Motorbike riders should not be allowed to filter through traffic (UK laws)
Debate Rounds (3)
"Filtering is one of the real benefits of riding a bike and a reason so many of us commute to and from work.
I am a motorcycle rider of 8 plus years..
I take much pride and enjoyment in being able to filter through traffic. I find this can be a incredibly fun and useful endeavour however I understand it is inherently dangerous especially for new riders.
I see minimal impact on other road users with the exception of the occasional boy racer. ( These however can occupy various forms of vehicle.)
I respect riders who can filter safely and effectively and have a strong disdain for riders who cannot control their bike whilst filtering, or who filter indiscriminately with no consideration for others.
I believe that this technique should be taught on the basic CBT. (Compulsory Basic Training)
I believe that some car drivers can be rather biased to this activity.
Filtering can speed up traffic flow.
Filtering through traffic is very dangerous. People can be switching lanes, and when people switch lanes, many times, they do not use turn signals. This can be dangerous to the motorcyclist and the driver of the car. You may think you are filtering safely, but you can hit someone, or someone could hit you.
Whilst I agree with your statements above in particularly the statement regarding drivers not using their turn signals. I would argue that it is the responsibility of all people using the highway to ensure they do not place themselves in danger whether they be in a car,on a bike, on foot or on a pedal bike.
Of course you are correct that this is an obvious danger and this is a risk we riders must deal with whenever we filter. A good rider will always be scanning traffic looking for danger, a biker will be much more aware of their surroundings than most car drivers. If they are not, chances are without the security of a robust chassis and bodywork to protect them, they probably won't be riding for long.
A rider will negate this risk by scanning the traffic for the obvious signs of an unsafe merger or possible hazards.
These signs are predominantly cars coming closer to the side of the lane, the slight turn of the drivers head whilst looking for opportunities and gaps.
It is the riders responsibility to predict when a pedestrians might pop out from in between the car and the bus and ride accordingly.
A bike rider should always consider the worst and ride accordingly. We call this defensive riding. Whether the worst is a car not indicating or a lapse in a pedestrians road safety skills.
Although a rider should do his utmost to mitigate risks and make his presence known whilst filtering, for example riding with hi-visibility clothing, using lights at all times, and revving his/her engine. (to note this may seem like an antisocial biker showing off their exhaust and ego but it is purely to raise awareness, (for the most part anyway) most people instinctively recognise this noise and in doing so identify a possible hazard.)
It remains the duty of all road users and pedestrians to follow the rules of the road and drive considerately and lawfully. For example using turn signals.
It states: Rule 88
Manoeuvring. You should be aware of what is behind and to the sides before manoeuvring. Look behind you; use mirrors if they are fitted. When in traffic queues look out for pedestrians crossing between vehicles and vehicles emerging from junctions or changing lanes. Position yourself so that drivers in front can see you in their mirrors. Additionally, when filtering in slow-moving traffic, take care and keep your speed low.
They say to keep your speed low. Many filterers do not keep their speed low and can cause great harm to everyone on the road. You also stated that riders have to predict when pedestrians are coming. This is very hard to do, and many jaywalkers could get hurt when walking through the street in a red light. Jaywalking is legal under the UK laws, and the driver of the motorcycle could be sued for injuring, or possibly killing someone.
You are correct that some motorcyclists do not keep their speed low and at the appropriate and legal speed however you could compare this minority to the many unlawful, unsafe driving practices a lot of motorists perform.
For example: a motorist who neglects to use his signal when changing lanes.
The law is simple, please see below Rule 103 from the highway code.
"Signals warn and inform other road users, including pedestrians, of your intended actions. You should always give clear signals in plenty of time, having checked it is not misleading to signal at that time"
Although it is written in the law and thus should be followed to the letter, thit does not mean some car drivers neglect to follow the rules also.
It would not be a just decision to ban all motorists from driving simply because what I believe is the minority choose not to follow the rules. This would not reflect the safe driving practices of the majority.
I previously noted that is the responsibility of all road users and pedestrians to ensure they do not place themselves or others in danger.
In defence of this point I would reference: Court Case: Davis vs Shrogin 2006.
In this case the judge said, quote, " A filtering motorcycle passing stationary or very slow moving traffic could not be to blame if the motorcyclist had no chance to take avoiding action."
If we consider this, the proverbial pedestrian in our argument is responsible for ensuring he does not place himself or the biker in danger.
The biker of course is responsible for ensuring he rides considerately.
Note how speed in this case was not a determining factor.
DATGUYINDACORNER forfeited this round.
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