Local Roundabouts Show No Spike in Crashes/Injuries, BUT . . .

Early data from the state Department of Transportation (DOT) shows there hasn’t been a spike in crashes since the new roundabouts in Whatcom County were constructed.  Of the accidents that have occurred, none have resulted in injuries, unlike many of the crashes before when traffic signals controlled some of the intersections.


My opinion?  Yes, the data appears good.  However, I’m concerned that police use roundabouts to conduct unlawful/pretextual pullovers for DUI.  “Pretext” is the arrest of a person for a minor crime (as a traffic violation) for the real purpose of getting an opportunity to investigate (as through a search) the person’s possible involvement in a more serious crime for which there are no lawful grounds to make an arrest.  Pretextual stops are unlawful.

Navigating a roundabout is confusing for inexperienced drivers.  The four most common mistakes people make are (1) not yielding to traffic already in the roundabout, (2) not using their blinkers, (3) changing lanes in the roundabout, which is not allowed; and (4) treating the yield signs entering roundabouts as stop signs.

Any one of these common mistakes can cause a police officer to intitiate an unlawful pretextual pullover.

Let’s see data on whether DUI stops increase in roundabout areas . . .