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What is your opinion of motor-cyclists filtering between lanes of traffic?
As a non-biker, I approve if done safely. 35%  35%  [ 28 ]
As a non-biker, I am indifferent 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
As a non-biker, I approve but only when traffic is totally or virtually stationary. 22%  22%  [ 17 ]
As a non-biker, I disapprove totally. 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
As a biker I approve if done safely, and do so. 32%  32%  [ 25 ]
As a biker I am indifferent, bot do not personally do so. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
As a biker, I approve but only when traffic is totally or almost totally stationary. 9%  9%  [ 7 ]
As a biker I disapprove totally. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
None of the above/a combination (please advise in text) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 79
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 Post subject: Motor-cycle filtering.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 18:26 
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A tongue-in-cheek debate elsewhere on here comparing hard-shoulder-sloping cars and motor-cycle inter-lane filterers has rekindled an interest in me from the past.

Motor-cycles moving between stationary or slow-moving lanes of traffic (and, more recently also between faster-moving lanes of traffic) on dual carriageways and motorways is, in some eyes, a dangerous manoeuvre, that can (founded or not) fray tempers in the four-or-more-wheeled motorists, aiding and abetting potential road-rage. I admit it used to arouse emotions in me – though it was years ago. I forget the balance of anger/fear/jealousy – and that may have been different depending on how close the call was ort how long I’d been stuck! I am not emoted these days, with the possible exception of fear when it is done at either high absolute speed, high differential speed or both. Also I know not the legality of the manoeuvre and would welcome trafpol’s take in the debate incidental to the personal opinions of readers. So to my poll – and apologies if I’ve missed any categories out. If I have, just click “none of the above” and post in freehand.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 18:34 
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I have no problem with this when traffic is slow-moving or stationary.

But if I am driving on the motorway at 50+ mph and a motorcyclist "filters" past me, it is in my view totally out of order and potentially very dangerous.

I have witnessed this on numerous occasions and it can be very alarming.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 19:26 
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PeterE wrote:
I have no problem with this when traffic is slow-moving or stationary.

But if I am driving on the motorway at 50+ mph and a motorcyclist "filters" past me, it is in my view totally out of order and potentially very dangerous.

I have witnessed this on numerous occasions and it can be very alarming.


I agree.

I was tempted by the first answer: "I approve if done safely" but I found it impossible to imagine a truly safe filtering manoeuvre in normal speed traffic. However, I would approve if it ever could be done safely.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 19:30 
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PeterE wrote:
But if I am driving on the motorway at 50+ mph and a motorcyclist "filters" past me, it is in my view totally out of order and potentially very dangerous.



I wouldn't call that filtering.

Filtering would imply the traffic is already at least down to a crawl.

I voted option 1 but would change approve to applaud. I will do what I can to assist a filtering biker and keep a look out for them even when traffic has come to a dead stop.

Heck, I'll even do the same for those new fangled pedal cycle contraptions. :wink: :lol: Provided they are not on the motorway (yes I have seen it done, pedal cycle on the motorway, under/overtaking cars)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 19:55 
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Homer wrote:
PeterE wrote:
But if I am driving on the motorway at 50+ mph and a motorcyclist "filters" past me, it is in my view totally out of order and potentially very dangerous.

I wouldn't call that filtering.

Filtering would imply the traffic is already at least down to a crawl.

Yes, my view is that filtering when traffic is stopped or slow moving is fine.

But on several occasions I have been doing speeds of between 50 and 80 mph on the motorway and a motorcyclist has blasted past me between lanes.

That, in my view, is seriously out of order :evil:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 21:48 
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Only recently passed bike test, would only filter when traffic stationary and i am sure that it is not going to start moving as i going past at not much more than walking pace.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 01:03 
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OK I am a biker, I will filter cars where I can but only where safe. Let me set out my personal principles

I normally (but not always) filter traffic which is stationary or moving at speeds less than 30 mph on a Mway or wide enough dual.

I sometimes "filter" traffic which is travelling between 30 and 50 mph but I will normally need to be capable of doing 15 - 20 mph greater than them and it is a very very considered decision based on an extended period of observation of the vehicles to be passed.

I will also sometimes "undertake" vehicles that are travelling between 50 and 70 mph, I see a massive distinction between this and legitimate filtering. Such a manouver is not taken lightly and is useually the result of frustration with a "lane hog".

In town (I ride in London 3 or so times a week) I will filter if I can see it to be clear and doing so will be done at an acceptable speed in excess of the rest of the traffic, eg if traffic is stationary |I will be filtering if it is possible to do so at 10-15mph, if its not I won't, I never excced the posted limits when filtering.

