Throttle Therapy

Free-wheelin’ signals gotta go

Turn signals on vehicles should not confuse other drivers

This early onslaught of spring has seen the emergence of many motorcycles. I happened to be travelling behind one fellow who committed the cardinal sin as far as looking through a safety-advocate’s eyes: He signalled, turned, and then failed to cancel his signal lights. And then, he proceeded through two other intersections before turn in the other direction. This second time, though, he cancelled his signal.

I hear the indignation from many riders how absolutely stunned “cage” drivers are. And when I see stuff like this, it makes me want to scream out that you owe someone else a free deposit at the indignation bank.

I know of what I speak. There was that time when I barrelled straight through an intersection and had a left-turning vehicle almost take me out.

I laid on my horn, thinking this was the classic intersection accident that I marvellously avoided with my instantaneous reflexes and fantastic manoeuvring skills.

And in an equally-quick instance, the woman driving the “cage” pointed down and however she did it, she drew my attention to the fact that I was signalling a left-hand turn. Which, had my intention matched my communications, entitled her to turn left when she did.

And in the third flash-of-an-instance, I was converted into an embarrassed, sheepish fool who almost got herself nailed by a car, and who almost inflicted horrible trauma onto a driver of a “cage.”

Since then, I have mastered two solid habits. The first is mechanical. I cancel twice after I execute any turn, and I have trained myself to automatically cancel my signal lights as I approach an intersection. It doesn’t require much effort anymore. It’s a one-inch motion of my left thumb. There is no impact on my ability to control my machine, but that little habit can save my life.

The second is more philosophical. When I drive in my car, I have been known to be a tad aggressive. Um, I mean ‘assertive.’ But when I’m on my bike, my mindset changes. Everyone on the road is doing the best they can. And at the same time, no one on the road knows as much as I do. Therefore, my safety is fully and completely up to me. This means instantaneously forgiving “idiots,” because when I ride in a shroud of anger, it affects my ability to be in the moment. If I want to live to ride another day, I have to be here, now.

One way that you can help to ensure your safety is by communicating clearly and concisely what your intentions are. And once you have executed the movement you have communicated, stop. A signal light never says that she executed a right-hand turn successfully three blocks back. Which is what an un-cancelled signal light is saying. It would always say, he is about to turn to give him the space to do so. The second is to p ark your indignation. I’m willing to bet that you, like me, are not quite perfect. And when you let go of that indignation, it makes riding just that much more fun.

Just Posted

Vaping a growing problem in Sooke school district

Island’s chief medical officer raises the alarm

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

Fate of accused in Saanich couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

Brentwood Bay fruit stand plundered on first day of season

Leeanne and Jack Guthrie dismayed to find money and fruit stolen from roadside stand

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Most Read