Before turning or moving laterally, cyclists should always look behind for, and yield to, any closely approaching traffic in their new line of travel. To signal a left turn, they must look behind and then hold out the left arm. To signal a right turn, cyclists must look behind and then either hold out the right arm or hold the left arm up, with elbow bent up. They must return both hands to the handlebar before turning, to maximize control while turning. To signal a stop they must hold either arm down at an angle, but use both hands for braking when necessary.
Some traffic signals are triggered by electrically charged wires buried under the pavement. As a vehicle passes over them, the metal in the vehicle disrupts the current, turning the signal. Not all bicycles have enough metal to trip the signal. To trigger the camera, “white line get behind” is common practice. Some jurisdictions may have a bicycle symbol near the line to show where to stop to turn the signal. If a light does not trigger, a bicyclist can move forward to let a car trigger the signal, go to the sidewalk and cross with pedestrians, or proceed with caution after waiting two minutes or through two cycles if all traffic is clear.
Bicycling with traffic
In Virginia, bicycles are vehicles when on the road. Bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers share mutual rights and responsibilities as users of public roads. When bicyclists are in command of their vehicles and when motorists see cyclists acting predictably, the highways are safer for everyone.