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Thread: Turn Signals

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    Turn Signals

    Our local newspaper has a column that talks about driving issues and a couple of days ago, the topic was on when and if you use a turn indicator. That same morning, on my commute into work, I was cut off by a truck who did not use his turn indicator, and who then made a right turn on red while barely slowing down. Not unusual behaviour, but the truck was a public works truck from the city (Santa Clara) and I generally expect better of professional drivers. I sent a clip of the video to the newspaper columnist, who mentioned it in todays column.

    Video here:

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    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Hopefully the driver's supervisor will see it. If not, you can always send a copy of the video to the public works department.
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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Link to the driving column please...

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Link to the driving column please...
    Column from last thursday
    Roadshow: Do you have to signal when exiting a freeway? - San Jose Mercury News

    Today's column
    Roadshow: If I don't have to use my blinker, why should I? - San Jose Mercury News

    Clearly, people in the San Francisco Bay area have a hard time figuring out what their turn signals are for.....

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
    Column from last thursday
    Roadshow: Do you have to signal when exiting a freeway? - San Jose Mercury News

    Today's column
    Roadshow: If I don't have to use my blinker, why should I? - San Jose Mercury News

    Clearly, people in the San Francisco Bay area have a hard time figuring out what their turn signals are for.....
    I am of the opinion that turn signals are an expensive option on most vehicles, as I see them so rarely used. As a driver and a cyclist I never depend on or expect to get an indication of what others intend.

    On the other hand, as a driver and cyclist I signal any intent to make a lateral movement... from lane change to freeway exit or entrance to out right turn... even leaving the curb. I look at it as a courtesy to fellow road users.

    Too bad so many others refuse to be courteous to one another. Kinda says something about our whole country, eh? Courtesy as a sign of weakness, eh?

    BTW I saw a motorist yesterday that did the same thing as that city truck driver, at three different stop signs... technically running the stop signs while turning. Guess that is just how some folks roll. And yes, there was traffic around.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Send it to the local newspaper. So it gets' posted on their website.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris516 View Post
    send it to the local newspaper. So it gets' posted on their website.
    ^this
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    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    I think the guy was doing you a favor. He probably expected you to run the red anyway, so he did his best to get around you ASAP and swing that right turn without slowing you down. And in the vid it appeared that he gave you plenty of room throughout the entire passing process. Danged courteous of him if you ask me. I wouldn't rat him out.

    If the tables were turned - and I was on my bike passing a slow moving road user - I would have done the exact same thing. Probably would have given a hand signal but not necessarily if the road surface was contaminated or I needed both hand to brake and downshift before the turn.

    I seem to remember a clip here where a pickup truck passed a cyclist and got rear-ended for stopping at the next red light. Everybody was all up in arms about that too. Motorists just can't win sometimes.

    Do you think that driver somehow slighted you, effected you, or endangered you, or were you just offended that he broke the law right in front of you?

    Personally I love people who look interested in A. Getting somewhere, and B. Getting the Hell out of my way.

    Forgive me for being desensitized to such maneuvers by motorists. If I sent a video clip to the news every time I saw someone go right on red without a stop or a signal I would need to start my own personal newspaper or TV network. I see that 10 times a day on a GOOD day. I really don't see a problem with it other than being visually offensive to tender sensibilities.
    Last edited by JoeyBike; 06-24-14 at 07:43 PM.
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    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    I think the guy was doing you a favor. He probably expected you to run the red anyway, so he did his best to get around you ASAP and swing that right turn without slowing you down. And in the vid it appeared that he gave you plenty of room throughout the entire passing process. Danged courteous of him if you ask me. I wouldn't rat him out.

    If the tables were turned - and I was on my bike passing a slow moving road user - I would have done the exact same thing. Probably would have given a hand signal but not necessarily if the road surface was contaminated or I needed both hand to brake and downshift before the turn.

    I seem to remember a clip here where a pickup truck passed a cyclist and got rear-ended for stopping at the next red light. Everybody was all up in arms about that too. Motorists just can't win sometimes.

    Do you think that driver somehow slighted you, effected you, or endangered you, or were you just offended that he broke the law right in front of you?

    Personally I love people who look interested in A. Getting somewhere, and B. Getting the Hell out of my way.

