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Lack of indication at roundabouts

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Robert P. Steel
  • 48th Fighter Wing commander


QUESTION:

 I have just read your new resolutions for RAF Lakenheath in the Jet 48 with interest, particularly the one about safer driving practices. 

As a Ministry of Defence employee who has worked here at RAF Lakenheath for just over six years, I have commented many times on the lack of signaling displayed by American drivers around the base. I work in the Liberty Center, adjacent to the big traffic island just down from Gate 1. Every time I negotiate this island, I sit and have to try to second guess drivers as to what they intend to do. I know every vehicle has indicator lights, so I wonder why many drivers think they don't have to use them on base to indicate to other road users their intentions. 

If they do this out on the roads of Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, it's no wonder the accident rate is so high. I admire their optimism that other road users are mind readers and know exactly what their intentions are. At the many safety briefings given throughout the year, perhaps more emphasis could be placed on the importance of indicating and signaling, especially at traffic circles.



ANSWER:

Thank you for your concern regarding the inconsistent use of turn signals by drivers on base. As you are well aware, roundabouts are excellent tools to maximize the flow of traffic, but safety is dependant on all drivers signaling at the proper time. 48th Fighter Wing drivers complete a traffic safety course, which covers the proper use of turn signals, and must pass a written exam prior to receiving their driver's license. 

I take this opportunity to remind drivers of the requirement to signal their intention to turn left or right when approaching a roundabout and to signal left when exiting. Additionally, all drivers should give-way to vehicles on their right when entering a roundabout. We will highlight the proper use of turn signals at the next safety call and have Security Forces do periodic checks, including issuing tickets if warranted, at on base roundabouts. 


The Action Line is your direct link to me for complaints, suggestions or comments. It's not intended to replace the chain of command. When normal command agency channels haven't been able to resolve your concerns, call 226-2324, fax 226- 5637, e-mail ( Action.Line@lakenheath.af.mil), send through distribution (48 FW/PA), mail (48FW/PA, Unit 5210 Box 215 APO AE 09461-0215) or hand carry your Action Line to the public affairs office (Building 1085). You may remain anonymous; however, to receive a reply, please leave your name, unit, duty or home phone number and full APO mailing address. Names are confidential.