Four hand signals by traffic cops that drivers must know and obey

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Four hand signals by traffic cops that drivers must know and obey
Four hand signals by traffic cops that drivers must know and obey. image: guardia civil

Four hand signals by traffic cops that drivers must know and obey

In large cities, it is common to see traffic police officers directing traffic, especially at times with the highest concentration of vehicles. This is normally between the hours 7.30am and 9:30am, then again from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

Instructions from these officers are classed as being of a higher priority than traffic lights, vertical road signs, or road markings. When they give you a signal with an arm movement, you should obey it, or risk a fine. In some instances, you could face a prison sentence for disobeying. There are four possible signals that a traffic cop could use.

It is obviously in everybody’s interests to understand exactly what each of these signals means, not only to avoid a fine but to be able to circulate in maximum safety.

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1. ARM RAISED VERTICALLY
When a traffic cop raises his hand vertically, with the palm of his hand open, he is telling all road users who approach him to stop. The only exception, in this case, is when you cannot do so in sufficient safety conditions.

This signal normally occurs during situations with a high concentration of traffic, where the officer needs to intervene and ensure the proper circulation of vehicles. If this signal should occur at an intersection, it is generally considered that drivers who have already entered it do not need to stop.

Traffic cop with arm raised vertically means STOP

2. ARM, OR ARMS EXTENDED HORIZONTALLY
This signal indicates that all road users who approach the officer from directions that intersect that indicated by the outstretched arm or arms, to stop, regardless of the direction of their movement.


In other words, drivers who approach from either the front and from the back must stop. Remember that this signal remains in effect even if the officer lowers his arm or arms, as long as he does not change position or make another signal.

Arm, or arms extended horizontally means stop

3. EXTENDED ARM MOVING UP AND DOWN
This indicates to vehicles approaching the officer on the side corresponding to the arm that executes the signal, to slow down. It should be noted that it does not stop vehicles, it simply forces them to slow down.

Traffic on the side of the raised arm should slow down

4. WITH A RED OR YELLOW HAND-HELD LIGHT
This means the same as the previous one but is accompanied by a hand-held light red or yellow signal. Any driver that this coloured signal is obviously pointed at must stop. 


This also means slow down, but with a hand-held signal.             If pointed at your vehicle, you must stop

OTHER SIGNALS MADE WITH A WHISTLE

•A series of short, frequent whistle blasts means you must stop.

•A long blast of the whistle indicates that you can resume driving.

We hope this will be of some help to you on the roads, as reported by neomotor.sport.es.

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Chris was born in a small village in Wales, where he ran his own successful construction company for many years, before deciding in 1990, to swap the grey skies and rain for the sunshine and lifestyle of the Costa del Sol. Late last year he made the move to Southern Portugal, and is now residing on the Algarve. Having sung and played in a rock band back in Wales, he still likes to go out and entertain in his spare time, singing in restaurants and golf clubs. Interests are of course music, especially from the 60s and 70s, movies, nice restaurants, and he has a passion for graphic design and online marketing.

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