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Advance stop line

DHBikerDHBiker Posts: 5
edited April 2019 in Commuting chat
Is my imagination or more and more motorcyclists are using the advance stop lines (ASL) which were designed to allow cyclists to be positioned in front of motorists?

According to https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q806.htm#, a motorist purposedly entering that space when a traffic light is red could be fined £100 + 3 penalty points in their driver licence. But I have NEVER seen that being enforced.

I have mentioned to two motorcyclists that the space is just for cyclists, but all I received was abused from them. So I don't try to tell them any more. It's scary and you never know if they are going to get aggressive.

London is dangerous to cycle, and it annoys me that those few spaces that are provided for cyclists safety are disregarded and used by motorists. Does anyone know of any campaign that is trying to give awareness of the purpose of that space to motorcyclists?
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  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Just get a camera and report them ? A few fines and they'll learn. No risk to you.
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 214
    I just used to stop very close to them, a couple of inches, close enough to make them feel uncomfortable but not unsafe. Watch the hot exhaust though.
  • shamrock134shamrock134 Posts: 714
    Unless you catch them actually entering the ASL on camera, they can just say they got caught in it during a traffic light change, which is legal.

    I routinely see Yellow Box junctions being abused in Central London. They might as well not exist if traffic laws aren't enforced.
  • david7mdavid7m Posts: 635
    I'm thinking of getting a camera for reporting less than 4 footers etc.
    Where do you send the footage? Does anything actually happen?
    Dave
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 10,159
    Someone should make them have number plates. That would mean that they would never do a traffic offence again.

    Have I got that right?
    and then the next thing you know
  • smokey_baconsmokey_bacon Posts: 1,637
    Someone should make them have number plates. That would mean that they would never do a traffic offence again.

    Have I got that right?

    According to our Lordly superiors....yes.
  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    Some whataboutism for you - do you believe that this part of your linked source will be enforced as well?

    'Cyclists must not cross the second stop line while the traffic signal is red. Contravening a traffic signal is against the law, and could result in a £50 fine.'

    Filtering is one of main reasons for urban motorbiking, and where are they to go now that ASLs have been introduced? If this is strictly enforced and motorbikes have to stay in line with cars, that will only reinforce them being a redhead step child that the Mayor has no vision for in the future.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 10,159
    mamil314 wrote:
    Some whataboutism for you - do you believe that this part of your linked source will be enforced as well?

    'Cyclists must not cross the second stop line while the traffic signal is red. Contravening a traffic signal is against the law, and could result in a £50 fine.'

    Filtering is one of main reasons for urban motorbiking, and where are they to go now that ASLs have been introduced? If this is strictly enforced and motorbikes have to stay in line with cars, that will only reinforce them being a redhead step child that the Mayor has no vision for in the future.

    If the advanced stop box isn't full of motor vehicles, the reason to go any further forward disappears. I'd have no issue with that being enforced.

    There should maybe be a semi-advanced stop line for motorbikes.
    and then the next thing you know
  • shamrock134shamrock134 Posts: 714
    david7m wrote:
    I'm thinking of getting a camera for reporting less than 4 footers etc.
    Where do you send the footage? Does anything actually happen?
    Dave

    I uploaded some footage to the Met Police portal last July.

    The case went to the Magistrate's court and the driver was fined and given 3 penalty points last month. I did have to appear as a witness and give testimony though, so that is something to be aware of.

    I think the police are unlikely to prosecute unless it's an easy win so a lot of dodgy stuff I film tends to not get reported.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,505 Lives Here
    There should maybe be a semi-advanced stop line for motorbikes.
    When I did my motorcycle test about 30 years ago I was told to filter to the front of the traffic queue at traffic lights or I could be failed for not making progress. I failed first time for not making progress as I was going straight on at a light with a right turn lane, I opted not to go round the traffic waiting to turn right. Admittedly the tester was a bit of a dragon, on my retest I mentioned it as I believed I was right. Turned out I had the senior examiner for the area and he was going to have a word with the previous one.
    So, are motorcyclists still being told to go to the front of a queue? If so where do they go when they get to the front?
    Admittedly I never encounter a full bike box so it's not really an issue for me, riding into central London I can see it would be an issue but I'm not sure what the answer is. Have a split box with the left side for bicycles and the right for motorcycles? Not ideal if the box is already filling up with bicycles.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    veronese68 wrote:
    failed for not making progress
    This is something I don't really get about the rules and education about motorcycling. Where is the line drawn between "making progress" and "jumping the queue"?

