Question: We live in an area where there are a lot of deer. What is the safest procedure to follow when deer are either crossing the road or walking beside it? I notice that many drivers stop to allow them to cross, some drivers proceed on slowly, and some drivers blow their horns at the deer. What is the safest thing to do?
Answer: The safest procedure is to slow down as you approach the deer so that they can clear the area. If the deer is crossing the road, I would slow down and stop if I need to for it to cross. Deer do an amazing amount of damage if you are unfortunate enough to hit one. The sounding of the car horn may cause the deer to move, although I have also seen deer freeze up at the sound because it is not something they are acquainted with.
Q: What is the proper use of turn signals in traffic circles? For example, at the rotary at State, Forest and Boulevard, most southbound traffic on State will exit to Boulevard; however, if no one signals, northbound traffic from Boulevard must wait just in case one vehicle continues around. Often this backs up several cars. If vehicles signaled the Boulevard exit, there would be no delay. On the other hand, there is very little space/time to signal between the previous possible exit and the Boulevard exit. Very few drivers signal at roundabouts, but I always do. What is correct?
A: This is a question that keeps coming up. Yes, you do need to signal your exit from the roundabout. As you enter the roundabout, you should signal your intent to exit as soon as possible without creating more confusion. In other words, if you plan on taking the first exit, signal the right turn as you enter the roundabout. If you plan on taking the second exit, signal the right turn as soon as you are passing the first exit, and so on. This allows the oncoming drivers to have as much warning as possible.
ABOUT RULES OF THE ROAD
Rules of the Road is a regular column with questions and answers on road laws, safe driving habits and general police practices.
Answers come from David Wright, a retired officer from the Bellingham Police Department who is now serving on the Whatcom County Traffic Safety Task Force.
For previous Rules of the Road columns or to ask a question, go to bellinghamherald.com/traffic.