More room for roundabouts

Now Media Group


The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is supporting legislation that will allow large farm machinery to safely navigate roundabouts.

Senate Bill 379 and Assembly Bill 451 will allow large vehicles within a multi-lane roundabout to deviate from the lane in which they are traveling to safely navigate the roundabout. Deviations must be done with due regard for all other traffic.

Rob Richard, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation's Senior Director of Governmental Relations testified in support of SB 379 before the Senate Committee on Transportation and Veteran Affairs on January 7.

"Requiring smaller vehicles yield to larger farm machinery and trucks is a good idea to ensure safety for everyone trying to drive through a multi-lane roundabout," Richard told lawmakers. "We think it will also lessen any further impediment to traffic flow that could already be caused by longer and wider vehicles navigating a roundabout."

The legislation defines a large vehicle as a vehicle or a combination of vehicles with a total length of 40 feet or more or a total width of 10 feet or more. Vehicles that don't meet those specifications must yield the right-of-way when approaching or driving through a roundabout at approximately the same time or so closely as to constitute a hazard of collision and, if necessary, shall reduce speed or stop in order to yield.

SB 379 is authored by State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green). Its Assembly companion bill, AB 451, is authored by State Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg). AB 451, which was passed by the Assembly Committee on Transportation by a 14-0 margin, could receive a vote by the State Assembly on this week.