TORONTO – Cycling safety advocates have developed a new hand signal following a string of fatal accidents on Toronto’s streets. In addition to the existing signals for ‘right’, ‘left’, and ‘stop’, cyclists can now inform oncoming drivers of the their humanity and will to live.
The new “Please don’t kill me” hand signal will be taught as part of bike safety programs in schools and community centres across the GTA, in the hopes that cyclists can more efficiently beg for their lives.
“The trick to road safety is communication. Part of the problem is that most motorists don’t actually know that cyclists really like being alive. If we can communicate that, then they can make an informed decision on whether or not to kill us,” says Paul Haldon, spokesperson for CycleSafe.
“I’ve always assumed that, if someone is riding a bike in Toronto, they don’t care about death. I mean, what other reasons could there possibly be?” says Peter Hale, a professional driver who is fully in favour of the plan. “I would hate to hit a cyclist. Think of what it might do to my car.”
The initiative has plans to develop a series of these signals to help expand communication between cyclists and motorists. Among them are signals for “Why don’t you value my life”, “Please, I have a loving family” and “If I die because you’re five minutes late for hot yoga, I’m going to haunt you.”
These changes are being made with the help of Vision Zero, a city-wide initiative that is going into effect again, after officially going into effect two years ago. John Tory has called the recent incidents, “bad for my approval rating” and has pledged another $13 Million to the project, with the hopes that it will finally go into effect.
Most drivers agree that bike safety is a priority. Recent polls asking motorists to comment on the new signals have shown that 32% of motorists consider them “Important”, 48% answered “I did not know cyclists had hand signals,” while the remaining 20% replied “Wait, are we supposed to signal?”