LETTER: Beef writer is wrong about right-turn hand signals

Dear editor,

My thanks to the writer of the Beef in the November 21, 2017 copy of the Record for providing me with an opportunity to clarify one of the rules of the road for cyclists.

The author of the Beef states that using the right arm to signal a right turn is “wrong.”

However, the BC Motor Vehicle Act (Cycling Regulations, Restrictions and Rules of the Road) under “Rights and Duties of operator of cycle” Item 183 (17) states that “a person operating a cycle on a highway must signify… A right turn by doing either of the following:

– Extending the person’s left hand and arm out and upward from the cycle so that the upper and lower parts of the arm are at right angles.

– Extending the person’s right hand and arm horizontally from the cycle.”

The first option for a right turn is becoming obsolete and education programs for cyclists now promote the second option. For children and new cyclists it is easier to comprehend pointing the arm and hand in the direction one is going to turn.

As the Beef was directed at an RCMP officer I would point out that the officer has completed a comprehensive cycling course and is following correct procedure. He is also entitled to make alternate decisions about his actions as necessary to complete his job in the same way as a police officer in a motor vehicle.

The writer is correct in suggesting that there is very limited formal cycling instruction in Canada. The local Comox Valley Cycling Coalition (a volunteer organization) is well aware of the lack of a comprehensive, nation-wide, program and has been working hard over the past eight years to provide safe cycling education in all the local elementary schools and to offer safe cycling courses for adults. For anyone interested in taking a course please contact the CV Cycling Coalition at cyclecv@gmail.com

Margaret Harris

Comox Valley Cycling Coalition

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