Signals to other road users

Signals to other road users

You may give arm signals or use direction indicators or stop lights when intending to turn, change lanes, move off, slow down or stop.

( See pages 94 and 95 for more on signals.)

Always use direction indicators when turning or moving in or out. If it is safe to do also give arm signals to emphasize your intentions to other road users and to help avoid confusion.

Always cancel the direction indicators after the turn or manoeuvre has been completed.

Other road users may have difficulty in distinguishing between your left and right direction indicators, particularly if they are close together.

If you do not have direction indicator signals fitted to your machine arrange to have a set fitted, if at all possible.

An arm signal in good visibility is more likely to be noticed by other road users than a flashing light but it does involve riding one-handed. As riding one-handed is dangerous arm signals should not be given for longer than is necessary and at times not given at all.

Use of the horn

You must only use your horn to warn other road users; however you may have to sound your horn more often than drivers of other vehicles. The other road user may not have seen you -- the use of the horn at the right time may help him or her to be aware of your presence. But only use it when it is really necessary and you have taken every safety precaution.


You must not carry more than one passenger unless there is a sidecar on the motorcycle.

You must ensure that the passenger sits astride the motorcycle on a fixed seat behind you with feet firmly on footrests.

You must not carry a passenger under the age of 8 years unless he or she is carried on a fixed seat in a sidecar.

If you are carrying a pillion passenger, even an experienced person, it is better to ride with more caution than usual and avoid sudden changes in speed and course where possible. You will nearly always block the view of road giving little chance for your passenger to anticipate and be prepared for such changes.

Agree a signal, such as a firm tap on your shoulder, for your passenger to use if he wants you to stop. Talking may be difficult or impossible.

For pillion passengers

You must wear an approved safety helmet. It must be securely worn. Do not wear a helmet that is uncomfortable or is not a good fit.

A pillion passenger who is inexperienced or nervous and behaves or moves the wrong way or suddenly is dangerous.

Avoid all sudden movements.

Keep your body in line with the rider, especially through bends and corners.

A motorcycle must be angled over to take bends and corners, it is not steered by the front wheel alone.

Keep your feet on the footrests at all times, particularly when the motorcycle is stopping or has stopped.

Put your hands behind you and hold on to the bar provided, or the rear edge of the saddle if no bar exists. If a strap is fitted cross the saddle do not use it -- it is not recommended as a handhold.