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I live in a right-drive country and plan to motor in left-driving Jamaica this month. That being said we do not have roundabouts in my state so I am trying to learn the rules-of-engagement as it pertains to left-drive roundabouts.

For right-drive roundabouts in the US I understand that:

enter image description here

  1. Traffic on the left has priority and flow is CCW (counter clockwise)
  2. The outer lane should be used only when departing the roundabout at the next exit (red path in diagram) or when traversing straight through (180 degrees) the roundabout (blue path in diagram)
  3. The inner lane should be used when traversing more than 180: in the case of the green path 270 degrees

Can I expect this to be true in left-drive Jamaica except that the flow is clockwise and the traffic approaching you from the right has priority?

If you have significant driving experience in left-drive roundabouts, please state this in your response.

  • There's a roundabout in the Bronx. It's so new it doesn't yet show up on Google Maps, but you can go drive around it today. And of course there's Columbus Circle, but that has lights so it doesn't really count. Anyway, yes, they're exactly reversed. Road markings before the roundabout will indicate which lane you should be in for your desired direction of travel, if the roundabout is big enough to have lanes. – Michael Hampton Dec 2 '16 at 23:59
  • there are no "double lane!" roundabouts in Jamaica, mon. Just relax and forget it. – Fattie Dec 3 '16 at 3:46
  • As Joe alluded to, there are basically two lane intersections that have roundabouts, not multi lane highways. Just remember to keep the steering wheel on the inside of the circle and you are good to go. – user13044 Dec 3 '16 at 5:57
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I have extensive experience with left-drive roundabouts thanks to many years of driving in the UK, and plenty of other places.

The rules for giving way are the exact reverse of right-hand drive - circulate clockwise, and give way to traffic already in the roundabout (i.e. from your right). You are also correct that you should be in the left lane if you are turning left, and the right lane for turning right.

However the other rules are going to be specific to Jamaica. Signalling conventions at roundabouts vary from country to country, and you should look them up for Jamaica. Also which lanes you are allowed to use for going straight are country dependent. Getting them wrong however is unlikely to put you in an accident.

You may also find that rules of the road are not adhered to strictly in Jamaica - a country which I believe originated the saying:

"Some countries drive on the right; some countries drive on the left; we drive in the shade."

  • Precisely. It's a non-issue. You might as well be asking about how to deal with 16 lane cloverleaf freeway interchanges - heh. – Fattie Dec 3 '16 at 3:48
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    +1 for the second paragraph (which answers the question as asked) and at least +2 for the last (which is what OP needs to know). – TimLymington Dec 3 '16 at 15:38
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I drove 1 months in australia, so I have some "experience" with left-drive roundabouts. With right ones I have even more experience because they are very common in my country.

Regarding your question: Yes this is true. BUT (but!) like for every rule not everyone is following it, so prepare to see some lane changes also in the roundabout.

Furthermore, flashing is an interesting point as it is different in different countries when it comes to roundabouts. E.g. in Australia you blink before entering the roundabout like the following:

  • Left - you take first exit

  • No flashing - you take the 180° exit

  • Right - you take the third exit

(Just like at a crossing)

However, in other countries like germany you flash when you are in the roundabout and you are about to exit the roundabout. Don't get stressed, watch 1 minute an jamaican roundabout and you will get the feeling. Maybe start with a small one with only one lane, than it is pretty easy to do.

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