Carmel mayor proposes lowering roundabout speed limits, requiring cars to stop at crosswalks

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Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard plans to propose two new laws aimed at increasing safety on the city’s roads.

Brainard told the Carmel City Council during a budget workshop Sept. 17 that he wants to set speed limits in all roundabouts at 15 miles per hour. Most roundabout intersections are surrounded by signs that advise a 15 mph speed limit, but they are not enforceable.

“(Police) don’t really have any tools to work with (regarding) somebody that’s driving through a roundabout endangering other people needlessly,” Brainard said.

According to state law, enforceable traffic laws are posted on white signs, while those on yellow signs are advisory.

Brainard also plans to propose an ordinance that would require vehicles to stop at crosswalks if a pedestrian is about to cross. State law requires a driver to stop only if the pedestrian is already in the roadway.

“Somebody has to basically play chicken with a car, and then the car is supposed to stop,” Brainard said.

The mayor said if the change is adopted it would require a public education campaign, as Carmel’s ordinance would make its traffic laws different than those in surrounding communities.

Councilor Ron Carter pointed out that the council previously rejected a proposal from Brainard to require turn signals be used when exiting a roundabout because of the confusion it could cause for drivers not familiar with Carmel’s unique driving laws.

“The biggest objection to that was it wouldn’t be like anywhere else in the state. No one else would know that, so we couldn’t pass that,” Carter said. “That seems to be a parallel situation.”

Brainard said the council is expected to review the proposals at a future meeting.

Current has reached out to the Carmel Police Dept. for comment.


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