    Forgive me for being desensitized to such maneuvers by motorists. If I sent a video clip to the news every time I saw someone go right on red without a stop or a signal I would need to start my own personal newspaper or TV network. I see that 10 times a day on a GOOD day. I really don't see a problem with it other than being visually offensive to tender sensibilities.
    uh, no, that looked a lot more like a MGIF with a healthy dose of SMIDGAF. The OP was riding very close to the painted line of the bike lane to avoid the door zone, which means the left side of his body was over the painted line. As the truck passed the tires looked to be barely 3 feet left of the line. Then think of how far out that mirror sticks from the side of the truck. Easily could have hit the OP in the head, shoulder, whatever with that mirror. If he had waited a couple of seconds he could have pulled closer to the curb and made the right on red while the OP waited at the light.

    F those people that have no regards for others and think only of themselves.
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    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    uh, no, that looked a lot more like a MGIF with a healthy dose of SMIDGAF.
    Maybe the wide angle lens distorts the distances somewhat. I looked at the video again. Might have been a little close on the pass. I use a helmet mounted rear-view mirror so I would have seen that coming and decided to either hold my line or squeeze a bit closer to the car doors. Again, hard to judge distance through an action cam. So a marginally close pass with a "who cares" right on red without a stop - that had no effect on the cyclist.
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    Senior Member ro-monster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    On the other hand, as a driver and cyclist I signal any intent to make a lateral movement... from lane change to freeway exit or entrance to out right turn... even leaving the curb. I look at it as a courtesy to fellow road users.
    I too signal my turns while riding my bike, but lately I've begun to wonder if that's actually a good idea, because it seems to confuse drivers. I extend my arm to signal that I intend to turn at the upcoming intersection or change lanes when it's clear (the same meaning as a car's turn signal). The problem is, people interpret that to mean the same as when a driver sticks their arm out the window and points, meaning "I'm moving over right now, and I'm about to cut you off." Quite a number of cars have come to a sudden halt, clearly expecting me to cut in front of them, which I never intended to do. I guess they aren't used to cyclists signaling turns -- and it is rare.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ro-monster View Post
    I too signal my turns while riding my bike, but lately I've begun to wonder if that's actually a good idea, because it seems to confuse drivers. I extend my arm to signal that I intend to turn at the upcoming intersection or change lanes when it's clear (the same meaning as a car's turn signal). The problem is, people interpret that to mean the same as when a driver sticks their arm out the window and points, meaning "I'm moving over right now, and I'm about to cut you off." Quite a number of cars have come to a sudden halt, clearly expecting me to cut in front of them, which I never intended to do. I guess they aren't used to cyclists signaling turns -- and it is rare.
    I think motorists are not used to motorists signaling... and fail to understand when someone is being informative and courteous... no doubt a reflection of how poorly our American motorists are actually trained.

    Cooperation on the road would work quite well if indeed we all chose to cooperate... but too many people decide to do what is best only for themselves and live with whatever selfish consequences may result.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ro-monster View Post
    I too signal my turns while riding my bike, but lately I've begun to wonder if that's actually a good idea, because it seems to confuse drivers.
    A few months ago, I was on a 4 lane road (2 lanes in each direction), and had moved into the left lane to make a left turn, had my left arm out indicating my intention to turn and a lady in a minivan passed me on the left to go straight - crossing over entirely into the lane of oncoming traffic to do this maneuver. I yelled at her and she stopped (in the middle of the intersection) to tell me that she thought that my left arm out meant that I wanted her to pass me on the left.

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    I know lots of folks here like to complain about our "motorcentric" culture, but going by what I often read here, on motorcycle forums, and observe drivers do every day, the real issue is we are becoming a "mecentric" culture. People are getting way to comfortable with making excuses and justifications for why they don't need to play by the same rules as everyone else.

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    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    the real issue is we are becoming a "mecentric" culture.
    +1

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    Quote Originally Posted by ro-monster View Post
    I too signal my turns while riding my bike, but lately I've begun to wonder if that's actually a good idea, because it seems to confuse drivers. I extend my arm to signal that I intend to turn at the upcoming intersection or change lanes when it's clear (the same meaning as a car's turn signal). The problem is, people interpret that to mean the same as when a driver sticks their arm out the window and points, meaning "I'm moving over right now, and I'm about to cut you off." Quite a number of cars have come to a sudden halt, clearly expecting me to cut in front of them, which I never intended to do. I guess they aren't used to cyclists signaling turns -- and it is rare.
    Wow, can't say I've ever experienced that, and I always signal turns if there are cars around.

