New roundabout law in Indiana requires drivers to yield to trucks

CARMEL, Ind. -- A new law that went into effect last week requires motorist to yield to trucks longer than 40 ft. when approaching or driving through a roundabout.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard helped craft the legislation and said it was necessary, because most roundabouts are not built for trucks to stay in their own lane the entire time.

“We don’t want to make (roundabouts) too big because that increases the accident rate in roundabouts,” Brainard explained. “We want them fairly small. We don’t want to design them for semis so to allow them to use both lanes in a double lane roundabout made a lot of sense.”

The law also states if two trucks approach a roundabout at the same time, the truck driver to the right must yield to the driver on the left.

Truck driver Scott Fetting was pleased when learned about the new law and he believes this will relieve some pressure from truck drivers if motorist follow it.

“If people pay attention to it, it will be a great thing,” Fetting said. “Whether or not the average everyday driver will heed those laws or not… that is another story.”

However, some business owners in Carmel believe even with the new law, some of the roundabouts planned near 96th Street and Keystone could have an adverse effect on transporters carrying vehicles to the handful of dealerships in the area.

Owner of Butler Toyota, Bob Butler, said he’s very concerned about his cargo getting to his shop once the series of roundabouts are installed.

Brainard argues all roundabouts are designed so trucks and city’s longest fire truck, 62 ft. long, are able to easily maneuver through.

“All the roundabouts are designed for trucks,” Brainard said. “They have to go through slowly and occasionally we see a mistake, but the truck drivers if they slow down and take it carefully they will be just fine.”

Anyone who is cited for not yielding to a truck in a roundabout could face a fine of up to $500.

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