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You must use hand signals correctly – use the correct signal for the situation, and signal for 3 seconds. You don’t have to signal if it puts you at risk of losing control of your bike.

Hand signals let other people on the road know what you are doing. Use clear hand signals to help other people predict your movements and give you space.

This page describes how to:

Use hand signals correctly
Look over your shoulder before you signal

Use hand signals correctly

There are three official hand signals.

  • Extend your left arm and hand to signal that you are going to turn or move left.
  • Extend your right arm and hand to signal that you are going to turn or move right.
  • Extend your right arm and raise your forearm and hand to signal that you are going to stop.

You must use the correct hand signal for at least 3 seconds before:

  • moving into traffic
  • stopping
  • turning left or right
  • moving left or right (such as starting off, changing lanes or taking the lane)
  • entering or leaving a roundabout if you are turning left or right, as long as you can stay in control while signalling.

Once you start your manoeuvre, you may need both hands on the handlebars. Signalling before you start is your best opportunity to show what you plan to do.

Hand signals for turning and stopping

Look over your shoulder before you signal

When turning, changing lanes or pulling out into traffic, you need to see if traffic is approaching from behind you.

  1. Look over your shoulder to check it is safe to move.
  2. Signal.
  3. Check it is still safe to move.
  4. Move.

If it is not safe, wait until there is a suitable gap.

Move, check, signal, look