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Move over for bikers

Friday, 28 November 2008

As motorcyclists and wanna-be bikers head for the Motorcycle show at the NEC this week, the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) reminds commuters on two wheels of the host of hazards they must be aware of - not in the least of which is car drivers who, for various reasons, fail to see a motorcycle coming towards them.

This problem is particularly acute at junctions. "Sorry mate I didn't see you" is for too many bikers the last words they hear before they are put in the ambulance. Drivers should check carefully for all oncoming traffic at junctions when emerging.

There are other things that drivers can do to ease the passage of motorcycles, particularly in heavy congestion that in turn will mean a safer journey for everybody.

If stuck in dense traffic, keep checking mirrors for bikes. Bikers should also use their headlights to make them easier to be seen. If a biker is trying to 'filter' - make their way through the traffic by riding slowly between stationary vehicles, or riding on the white line in the middle of the road - car drivers should make a point of creating space for them if they can do so safely. By pulling over slightly, after checking in rear-view mirrors to make sure the path is clear, drivers can make the difference between letting a biker past or adding to the congestion.

Never be tempted to vent frustration with the traffic by getting in the way of a motorcycle on purpose. The traffic won't go any faster and dangerous driving may contribute to a collision which will add to congestion rather than alleviate it.