Are you a safe filterer? Riding tips from IAM RoadSmart

Blog post posted on 06/07/16 |

If you’re a motorcyclist, you’ll be aware of filtering through stationary or slow-moving traffic. But are you filtering safely? Here’s how you can make sure you are, with IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.

  • Any prolonged session of filtering is tiring and requires the utmost concentration. On certain machines the riding position may cause discomfort at slow speeds. Be prepared to stay in line for a short time if you are affected.
  • Filtering should only be used when traffic is stationary or moving slowly (up to 20mph) and you shouldn’t be travelling any more than 10 to 15mph faster than the traffic if speed limits permit.
  • When filtering to the offside of stationary or slow-moving traffic be especially careful when approaching junctions, nearside or offside. Obey all keep left bollards and keep a door’s width between you and the traffic to allow you time to respond. Do not cross solid paint to filter. If the traffic moves off you commit an offence.
  • If filtering between lanes maintain a safe escape route and a speed that allows you to stop.
  • Use the mirrors of the cars to help you identify when they are likely to change lane, and remember you are likely to surprise some drivers. Remain courteous and stay safe.
  • If in doubt do not place your machine into a gap just because it will fit. Be aware of the needs of others - an HGV will possibly have to swing wide to turn and you may be in a blind spot.

Richard said: “We all want to make progress with our journey but don’t get too impatient or tailgate other road users.

“Be patient and filter through traffic with consideration for road users around you. If done correctly you’ll get to your destination faster while not affecting others abilities to do the same.”  


Notes to editors:

  1. Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards.
  2. IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety debates on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.


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IAM Press Office – 020 8996 9777

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