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Motorcyclist's facts were not all correct
12:42pm Friday 4th October 2013 in Letters
I WRITE with reference to the letter from the motorcyclist (26 Sept) – some of the ‘facts’ are incorrect.
He/she mentions that “Many (roads) have blind bends and up and down gradients, yet their speed limit is 50mph”. This appears to refer to rural roads in general, and the national speed limit for these roads is 60mph for car drivers and motorcyclists (see Highway Code page 40).
This is however a maximum and not a target.
All road users should only drive/ride at a speed that they can easily stop, within the distance that they can see to be clear, and remain clear. You should also consider the conditions of the road, weather, and general traffic, along with hazards.
Perhaps this misunderstanding of the speed limit could be a reason that the writer finds “very quickly a build up of traffic behind you?”
With reference to “The old idea of a slow, medium and fast lanes” – what’s wrong with that? Nowyou must not hog the middle lane and the fast lane is only for overtaking.”
The facts are that you should always drive in the lefthand lane when the road ahead is clear (Rule 264 Highway Code). Both the middle and righthand lanes are for overtaking only, and you should return to the left as soon as you are safely past.
No vehicle should be bumper to bumper, you should keep at least the minimum adequate clearance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you (two seconds on a dry road, double it for wet roads, and ten times the distance for snow or ice). My advice is that if the vehicle behind is closer than that, extend your gap in front of you to reduce your risk.
Finally, and most concerning, is that the writer mentions: “The slip lanes have a right of way over the slow traffic, so in the slow lane at 60/70 mph suddenly slip lane traffic arrives on to the motorway and we have to brake or change lanes for slower vehicles.”
Nobody has “right of way” on the roads, drivers have “priority”.
The slip lane is the road joining the motorway, and as such does not have priority. You should give priority to traffic already on the motorway (see Rule 259 Highway Code).
Unfortunately far too many people seem to think the same as the writer of the letter, hence why so many accidents occur around these areas.
It is very rare for anything to happen “suddenly”
on the roads. All drivers and riders should look well ahead, anticipate the actions of others and adjust their speed accordingly.
I would suggest that the writer of the letter refreshes their knowledge of the Highway Code for their own safety.
Andy Winton (Driving Standards)