By RICHARD GLADMAN
LONDON, England – IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards in the UK discusses how to filter through traffic on a motorcycle. New rider or experienced, take few minutes to check on YOUR way of doing it…
Only filter when the surrounding traffic is moving at less than 30km/h and exceed that speed by no more than 15km/h (if safe and legal to do so).
Scan for side turnings and entrances to both sides of the road, and try to keep a car door’s width away from the vehicle you are passing.
Obey all ‘KEEP LEFT’ bollards and be aware that stationary vehicles at traffic lights, pedestrian crossings etc. are not classed as parked for the purposes of solid white lines. You CANNOT cross a solid white line to filter.
Can you see the driver’s face through a window or external mirror? Does he look like he’s about to pull out? Always seed evidence that the driver has seen you and comprehends that you are about to pass.
When filtering to the right side, consider using the ‘stepping stone’ method. Whilst you don’t actually have to move into the spaces, consider which one would be suitable
WATCH YOUR SPEED
If you’re filtering between lanes look out for other motorcycles which could be changing lane or approaching YOU from behind.
Filtering takes a lot of concentration, so make sure you take short breaks if you’re travelling for a long time.
Ride at a speed that allows you to react to the movement of other road users and ALWAYS have an escape route in your head.
Filtering can be a surprise to the person driving behind you so remain courteous by giving a polite wave of the hand to the driver behind.
Think of the size of the vehicle ahead. Just because there’s a gap doesn’t mean you should move into it. For examples, a large truck will need more space and time to manoeuvre than would a car.
AND YOUR MAIN PRIORITY IS…
Richard says: “One of the biggest advantages of a motorcycle is its ability to progress through traffic. Despite thoughts to the contrary, it is not illegal and the (UK) Highway Code references it in a number of areas.
Staying safe must be your main priority and understanding where planned filtering becomes dangerous overtaking will help with this. The best motorcycling advice ever is ”just because it fits doesn’t mean you should put it there”.