Just picking up on a reference to crossing the white line made by Rob in his Chairman’s Report of the September/October 2014 Newsletter (300).
“Also as a reminder I realise advanced riding has been streamlined over the years but please remember as a group we never advise or train anyone to cross the white line to gain further visibility and make further progress.
This is a wholly dangerous manoeuvre even for an experienced rider and must never be displayed or practiced within our group.”
To expand upon this piece of text by Rob, I thought it might be useful to bring to the attention of members and associates the IAM’s Common Confusions document. Clearly some of you may have already seen/read the document but for those who have not, therein referenced (amongst a lot of other things) are rules or clarification for crossing the centre of a road (white line present or ABSENT) to extend view. The Common Confusions document is an ever-evolving paper aimed to provide central guidance on the subject of Observing and Examining within the IAM.
The following text has been cut and paste from the latest IAM Common Confusions document 20th June 2014.
Definition clarification: ‘Off-siding’ = the crossing of the centre line/hazard line, (or in the absence of such a line, the centre of the carriageway) in order to extend a view.
Off-siding* – Single track road clarification:
In situations where there is no possibility of passing an oncoming vehicle due to the width of the road and in order to enable your presence to be seen earlier, this is acceptable, providing it is both advantageous and gives no risk of conflict.
Off-siding (to extend view) – two-way carriageway clarification:
Experience is showing that this is causing Candidates to put themselves in danger. The IAM actively discourages this practice and it is therefore not acceptable on test.
Although there is a reference to “test” at the end of the text, it seems like very sound advice and a set of riding rules for which riders attending NAM group rides should consider adopting. It would certainly reduce those heart in the mouth moments I seem to regularly get when observing riders attempting to marginally extend view into Dead Ground by moving over to the off side on B roads with an absence of white lines when the limit point of vision is already far too close!
Simple mathematics will surprise any Advanced Motorcyclist of the dangers of off siding when you consider:
• The distance you cover per second (4.50m per second approx. at 10mph)
• Your reaction time (realistically 0.7 seconds ref. Police Rider’s Handbook)
• Speed of vehicles coming towards regarding the distance they cover per second
• Distance of the Limit Point from you
Using realistic riding speeds based upon the above considerations, why not do some calculations on a B road riding scenario. If you have been accurate with your calculations, you should quickly realize one has very little time to safely move from an off side position away from the danger; also consider road width and any potential vehicle width as well.
Moreover and being absolutely honest with yourself, have there been moments when you used sharp counter steer to move you rapidly away from a vehicle on a left hand bend/corner when you have been attempting to extend view? On reflection was that efficient riding?
Apart from it being discourteous when it goes a bit wrong and affects another road user, it can be very dangerous and rightly, the IAM is concerned about the practice of off siding on bends when riders are confronted with a restricted view…
With or without white lines present.