Anyone who has driven through the master-planned community of Summerlin has certainly encountered a roundabout.
This is a one-way highway that has a formal name of “rotary traffic island”. They are substitutes for traffic lights with the intent to keep traffic flowing but can oftentimes raise confusion for drivers. Summerlin is not the only location for these contraptions in the Las Vegas Valley but they are the most prominent for a specific reason we will get to later in this article.
If you have never seen one, it is an enlarged intersection on a road where all traffic is steered to move around a large central island all traveling in the same direction. Eventually, the automobiles weave out of the flow of traffic in their desired direction. This is all completed without them having to stop and wait (unless they are yielding to another car). The rotary traffic island or roundabout solves the problem of large traffic jams and waiting for lights to turn.
Regardless of whether or not you have seen a roundabout or driven through one, there is a Nevada Revised Statute that details them. NRS 484B.220 was written by Nevada lawmakers to map out the details of how to navigate through a roundabout or rotary traffic island as they are named in the statute.
One Direction Only
There only are two rules and the first one reads:
1. Upon a highway designated and signposted for one-way traffic a vehicle shall be driven only in the direction designated.
It would be difficult to get turned around in a roundabout to the point where you are driving in the wrong direction but I guess anything could happen. The first rule of this NRS states that drivers can only drive in the designated direction. There is not much to elaborate on as that is common sense.
The way the curbs are laid out within a rotary traffic island makes it very difficult for drivers to get confused as to what direction they need to go. Most of the vehicle operators get confused while navigating a roundabout in regards to who has the right of way. The typical answer is that the person on the left would have the right of way but based on where the curbs are in the roundabout may bring on a different scenario.
Right of Way in a Roundabout
It really depends on how the roundabout is laid out and what additional traffic signs are present (if any).
In any case, the car entering the roundabout needs to yield to the traffic that is already present and driving through.
Once the new car gets into the traffic flow then other automobiles trying to enter need to yield to them. A car can stay in the roundabout for as long as they need to. They will continue driving in circles until they exit. Since a roundabout replaces a traffic light, there are typically four ways to enter and exit just like a typical intersection or four-way stop.
Pass on the RIght Only
The second rule to NRS 484B.220 is:
2. A vehicle passing around a rotary traffic island shall be driven only to the right of such island.
When circumventing a roundabout, the driver needs to steer their car to the right of it. Under this Nevada law, a driver is not authorized to pass on the left-hand side. The way most streets and traffic islands are laid out it would be difficult to pass on the left as the natural flow of traffic is to the right side.
If you are ever cited a ticket for violating the traffic laws pertaining to roundabouts or any other issue you should reach out to us at Ticket Busters for assistance. We take great pride in serving the community of southern Nevada and have a responsibility to you, our client. Our office is comprised of a professional staff of legal experts that will do everything they can to get your traffic violation either reduced or completely thrown out.
Each situation is different but you as our customer can have the confidence that we will not take any shortcuts with your case. The staff members and attorneys assigned to your case will review and develop the best strategy for your defense.
By making a simple call to Ticket Busters you immediately remove the burden from yourself which frees up countless hours by not having to wait in lines and complete massive amounts of paperwork. It is a huge stress relief to have a legal expert work your case on your behalf. Your traffic ticket will be negotiated with the courts by one of our lawyers who are well versed in chapter 484 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (also known as the Rules of the Road).
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a roundabout or a rotary island?
A roundabout is an intersection where traffic flows in a circle and the vehicles enter and exit by following the signs posted. Roundabouts are designed to slow down traffic and reduce collisions while increasing safety.
Is it illegal for me to pass on the left through a rotary island?
Under Nevada law NRS 484B.220 you are not permitted to pass on the left side of a roundabout, instead, you must drive around it staying to your right.
What should I do if I am given a traffic ticket after navigating a roundabout?
If you are issued a traffic ticket after navigating a roundabout, it is highly recommended that you contact Ticket Busters for legal assistance. We have years of experience providing quality legal representation and will work hard to get your case dismissed or the fines reduced. We understand how stressful this process can be and we want to provide you with the best defense possible.