Basic hand signals for first-time cyclists

by | Dec 7, 2020 | Guides | 0 comments

Being confident riding on the road means being aware of what’s going on at all times, looking ahead, being visible to other road users and having the confidence to make quick decisions. Here are some tips for first-time cyclists.

1. Hand signals must be used at least three seconds before:

  • Moving into traffic

  • Stopping

  • Turning left

  • Turning right

  • Moving from a lane.

by difugi creative

by difugi creative

3. Roundabouts

You must use hand signals before reaching a roundabout and at the roundabout. Once you are in the roundabout you may need both hands on the handlebars to keep control of the bike, so it is okay to only indicate when you are able to. For more information on indicating at roundabouts see Roundabouts. 

There are also other situations where it will be difficult to use hand signals because you may need both hands on the handlebars, e.g. on very rough roads or in strong winds. In these cases, consider whether you should stop and get off in a safe place and walk your cycle to where you want to go.

4: Hand signal procedure

  • Well before you need to signal, check behind to see when a good time to move or stop would be (keep both your hands on the handlebars).

  • Do the hand signal while slowly counting ‘one-thousand and one; one-thousand and two; one-thousand and three’. Then return your hand to the handlebars. 

  • Check that other road users have seen you and understand your hand signal. Then carefully make your move, or stop. If you are able to make eye contact with other road users, this will help to ensure that they have seen you.

5: Cyclist hand signals 

  • See NZTA website for illustrations.

  • You must give a hand signal at least three seconds before stopping or turning. You are not breaking this rule if it is impractical to keep signalling while turning right at a roundabout.

  •  Always check to make sure your hand signals have been seen and understood.

  • Look well behind you to make sure there is room for you to turn, pull out or pass safely.

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