Whistle while you wheel?

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by franklen, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. franklen

    franklen New Member

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    I've started riding with a whistle around my neck, it could be a mounted horn or something else I guess, but the whistle is real loud, and I already had it. But the question is does anyone else use something like this to warn off, alert car drivers to your presence or thier mistake, or do you think it would just be a negative contribution. How many times a car has not passed me properly by getting in the other lane, rather by squeezing me, and I just want to get thier attention.

    Like the one time I was getting honked at from behind till I pointed over to the big concrete barriers blocking the shoulder, then the driver realized I couldn't go anywhere and passively passed me. I think drivers just need to be alerted more that they are doing something wrong, then they realize the situation. What do you think.
     
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  2. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    The little card I got on the Ride Across Indiana indicated that whistles and sirens were illegal on cycles - a bell was required though -- no, I didn't see a one out there.

    It's all in how you use it, I reckon. I'd have liked to have one when the fellow making a turn didn't see me, period -- apologized profusely after knocking me down. However, I was too busy moving my buns out of his path to blow a whistle, I suspect.
    I've longed for an electronic sound generator so that I could have sound choices, and at least be amusing while attracting the necessary attention.
     
  3. NuTz4BiKeZ

    NuTz4BiKeZ New Member

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    Wouldn't using a whistle require the use of a hand to hold it up to your mouth.... not a good thing if you ar riding through traffic.
     
  4. franklen

    franklen New Member

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    Geonz, The PA law only says:

    (b) Audible signal devices. - A pedalcycle may be equipped with a device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least 100 feet except that a pedalcycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a pedalcycle any siren.

    So, no specifics against whistles. What I plan on doing so as to not have to worry about keeping two hands on the handlebars is to wear the whistle on a string around my neck, then place it in my mouth when approahing dangerous/ or well known areas for skittish drivers and traffic situations. Then I am ready to blow!
     
  5. franklen

    franklen New Member

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    NuTz4BiKeZ,

    As I said in my previous reply, I would wear the whistle on a string/rope around my neck , then place it in my lips when I am coming up to an intersection, or other place where I might encounter issues. Then I am ready to blow!

    Just look at professional sport referees, they do it all the time, running, while blowing thier whistles which are held in thier mouths, because they are using their hands and arms for signals/calls.

    Using any other kind of signalling device would require using your hands, such as horn, siren, etc. and I dont think producing anywhere near close to the audible signal volume wise or sound wise. Horns, sirens etc just blend into the other traffic horns, sirens, etc. No one uses whistles except cops sometimes, so when one is blown, it gets attention.
     
  6. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    Hmmm... I'll have to check that little card --looks like they didn't do their homework.
    I do like the handless noise idea. Hmmm.... how about attaching it to the bite valve on the ol' Camelbak...
     
  7. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    Or I hadn't had my coffee -- PA, IN... gee :) Funny though it's exactly the same words except that in Indiana "a bicycle may ot be equipped with a nd a person may not use open a bicycle a siren or a whistle." I guess basketball coaches wanted a monopoloy or something.
    ...
    I think there's something to the "bite valve alternative" -- imagine a switch that activates any of a number of electronic sounds. A whistle is too easy
     
  8. hohobike

    hohobike New Member

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    Very good idea. I think I will start doing the same
    thing. Thanks.
     
  9. franklen

    franklen New Member

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    So here is an outtake from my webblog at www.bicyclecommutingnow.blogspot.com that tells a little story of how I put my whistle to use!

    WHISTLE BLOWER!
    So if I haven't mentioned it before, I am now wearing a whistle on a rope round me neck as I ride. I started it, got the idea, when I saw, or thought I saw, someone else riding with one in their mouths. I can't be sure but it looked like it, and I thought it would be a good idea, so I now do it. But, I have refrained from giving any big blows, cause I was figuring out the ettiquette of it, and the law of it, which by the way does not prevent the use of whistles on bikes (only sirens).

    Well today I stepped forth with the blow. I was riding over a low hill towards the down slope where an intersection occurs. The lane was wide, but only one car wide. There was not two lanes there (there ARE not two lanes there). But there is room for a bike, especially when traffic is backed up at rush hour. So here I go minding my business cruising by this jam of cars, what else are bikes for? When this new model subaru station wagon with some middle age oblivious couple who probably never thought of anyone riding a bike on the roads completely turns into my lane at a 45 degree angle like they are going to squeeze past the line of cars to make a right at the intersection.

    I always pay attention and this moment was no exception, I saw it happening the whole way, enough to slow down enough not to ram into the side of their car, but man did I let fly with a screeching whistle blow. They hit the brakes and their whole car jerked to a stop, and past I went! Sweet! Can't wait to let the next ones have it!
     
  10. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    Ignorant dirvers don't seem to be helped when they are whistled at.
    However, if whistling helps vent your frustrations and/or communicate your position, it may be better than many alternatives.
    David Ornee, Western Springs, IL
     
  11. DavidfromLondon

    DavidfromLondon New Member

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    hope this is the correct thread for my two-cents' worth...

    ...I am going to buy an Air Zound horn (and install the canister away from my water bottle cage by using another cage and those plastic cable ties) as today a car driver turned left (with no indication) and nearly wiped me out, and didn't even realise what had happened when I caught up with him and asked him to check his mirrors prior to turning left.

    From the reports I've seen elsewhere (can't find any on this site, but have no doubt missed them) the horn is loud. I might leave the bell on there too so I don't scare the kind street sweepers that remove glass from the cycle lanes.

    I have found that during the moment of panic prior to a (near) crash, my cerebellum is concentrating too much on avoiding a crash to ring a bell, blow a whistle or sound a horn, but I think the horn will be fun in post-near miss anger!
     
  12. Batesy

    Batesy New Member

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    I think any device that will alert a driver to your presence in that little moment of "oh s**t!! He hasn't seen me" is a great idea. Its far more polite than screaming "P***K" as you hurtle towards somebody.
     
  13. DavidfromLondon

    DavidfromLondon New Member

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    yup; I agree! Since buying the Air Zound, I have stopped drivers drifting over towards the kerb a few times, and stopped a lorry which hadn't seen me do the same. Great stuff!
     
  14. centralmail

    centralmail New Member

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    Hi David,

    Sorry to hear of your near miss. What part of London are you in?
     
  15. DavidfromLondon

    DavidfromLondon New Member

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  16. DavidfromLondon

    DavidfromLondon New Member

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