Indiana has begun to propose and construct more and more roundabouts throughout our state. Ostensibly, these circular roadways enable traffic to flow more freely and help in avoiding unnecessary traffic congestion especially at peak rush hour times. As newly constructed roundabouts have become opened for the use of the driving public, it is not at all uncommon to observe an increased presence of traffic officers ensuring that the driving public is utilizing the new traffic pattern of the inaugurated roundabout in the manner in which intended.
First utilized in Europe, an inspired Carmel Mayor James Brainard made his use of roundabouts as a primary election accomplishment to the extent that many refer to him as, “Mayor Roundabout.” Due to popular demand, the influence of roundabouts is now spreading as construction has now become in the works within Indianapolis and proposed elsewhere. The majority of the driving public has grown to endorse this new construction and has witnessed the benefits of eased traffic congestion. If the past is any indication of the future, it will not be long before other communities throughout Indiana will utilize these newly in vogue traffic alleviators in an attempt to pacify the driving public.
As a dui lawyer it is my job to look at these newly constructed roundabouts from a different perspective. One of the most frequent complaints lodged toward our political officials responsible for the proposed construction of new roundabouts involves issues of public safety.
For many, no matter how familiar they may have become to the existence of these newly constructed circles, the potential for increased accidents will occur. It was first believed that senior citizens may be most effected at the prospect of these divergent new road patterns with which they have never been accustomed to. However, accident statistics indicate that the use of roundabouts knows no age limitation when it comes to the potential for increased possibility of accidents due primarily to driver inattention and/or inability to properly navigate proper traffic flow within the entry or exit points of the roundabouts in question.
Not unlike traffic cops perched in locations likely to snare speeding motorists, roundabouts have become fertile ground for the detection, apprehension and arrest of suspected drunk drivers. I have steadily seen an increase in those who have enlisted my advice as a result of a police encounter within a roundabout ostensibly as a pretext to question and detect potential dui activity.
The lesson for my clients and any other citizen operating on our roadways is this; if operating a motor vehicle and approaching a roundabout be especially careful not only in operating through the roundabout safely, but more specifically for the purpose of this discussion, operate with an eye toward the reality that you may be being watched by a dui cop with more than your safety concerns in mind.
Should any concerns arise as to the latest tactics by which law enforcement is stopping suspected drunk drivers, please keep informed by contacting me, Lawyer Gregg J. Stark, at any time to learn how to best keep you or a loved one free from potential trouble.