Driving down the wrong side of the road is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do. But what about driving the wrong way around a roundabout?
Recent news stories have shown just how dangerous this can be with two incidents in the Cambridge area alone this month. In one story a driver’s dashboard camera caught footage of a Toyota Yaris heading onto the A14 roundabout at Milton, a very busy stretch of road at any time of day. The Yaris driver was caught going through traffic lights from the wrong side and then doing a U-turn on the roundabout itself.
Another Cambridge driver was spotted recently doing the exact same manoeuvre on another A14 roundabout, prompting fears of a dangerous new prank trend that could make road traffic accidents much more likely in the area. A Cambridgeshire police spokesperson said, "The roads can be a dangerous place if rules and regulations are not adhered to and we urge all motorists to be considerate of other drivers and to be aware of their surroundings."
It’s not just pranksters that cause such near-misses on UK roundabouts. Earlier this year a Folkestone driving instructor caught dash-cam footage of a Renault Megane driving the wrong way around the Cheriton roundabout on the A20. It is thought that the elderly driver of the Megane had returned from the continent and had become confused.
Police have used these incidents as a reminder of the dangers of driving ‘European style’ on the wrong side of the road, or ignoring road signs. Cambridgeshire Police statistics show that over 60 driving offences between August 2013 and December 2014 in the region were committed by drivers who had passed through road closures or driven the wrong way around a roundabout.
Unfortunately these are not isolated incidents. According to figures released by the Department for Transport, 119 reported driving offences in 2012 involved neglect of traffic signs and directions and pedestrian rights. Although it is not clear how many of these relate to travelling in the wrong direction, it seems likely that many more of these types of offences go unpunished.
Andrew Zajac is a Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK specialising in serious injury claims.
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