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Donald
07-14-2007, 01:48 PM
I was riding behind a fellow yesterday on my home from work and he signaled for a right turn using his right arm.

"Wow," I said. "I thought I was the only one who did that."

"Oh," said he. "There's quite a debate going on about it."

Really?

Anyone else out there signal right with their right arm? (Because, as we all know, cyclists without fail announce their intentions. Right?)

Wikipedia says the right arm signal is recognized some places and not others. Seems to me that the current "left arm pointed to the sky" signal is really a holdover from pre-blinker auto days. And that signaling with the right arm will actually have a better chance of alerting the folks who need to be alerted.

Thoughts?

Rixtir
07-14-2007, 02:05 PM
I'd probably know what it means, but the old pre-blinker hand signals are the ones I learned. I wonder if the law even addresses this anymore? It must...

BeerdedOne
07-14-2007, 03:12 PM
The law does address the 'correct' right turn signaling method.. it says either method is allowed. From the OR DMV Oregon Bicyclist Manual (http://egov.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/):

"To signal a right turn, either hold your right arm out, or hold your left arm up, with bent elbow."

I've had this discussion with other bicyclists, and the point has been made that the 'left arm up' method is probably more visible to car traffic, so I tend to use that in heavy traffic. When riding in a group, I'll use my right arm to signal, which seems more intuitive to me and is easily recognized by bicyclists riding behind me.

Jakelin
07-14-2007, 03:27 PM
The City of Portland Office of Transportation has literature out for cyclists that says both the left arm pointed to the sky or the right arm out are legal and acceptable signals for a right hand turn.

I learned the left hand to the sky as a kid, but now I always use a right hand pointed right because I figure it is much clearer to someone who may not know the hand signals, or someone who would confuse a right hand turn (left arm up) with a stop (left arm down). I wasn't aware of any big debate over it though.

wsbob
07-14-2007, 11:39 PM
I do this thing when I signal...not sure how you'll all respond to it, but here it is: First of all, I use the right arm straight out for right turns. Whether I'm making a left or right turn, once my arm and hand are extended, facing broadside to traffic, I bend my hand at the wrist, tipping it up and down sequentially at about the rate a turn signal would flash, pointing in the direction I'm intending to go. I'm thinking the slight motion gives the signal a little better visibility than just a steady hand.

I never liked that bent left arm for right turns, because bent over on the drops, or even on the top of the bars, I never felt very confident that I was getting my arm sufficiently perpendicular(broadside to traffic) to the ground so that the signal would be clearly visible.

Tbird
07-15-2007, 08:11 AM
My thinking is that most self absorbed auto types may not even know what the bent left arm means, also a lot of folks lift the left arm barely high enough to be seen and often look as they may be waving "hello" to some one rather than signaling a turn.

Another question is how many of us use the downward bent left arm to signal a STOP?

toddistic
07-15-2007, 10:24 AM
i use my right arm, but whenever i'm making a right hand turn on a busy street but i also take the lane. i feel thats the safest way to make the turn, espically if its one of those left turn yeild streets, drivers waiting to turn left on a green yeild are about as clueless as it gets.

pidamos
07-15-2007, 10:30 AM
I always use my right arm extended outward to signal as well. Left arm pointed in the sky... just.. just doesn't look right and I think could be more confusing to other drivers than a right arm extended outward.

It is perfectly legal in Washington State for cyclists to use a right arm. See RCW 46.61.758

Oldguyonabike
07-16-2007, 07:02 AM
I use my left arm pointed up because I like to have an anticipatory hand on a brake handle. If I need to brake quick I'd rather have my back brake catch than my front.

brock
07-16-2007, 08:01 AM
Because growing up riding in the boondocks, no one would have a clue if you raised your left arm. If you point somewhere, they figure that's where you're going. Of course one guy went way out of his way to chase me down once in his car to tell me I was doing it wrong.

Regarding the left had down for stopping - I still find myself doing that out of habit, as well as pointing out debris to other riders I encounter on my commute. Most people probably wonder why I'm pointing at broken bottles and storm drains of death.

mike_khad1
07-16-2007, 10:40 AM
I prefer signalling with my left hand. I believe that my left hand is more visible to those I want to signal - cars on my left, speedier cyclists on my left.

dawndol
07-16-2007, 11:02 AM
I signal with my left hand for right turns - so cars can see better and so my back brake hand is free. I try to to remember to signal slowing down, but I forget sometimes. :(

donnambr
07-16-2007, 05:52 PM
I signal with my left hand for right turns - so cars can see better and so my back brake hand is free. I try to to remember to signal slowing down, but I forget sometimes. :(
I generally use the left hand for signalling right turns on streets, and the right hand for right turns on MUPs. I also use the right hand out for lane changes to the right.

Haven_kd7yct
07-17-2007, 08:09 AM
Hm. Interesting.

I use my left hand for signaling in traffic. Lane changes, turns, etc. (I too forget to signal "slowing down" though, because a)I was never taught it in driver's ed and b)most drivers probably wouldn't understand what I mean--although most bikes will!) and I try to point out hazards and whatnot.

I wave to other bikers with my right hand, so as not to confuse people-- I try for a jaunty wave accompanied by a nod of the head. :)

I didn't even know that pointing right with the right hand (while intuitive) was a legal option for signaling on the bike. Dawnidol and mike_khad have the right of it, in my opinion; cars are on my left, speedier bikes on my left. :)

Now..... as for car drivers signaling.... I haven't seen a car driver use hand signals in years and years (the last one was an older gent in a much older vehicle), and it seems like most car drivers forget how turn signals work, anyway.

marc
07-27-2007, 12:29 PM
i use my left arm in high traffic and right if it's just bikes around.

i have noticed that some people who do the left arm signal do sort of a lazy half up with their finger pointing thing. It looks like they are pointing to something on the horizon. I'm always looking up wondering if they saw a UFO, but so far no luck.

mizake
07-27-2007, 12:37 PM
i use my left arm in high traffic and right if it's just bikes around.

i have noticed that some people who do the left arm signal do sort of a lazy half up with their finger pointing thing. It looks like they are pointing to something on the horizon. I'm always looking up wondering if they saw a UFO, but so far no luck.

It is true that I am guilty of the lazy signal. Aka the "look i'm turning, like, here's a signal, like, whatever dude phhht..."

brock
07-27-2007, 01:04 PM
I think one of the reasons I signal with my right is that unless I'm on a cruiser, my riding position makes it hard to get that left arm up far enough to be seen unless I really sit up.

Anyways, just everyone please signal, that's all that matters.

chopstic
07-28-2007, 11:30 PM
using your left hand to signal right is for motorcyclists who need to keep their right hand on the throttle when turning. Doesn't really apply to bicycling.

vespabelle
07-28-2007, 11:46 PM
using your left hand to signal right is for motorcyclists who need to keep their right hand on the throttle when turning. Doesn't really apply to bicycling.

Unless you do both and want to have one "system" to avoid confusion!