LETTER:Hand signals

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From Mr Gerry Hanson

Sir: The only problem with Peter Barnett's otherwise admirable suggestion of motorists signalling a gun towards the temple (Letters, 30 October) is that it can be misconstrued as meaning "you should be shot".

It must be remembered that enraged motorists do not always think rationally, and if a signal can be misinterpreted it often will be.

For our launch on 6 October of the campaign for courteous driving in co-operation with the RAC, we suggested the formal adoption of a signal many motorists already use to say thank you. It is simply to hold the left hand up - fingers closed, open palm facing forward - at rear-view mirror height. The context will explain whether you mean thank you or sorry. In tests this was the only safe signal that was not misunderstood. Its universal use could defuse many potentially explosive situations.

Yours truly,

Gerry Hanson

Chairman, Polite Society

Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire

1 November