November 15, 2010


We are all used to having electronic signals such as an indicator and hazard lights to warn other drivers and pedestrians of our next move. Yet hand signals were used prior to the invention of the car, for those on horse and cart.

From time to time we may have to use hand signals in order to pre-warn others of our intentions.

Authorised persons, such as police officers use hand signals in order to monitor and divert traffic normally if an accident has occurred or it a set of lights are out on a very busy road. However, they would normally replace a faulty set of lights with temporary traffic lights.

Motorcyclists, cyclists and potentially a car that has difficulty with their lights would use hand and arm signals in order to let other traffic know what they intend to do.

Holding your palm out flat and raising your arm up and down would indicate that the driver intends to slow down or stop.

Holding your hand out to the right indicates that you are going to move in to the right or are turning right.

Holding your hand out to the left indicates that you are going to move in to the left or are turning left. However, for somebody driving a car this signal would not be seen, therefore you would hold your hand out to the right and make circular motions with your hand.

A lollypop lady/man also uses arm signals alongside their stop sign/pole. If they hold the pole across their body it acts as a barrier to prevent children from crossing the road. Holding it with the stop sign touching the ground means cars should carry on as normal as nobody is waiting to cross. Holding the sign out towards the road is meant to signal for cars to prepare to stop. The lollypop lady/man will then enter the road holding the stop sign up-right in order to stop any traffic travelling over the crossing.

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