ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It has been a while since many New Mexicans have gone through drivers education and the state thinks drivers need a refresher course. It is launching a campaign to teach people the newer rules of the road.
“Studies have shown a 90 percent reduction in fatal crashes and reduction in injury crashes,” a NMDOT radio ad said.
Of course that is if drivers know how to use them.
Watching people go through the roundabout at 8th Street and Central Avenue makes it clear, there’s a learning curve when it comes to getting around these safely.
“There are people that don’t know what they’re doing and it’s an accident waiting to happen,” Victor Lovato said.
“Once or twice I’ve seen people not yield. They just go right in without seeing if it’s clear,” Estevan Stark said.
KRQE News 13 captured video of an SUV cutting in and forcing another car to slow down. Our cameras also caught a car cutting it close.
Issues like these explain why NMDOT has launched a series of radio ads statewide like this: “Slow down when you approach a roundabout. Yield to traffic. Do not stop in a roundabout to let traffic in.”
“A lot of people weren’t taught how to do that when they were in Drivers Ed, so this kind of gives them an opportunity to know how to approach those safely and get through them,” Melissa Dosher with NMDOT said.
NMDOT says more and more roundabouts are popping up throughout the state. In Albuquerque, there could be one at Rio Grande and Candelaria, and at 12th and Menaul.
After roundabouts, expect to hear ads on the flashing yellow turn signal, another fairly new traffic concept that can cause some confusion.
If all goes as planned, things could turn around for frustrated drivers out there.
“Be courteous and patient. Learn to love them,” the NMDOT ad said.
The Albuquerque City Council supported the roundabout proposed at Rio Grande and Candelaria after months of debate and push back from drivers.
As for a roundabout at 12th and Menaul, the city told KRQE News 13 it is about nine months away from design.