A touch of the Olde World has been slowly making its way to the sunny shores of Florida. We are talking about roundabouts, or ‘circles’ which alleviate the need for a traffic signally device at intersections and allow drivers to simply proceed unimpeded, provided they know how to correctly navigate the roadway.

Roundabouts are very common in England and across the United Kingdom where traffic congestion is a serious problem. City planners discovered decades ago that roundabouts were the most efficient way of keeping traffic flowing and helping people get from place to place without needing to slow down and stop and then proceed again. The waiting period for using a traffic roundabout, even at a busy intersections, is much less than it is at traditional western traffic intersections.

Florida drivers began seeing them start popping up a few years ago, and since then they have begun spreading across the state. Most residential neighborhoods now contain at least one roundabout and many old intersections are being replaced by them. There is definitely a learning curve for some drivers when it comes to safely navigating a roundabout but once drivers get used to them they soon find the bonuses they provide make a world of difference.

Rule No. 1: Roundabouts aren’t hard to figure out. Rule No. 2: Don’t drive fast.

These are the two “hard-and-fast rules” regarding roundabouts.

OK, that was pretty lame. But there is an overarching principle governing every roundabout everywhere: The driver inside the roundabout has the right-of-way.

This was gladly confirmed by our pal Lt. Ray Shupe of the Durango Police Department. “That’s correct. Traffic coming into the roundabout must yield to the cars already in the roundabout.”

Let Action Line reiterate two important words: must. yield.

So all you tardy inbound anger-management types can get over it. Yes, you have to stop to let fellow drivers turn up Riverview, and yes, you have to slow down.