When it comes to using the 12 O'clock routine it is very simple to understand and works on 90% of the roundabouts your learners will come across when you are first teaching them to deal with lane position
Compare this to how one driving instructor who writes a blog but refuses to identify themself or there company teaches people to do roundabouts
Your choice of a signal and lane position is not automatic, and depends on the individual roundabout and the circumstances at the time.
DTL -Your choice of signal and lane position depends on the position of the exit that you are taking
But there is a problem with it – it doesn’t work all the time, so it cannot possibly be called ‘a rule
DTL - True it is not a rule but a guideline - most rules have exceptions - Do you ALWAYS give way to the right on roundabouts? NO - There are some roundabouts where you give way to traffic on the left -- if a roundabout has traffic lights, you go by the lights not the traffic, -- If the traffic light is green on the roundabout do you always keep going? - NO - If there is a yellow box junction on the roundabout and you cannot clear it, you need to stop at the green light --- See always exceptions!
the last thing a new and nervous driver who is already struggling with roundabouts needs is to have to decide whether the road they want is after 12 o’clock or not on top of everything else
DTL - But this should be the FIRST thing a learner needs to be shown - The lane position should be explained before they are anywhere near the roundabout, so as they get closer, the learner is free to deal with speed, gears and looking to see if they can go or need to stop, linked with good commentary from the driving instructor this should make doing roundabouts less stressful and easier to accomplish!!
the approach roads may well have bends on them which give the illusion of an exit being in one location on the clock face when it is actually elsewhere. In general, your lane positioning and signalling on approach to an unmarked asymmetrical roundabout should be exactly the same as for the symmetrical ones.
DTL - Thats why you go by the sign on approach, you expect someone to look and decide what lane they need as they approach a new roundabout based on whether it looks symmetrical or Asymmetrical?????? How do they do it at night???? Or at rush hour with cars and lorries blocking their view?
The way I teach it is intended to get them to think about things, and not to blindly apply silly rules which achieve nothing
DTL - Thinking symmetrical or Asymmetrical rather than 12 oclock or before?
Basically, if the 2nd exit is very much further to the right, a signal might make sense.
DTL - Define much further?? So there lane choice is dependent on what YOU are thinking???
sometimes only experience can teach the best way of dealing with them.
DTL - Its only once you have done that roundabout a few times and been flashed at, had horns going and been verbally abused that you'll remember how to do it - despite the fact you've driven to the other side of the country and will never do that roundabout again?
the HC explicitly refutes the ‘12 o’clock rule’. It is not in the HC.
DTL - Refute = prove (a statement or theory) to be wrong or false; FALSE as we have said it is not a rule but a guide- However the principal is not only shown in the Highway Code but also by yourself in the final statement we quote in this article (see the box underneath)
If I’m waiting to emerge on to a busy roundabout and see someone coming round it with their right indicator on, I will wait – and it is bloody annoying when they then exit left before they get to me.
DTL - Any car coming from the left will be in the right lane with the right signal on, they will then exit left before they get to you - Do they annoy you in the same way? Any car coming from opposite, if the lane markings say straight ahead is right lane, will be in the right lane and then come off at the exit before you, Do they annoy you in the same way??
Doesn't the highway code Rule 185 When reaching the roundabout you should give priority to traffic approaching from your right,
Your learners by sticking to the 30 mph limit will no doubt annoy people, are you advocating learners driving should be based on others feelings???
Learners should understand what they are doing, not just following stupid rules made up by people who understand little more than their pupils do. The ‘12 o’clock rule’ does not work.
DTL - So in a simple easy to understand way that people first getting used to roundabouts can take in, learn from and progress
How do you teach roundabouts not using the 12 o’clock rule? -
This is where an ADI earns their money. In most cases, the reason pupils can’t do roundabouts is because they panic and everything becomes a blur – they’re worried about all the other traffic on the roundabout and, as a result, lose sight of the lanes. They need to be able to bring things back into focus and learn how to deal with what is, after all, only a simple junction. What I normally do is sketch a diagram of a crossroads, Obviously, there’s a bit more, but this is a way of trying to demystify the whole roundabout situation.
DTL - And this is more simple to understand than 12 oclock or before left lane~?????? But the diagrams you show of crossroads all have one lane and none of the exits are at the 1 or 2 O'clock position
Ordinarily, the left hand lane is the correct one for straight ahead. -
DTL - FINALLY!!! and there you have it ---all this waffle for one simple statement - 12 oclock or before left lane - unless the road markings or signs say otherwise
if the roundabout has more than one ‘straight ahead’
DTL - EH???? How on earth can you have more than one straight ahead???????????? STRAIGHT - there can be only one!! This is what happens when you dont use the clockface!! Can you have to 12's on the clockface?? There's a 10 or 11 or 1 or 2 - You can have 2nd exit on the left, 3rd exit on the left, but we have never heard an examiner or a sat nav say "Please take not the first straight ahead but the second straight ahead"
Can I change lanes on the roundabout if I get into the wrong one? Yes However, it is a risky operation unless it is very quiet, and if you are likely to impede someone just follow the lane you’re in and effectively ‘go the wrong way’. ---
DTL - So if the learner is out with a pdi or friends and family and the lane there in, is for the motorway, which is illegal, immeadiately voids their insurance and would lead to an instant ban if stopped by police, your advice is to follow it?
The service road is that little dash. Sometimes, the dash is so small you could easily not see it as you drive past. I usually don’t include them in the exit count – so the 2nd exit here would still be the one just after the 12 o’clock position.
DTL - So this road that you DON'T count as an exit - Can you come off at it? Whether its into a garden centre, Hospital, wherever, can you exit on it? So why do you choose NOT to count it as an exit if the sign does? Does The highway code say Your driving instructor needs to decide the exit? But if they are going to the Garden centre and the sat nav says take the second exit - using your teaching methods they will go wrong
If the third exit is before 12 o’clock where do you position yourself in a roundabout?
As I have explained, there is no such thing as ‘the 12 o’clock rule. You simply use the same rules as for all the previous examples. Remember that ‘straight ahead’ doesn’t automatically mean ‘the 2nd exit’. It depends on the road. Sometimes, ‘following the road’ can mean what would be virtually a right turn if you only looked at it from a geometric perspective.
DTL - STREWTH! As well as looking if the roundabout is Symmetrical or Assymetrical you now expect the learner to look at it from a Geometric perspective??????? As well as deciding what are exits on the board- Please for the love of everything - How is this easier for a learner to understand rather than look at the board and think "12 O'clock or before left lane - Unless the signs or markings say otherwise