My filtering a line of vehicles travelling at 50 doing 65-70 may look reckless but in reality my experience is that car drivers make less rash lane changes in such situations than they do in very slow moving traffic as there is not the same level of lane jumping.

Lastly I never filter coming up to slip roads as this is where a normally safe driver will make the error of an un thought out manouver.

Whilst you may think that my riding is reckless and you may if you saw it from the perspective of a car driver, I can assure you that every single pass is considered and analysed before being carried out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 22:48 
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As a biker I filter too but also only when safe to do so. Looking ahead and expecting a car to swap lanes - defensive riding, dont filter at higher speeds and only ever filter when I have considered carefully whether a) it is necessary (if the delay is only a few cars ahead, whats the point? Its only gonna delay me a short while.) and b) is it safe with plenty of room between cars and enough options for escape should something go wrong.
I have experienced a car drivers frustration and subsequent road rage when doing this sometime back but always show consideration to car drivers and thank those verbally and with a nod or wave where possible. Sometimes though some car drivers just cant hack the fact that they are stuck with no where to go and a bike isnt. :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 17:04 
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As it was my original post that set Roger thinking, here's my take on it.
As a biker I filter through slow moving traffic (less than 20mph) whislt being acutely aware of:
    My own vulnerability
    The sheer tiny-mindedness of some car drivers who cannot bear to see someone progressing when they can't (because that's what it boils down to) and attempt to block you off


I view this as making the most of the available space - if there is no space I don't do it. Which leads me to wonder this: how many of those car drivers sitting in the queue with their bottom lips quivering at the sight of bikes fltering by, would be the ones charging up the empty lane in the last few metres before a merge point claiming.."I'm just making use of the available space"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 22:55 
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Quote:
I view this as making the most of the available space - if there is no space I don't do it. Which leads me to wonder this: how many of those car drivers sitting in the queue with their bottom lips quivering at the sight of bikes fltering by, would be the ones charging up the empty lane in the last few metres before a merge point claiming.."I'm just making use of the available space"


I would - but again with much care.

I agree - the parallel is uncanny. However, I am no longer aggrieved by filtering at low speeds.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 16:46 
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A toss-up between the first and third option, but went for the third as I'd consider it only 'safe' if done at low speeds. It doesn't aggrieve me in the slightest seeing it being done (unless it's clearly dangerous), as bikers get enough hassle - so they may as well take advantage of their machines to avoid being stuck in queues of traffic.

Rigpig wrote:
I view this as making the most of the available space - if there is no space I don't do it. Which leads me to wonder this: how many of those car drivers sitting in the queue with their bottom lips quivering at the sight of bikes fltering by, would be the ones charging up the empty lane in the last few metres before a merge point claiming.."I'm just making use of the available space"


I would only do this if I could merge back in safely. And knowing the bloody-mindedness of people on our roads, I can well envisage people delibeerately bunching up at the merge point in order to avoid letting anyone doing this back in. I think the possibility of reccommending 'zip merging' becoming a standard driver behaviour has already been mentioned, and I'd be all for this.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 12:38 
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I'm about to post up an article on safe filtering on my website www.motorcycle-training.co.uk - big plug :)

when I teach advanced riding I used the 20:20 rule of thumb for filtering.

avoid filtering traffic travelling at more than 20mph and avoid passing more than 20mph faster.

It's a good guide which basically means by the time you've got 40 - 45 mph on your clock, you should be looking to rejoin the traffic. Obviously the size of the gap makes a difference.

When teaching - I also focus on the risk/reward aspect. e.g. filtering traffic doing 60mph at 70 has a high risk and low reward. whereas filtering traffic doing 5-10mph at 25-30mph has a low risk and high reward.

One thing I would point out is:
every filtering motorcyclist is one less driver in the queue in front of you. If we got just 30% of single occupant commuters on to bikes whe'd have a lot less traffic, much lower fuel bills and probably fewer SMIDSYs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 15:58 
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Is this "filtering"?

Medium to heavy traffic on a motoway, perhaps 40-50 mph. Where cars in lanes 2 and 3 (or 3 and 4 if 4 lanes) are 'staggered'. motorbike in lane 3 moves to lane 2 to 'undertake' car in lane 3 then back to lane 3.

If so, I have no problem with it even at these speeds. If I see a motorbike approaching from behind in these conditions, I will (if not aleady in staggered formation with adjacent lanes - "S" in COAST) create a stagger to facilitate this manoeuvre.

If filtering is riding in the space between two vehicles in adjacent lanes, I disapprove strongly except at slow (<20 mph ish) speeds.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 16:12 
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Observer wrote:
If so, I have no problem with it even at these speeds. If I see a motorbike approaching from behind in these conditions, I will (if not aleady in staggered formation with adjacent lanes - "S" in COAST) create a stagger to facilitate this manoeuvre.


