Letter: Bicyclists, please use your hand signals

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Knowing that bicyclists face a litany of auto-related dangers when they ride, and fully supporting the get-out-there-and-go credo of cyclists, I would, however, like to express my dismay at many cyclists’ disregard for the use of hand signals.

Thrice in the past two weeks, I’ve been in potentially dangerous situations sharing the road. In the first two cases, cyclists I was about to pass in traffic made lefts directly in front of me without using the universal “left turn” hand signal. Fortunately, I anticipated the cyclists’ left turns, slowed to a near stop, and avoided hitting the cyclists. Phew.

This morning, I was in busy traffic with a cyclist on the right side of my lane who slowed down and looked left, twice, at an intersecting side street. Here we go again. Except this time, the cyclist didn’t make the left; she just came to a stop and gave me, as I defensively slowed down, a contemptuous look. I did not take it well.

“Hand signal?” I scolded. She retorted with, “I wasn’t making a left!” Wrong answer. She had come to a stop in the flow of traffic, which should require her to use the “stop/slow” hand signal, for safety. Granted, too many drivers regrettably only know one hand signal, and it ain’t right, left, or stop.

So ride on, cyclists, ride on. But dagnabit, use those hand signals. It may save your life, and save a driver from a lifetime of sorrow.

As for cycling tights, no comment.

Kris Eric Kucera
North Yarmouth