Gas tax and new roundabout rule go into effect in Indiana July 1

A rule about yielding to tractor trailers in roundabouts goes into effect July 1. // WSBT 22 photo

Roundabouts are still new to the area. With the Smart Streets project adding a few more, some drivers say there is still confusion.

"So a lot of people in the left lane want to head straight and that causes accidents. We constantly hear horn honking and everything,” said South Bend Resident Mary Watkins.

Starting Saturday, a new law will require drivers to yield to semis in a roundabout.

"The law kind of defines it as any over 50 feet long or over 10 feet wide that you have to yield the right-of-way. Basically, yield the lane to that vehicle in a roundabout. If you are both in there no matter who got in there first, you need to yield to that vehicle," said St. Joseph County Police Assistant Chief Bill Thompson.

Thompson says roundabouts in St. Joseph County see several crashes. Especially at the Michigan and Chippewa roundabout.

"We have folks that get alongside those trucks, and those roundabouts are a little tighter and more narrow. You just can't operate a vehicle next to one of those and not get side swiped," Thompson said,

"I think that's a good idea because first of all of course they are so big, and if you are driving alongside of them someone is not going to make it through," Watkins said.

If not, Hoosiers could pay up to $500 dollars in fines.

Yielding to semis while driving through a roundabout isn't the only thing impacting Hoosiers on the road this weekend. On July 1, Hoosiers can expect to pay an extra 10 cents per gallon.

The General Assembly passed the gas tax hike to help fund a 20-year road improvement plan.

Local resident Angel Corral says now, it only takes $40 to fill up his truck.

Corral says he'll miss the lower prices.

"If they got to go up, then they got to go up. You can't really say much about that. If it's for a good cause then have at it," Corral said.

The 10-cent increase will also effect the diesel tax as well. There are other vehicle registrations fees helping fund highway improvements.

This weekend while going through roundabouts, police understand it will take some time for people to get familiar with the new law.

More than 250 new laws will go into effect July 1st.

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