I'll also take some lateral stagger within a lane for the O in COAST - I want to see past the vehilce in front as much as possible.

I'd call your "stagger" longitudinal and I value it very highly.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 00:52 
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I felt "As a biker I approve if done safely, and do so" as a bit ambiguous so decided on "As a biker, I approve but only when traffic is totally or almost totally stationary".

Filtering at any speed carries risks regardless of conditions. There are some very good observant motorists on the road who will acknowledge the fact a bike is there and move over a bit. If I don't see observations made by the drivers of vehicles I want to filter I think twice. I have seen too many cars attempt to or change lanes with little or no notice and without indicating. I've also had litter thrown out of windows - drinks included. Also I see plenty of vehicles closing the gap not allowing you to pass. A traffic officer that rides an unmarked bike told me that he has stopped several cars for closing the gap on him when he was filtering while on duty. He actually had it recorded and stopped them - can't remember the exact charge.

Also I have ridden in Germany around cities and out on the Autobahns and you will get an £80 on the spot fine for filtering even if traffic is stationary. Also slower vehicles must move to the right to allow faster traffic to pass, and drivers should stay in the right lane except to pass. In my experience I found driving standards very good.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 04:17 
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As a non-biker, I am fine with it if:

1) It is done safely
2) The biker accepts the risk they're taking and likewise accepts responsibility if something goes wrong.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 08:28 
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antera309 wrote:
As a non-biker, I am fine with it if:

1) It is done safely
2) The biker accepts the risk they're taking and likewise accepts responsibility if something goes wrong.


OK now forgive me a rant here.

I was knocked off my bike last week whilst filtering on the M3. I was not injured, essentially because I was travelling at the "safespeed" even though I was filtering.

At the time the traffic was stationary and one of the benefits of motorcycles to the integrates transport strategy is that we do not add to the congestion as we are able to filter, this is recognised in the Governments strategy document "Mainstream Motorcycling".

I was filtering between lanes 2 + 3 and was travelling at 15 -20 mph, I wear a hi-visibility vest and had my headlights on main beam as well as a pair of 100w driving lamps, yes I know I dazzle so I turn them on only when filtering dead stop traffic and the dazzle is limites to the wing mirrors of the cars etc.

A gap of approximately 1.5 cars had appeared in lane 2 and as I approached it I looked for any sign that anyone would change lanes, there was none, I am not talking about indicators here I am talking head/wheel movement lane positioning etc, with 50,000 motorcycle miles a year you get to know the signs, there were none so I filtered passed the traffic.

A young rep tried to change lanes whilst I was along side him, had he looked in his wing mirror he would have seen me because I was adjacent to it when he decided to move. He hit me a knocked me into the middle lane where I hit a stationary car.

I wasn't injured but my bike suffered £3,500 of damage.

Filtering is legal, common and in congested traffic drivers must understand that between any lane there is likely to be a motorcycle filtering and make sufficient checks and indication before they move.

It used to be the case that insurance companies would find blame on the M/C in all cases of filtering but not anymore, it is an acceptable legal manouver and the courts are finding against the car drivers.

Please note that I am talking about filtering, which is something that is done in very slow moving traffic, ie the traffic is moving below 20 mph, given that the m/c needs to be travelling 15-20 mph faster than the prevailing any manouver carried out above 35 mph is not filtering IMHO.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 13:25 
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Quote:
2) The biker accepts the risk they're taking and likewise accepts responsibility if something goes wrong


Whether they are a pedestrian, cyclist, biker, car driver, lorry driver - the person at fault should take the responsibility.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 15:29 
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unfortunately patch will be very lucky if the other insurance company coughs up.

sadly there is some very bad legal precedent established mostly in the late 60s that makes the rider responisble for the accident.

PS 100w bulbs are not legal


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 23:51 
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diy wrote:
unfortunately patch will be very lucky if the other insurance company coughs up.

sadly there is some very bad legal precedent established mostly in the late 60s that makes the rider responisble for the accident.

PS 100w bulbs are not legal


A timely post.

The other party has offered up a suggestion that I was 100% liable for the accident, my solicitor immediately suggested we "try for 50/50", I refused.

On review of the other parties statement it was riddled with lies and errors, even putting the accident as happening on the wrong motorway, it was also written in a completely different hand writing to the sketch plan that was attached. To be frank there were 6 clear lies in his statement any one of which would change the blame.

My solicitor has warned me that we may lose if we go to court because of existing precident, but as I reminded her existing precident has been over ruled in some recent high profile cases and providing the independant witnesses provide their statementss and they support my account we will go all the way if necessary.

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