    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    I know lots of folks here like to complain about our "motorcentric" culture, but going by what I often read here, on motorcycle forums, and observe drivers do every day, the real issue is we are becoming a "mecentric" culture. People are getting way to comfortable with making excuses and justifications for why they don't need to play by the same rules as everyone else.
    Me-centric? LOL the American society is already way past that.
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    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ro-monster View Post
    I too signal my turns while riding my bike, but lately I've begun to wonder if that's actually a good idea, because it seems to confuse drivers.
    I have mixed results as well.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    I know lots of folks here like to complain about our "motorcentric" culture, but going by what I often read here, on motorcycle forums, and observe drivers do every day, the real issue is we are becoming a "mecentric" culture. People are getting way to comfortable with making excuses and justifications for why they don't need to play by the same rules as everyone else.
    +1

    EVERYONE here has their personal justifications for their on-road behaviour, so does your friends, family, colleagues, that hot girl you knew in college, etc.

    The ones you don't get to know - that trucker who cut you off, that soccer mom who ran the red light, that asshat cyclist on a racer weaving in and out of traffic - those 'people' are apparently part of a shadowy underground organisation out to sow chaos on the roads and rightfully deserves condemnation without reservation.

    It's not 'us' vs 'them' - everyone is an individual and has the capacity to make bad judgement calls - it does not mean they're idiots or dangerous drivers/cyclists. Of course, that doesn't mean there aren't true idiots and morons out there lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    People are getting way to comfortable with making excuses and justifications for why they don't need to play by the same rules as everyone else.
    rules created for and by motorists that discriminate against other transport modes, are frequently irrelevant to safe active transport, and are typically not enforced.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    rules created for and by motorists that discriminate against other transport modes, are frequently irrelevant to safe active transport, and are typically not enforced.
    Some motorcyclists, and CDL drivers make the same unsubstantiated emotional claims.

    Targeted regulations may not always be perfect, but their detractors don't seem to ever provide any reasonable evidence that they are actually counter productive.
    I find it amusing that they are supposedly made up by a cabal of evil car drivers bent on road domination.

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    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    Some motorcyclists, and CDL drivers make the same unsubstantiated emotional claims.

    Targeted regulations may not always be perfect, but their detractors don't seem to ever provide any reasonable evidence that they are actually counter productive.
    I find it amusing that they are supposedly made up by a cabal of evil car drivers bent on road domination.
    Ignorance (or apathy) of my needs as a cyclist is just as bad for me as evil geniuses plotting against me.
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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyven View Post
    +1

    EVERYONE here has their personal justifications for their on-road behaviour, so does your friends, family, colleagues, that hot girl you knew in college, etc.

    The ones you don't get to know - that trucker who cut you off, that soccer mom who ran the red light, that asshat cyclist on a racer weaving in and out of traffic - those 'people' are apparently part of a shadowy underground organisation out to sow chaos on the roads and rightfully deserves condemnation without reservation.

    It's not 'us' vs 'them' - everyone is an individual and has the capacity to make bad judgement calls - it does not mean they're idiots or dangerous drivers/cyclists. Of course, that doesn't mean there aren't true idiots and morons out there lol.
    "Bad judgement calls" as in oops, or as in "I think I can get away with that..." (even though it forces others to step on the brakes...)

    And how much of that comes from distraction or flat out not paying attention... a whole other factor.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    Maybe the wide angle lens distorts the distances somewhat. I looked at the video again. Might have been a little close on the pass. I use a helmet mounted rear-view mirror so I would have seen that coming and decided to either hold my line or squeeze a bit closer to the car doors. Again, hard to judge distance through an action cam. So a marginally close pass with a "who cares" right on red without a stop - that had no effect on the cyclist.
    Though the municipality truck driver did not hit the OP, driving such a large vehicle as though it were a subcompact car is what I take issue with, along with cutting the passing and turning margins( barely stopping at the red light) so close in leaving little or no room for error on either the truck driver's or other road users' part.

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    Senior Member trailangel's Avatar
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    Light looked yellow to me. And didn't look like a cutoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    I have mixed results as well.
    Same here, even when I signal into a left turn only lane to turn left, I still get drivers trying to pass me in the turn and swing wider than I do. I still signal though, just in case someone remembers the fundamentals they taught in driver's ed.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

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