straight on hand signal

by Forester   February 19, 2013  

Am I the only cyclist using the 'straight ahead' hand signal (right arm raised, palm forward), or more importantly, do motorists recognise it? There aren't many traffic lights here in the New Forest but one crossroad in particular is dangerous if you're at the front of the queue with traffic wanting to turn right across you. So far a lightening start and bloodymindedness is getting me across first, aided possibly by the signal I learned in cycling proficiency lessons in the 50's. Wonder how the urban cyclists manage.

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Never heard of it but your description makes it sound like a Nazi salute! Can't imagine motorists responding kindly to that...


posted by robert.brady [159 posts]
19th February 2013 - 8:25


No, not alone. I use it too, but I wonder how many motorists know what it means. As far as I can see, the "straight on" hand signal is no longer included in the Highway Code.

posted by austen.croydonc... [10 posts]
19th February 2013 - 8:27


Never heard of it either and wouldn't recognise it as a motorist!

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posted by CraigS [135 posts]
19th February 2013 - 9:32


As a driver when going straight over a junction I tend to lower my back windows and apply my hazards then feather the breaks so my break lights are in time with the hazards. This clearly indicates that I am not turning left nor right!

2 wheels please!

posted by mancsi [119 posts]
19th February 2013 - 10:07

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Not heard of that before, but strangely have been tempted to point forwards in some way to indicate my intended direction at lights.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
19th February 2013 - 10:18

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know of it (it was in the highway code when I learnt !!)
but I've never used it. I do occasionally point when
the driver opposite looks puzzled.

most drivers these days would probably see that as a
"stop" indication .....

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [926 posts]
19th February 2013 - 11:10


I stick out my arm and point my finger in the direction I am intending to go (e.g. if I'm turning right, my right arm goes straight out to right side of my body). It usually works, although last Sunday some old git was trying to overtake me and turn the same direction as me. I had to throw my arm out in quick succession and glance back at the idiot to get him to acknowledge my intention.

Pepita rides again!

posted by pepita1 [193 posts]
19th February 2013 - 11:24

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Yeah I know it and use it. Not sure if motorists are taught hand signals in case their indicators fail. In fact most will be clueleess as to hand signals given by a police officer on points duty. Though on saying that I observed an officer not so long ago attempting points duty and making a total arse of it.

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posted by giff77 [1187 posts]
19th February 2013 - 11:34


I should add that these signals allow you to indicate to the officer doing points which direction you wish to take.

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posted by giff77 [1187 posts]
19th February 2013 - 11:37

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I haven't heard of this either and I would be surprised if many motorist have too. If I was in this position then I would try and avoid confusion and just point where I want to go.

posted by Marauder [284 posts]
19th February 2013 - 12:27

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A lot of motorists are clueless to much of the HC! I have found that the hand signal for stopping is appreciated by some motorists. The staight ahead is also useful when moving off from a junction as it prevents you being cut up. But as some have mentioned many are clueless to these signals.

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posted by giff77 [1187 posts]
19th February 2013 - 20:43

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Surely a default no signal either left or right indicates you are going straight on?

posted by Some Fella [908 posts]
20th February 2013 - 11:02

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One summer's day on the Upper Clapton Road in Hackney, I saw a platoon of coppers in training, bedecked head to toe in fluorescent green on their police issue MTBs, all giving the straight on sign at their leader's signal.
It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen on the road.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [346 posts]
20th February 2013 - 14:48

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