors looking to renew their license. Contact NSDS today to regain confidence and maintain your independence. North Shore Driving School Ltd. has proudly served the Greater Vancouver Area since 1961. Call us today to schedule your next driving lesson.

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