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Published: Tuesday, 10/15/2013

Mich. House votes to give bicyclists another turn signal


LANSING, Mich. — Michigan bicyclists may get another way to signal a right turn under legislation moving forward in Lansing.

The House on Tuesday unanimously voted to give bicyclists the option of signaling a right turn by extending their right arm horizontally. They currently can signal a right turn with an L position by extending their left arm upward, a signal in effect since shortly after World War II.

The bill headed to the Senate is sponsored by Rep. Anthony Forlini, R-Harrison Township. He said the bill grows out of his personal biking experience, which indicates that most car drivers are unfamiliar with bicyclists’ right-hand turn gesture.

“When I signal a turn in the traditional way, some drivers think I am waving at them and wave back,” Forlini said. “If a right-hand signal is put in use, bicyclists and motorists will understand the signal, and the road will be safer for all concerned.”

The legislation has the support of the League of Michigan Bicyclists, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, Michigan Mountain Biking Association and Programs to Educate All Cyclists, Forlini said.

The current turn gesture was developed for automobile drivers before there were electric turn signals because it was very hard to signal with a right arm out the window, he said.

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