    There are situations where you could drive a small car through the gap between queuing lines of traffic on a motorway, or up the "wrong" side of the road to get to the front of a queue at traffic lights; you'd be pretty unpopular if you did that in a car, but it's regarded as fair game for motorbikes; what's the difference?

    I'm not criticising the motorcyclists themselves; they're only doing what they're taught and (presumably) what the rules encourage, but what's the rationale behind it?
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • mamil314mamil314 Posts: 1,103
    I would think it's for safety and the flow of traffic. It is difficult to appreciate without being a rider, but, in a way, motorbikers are more vulnerable than cyclists due to road positioning and speeds on 2x carriageways and motorways (and sometimes taking unnecessary risks, but that is another topic). It does not seem that people's brain registers motorbikes the same way as cars and are more like "look - no car - pull out". Many reported cases of people looking and puling out. Stopping in line with cars is dangerous as bikes are harder to spot than cars when texting and rear ending is more frequent than desirable. I was always taught to tap brakes if engine braking. Thus, ending up ahead of stationary queue is safer in general.

    I remember getting a few minor faults during motorbike exam for slow progress and hesitation in junctions and roundabouts so the idea seems to be to clear them as fast as safely possible. Was also told off for staying in car line by instructor, I recall being incredulous.

    Those things are more 'inherited wisdom' passed on by instructors and experienced biker community, conveying things that protect and just work. As far as traffic regulations are concerned, motorbikes should be fully equal to the cars, which, to me, shows that when implementing ASLs motorbikes were an afterthought at best.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    OK, that makes a lot of sense
    mamil314 wrote:
    As far as traffic regulations are concerned, motorbikes should be fully equal to the cars, which, to me, shows that when implementing ASLs motorbikes were an afterthought at best.
    IIRC, at the time they were implemented the rationale was that cyclists accelerate more slowly than cars, so putting them in front gave them an opportunity to get away cleanly. I guess motorbikes were left out because the focus was on slow acceleration.

    One of the issues I have with ASL use is that many cyclists blindly push forward to get into the ASL, leaving them in dangerous positions if they can't get there, or if they don't get there before the traffic starts moving. It's often safer to stop further back in the queue, but cyclists prepared to consider that seem to be in the minority.
    Edit: And don't get me started on cyclists who ride through a totally empty ASL and then stop in front of it!
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • tgotb wrote:
    Edit: And don't get me started on cyclists who ride through a totally empty ASL and then stop in front of it!

    There's a special place in hell for those cyclists that go so far ahead of the ASL that they cannot see the traffic lights and hence have no idea when to move!
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,505 Lives Here
    tgotb wrote:
    mamil314 wrote:
    As far as traffic regulations are concerned, motorbikes should be fully equal to the cars, which, to me, shows that when implementing ASLs motorbikes were an afterthought at best.
    IIRC, at the time they were implemented the rationale was that cyclists accelerate more slowly than cars, so putting them in front gave them an opportunity to get away cleanly. I guess motorbikes were left out because the focus was on slow acceleration.
    I agree with both points. It's funny that it's safer for cyclists to be in front as they are slower so drivers know they are there and try not to kill them as they pull away, but the rationale for a motorcycle to go to the front is that they pull away quicker so it's safer to get to the front and then clear off ahead of the cars.
  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 5,470
    Cyclists on the left of the asl box, motorcyclists on the right seems to be an unwritten rule.

    If I can't get to the asl box safely, I wait. I did it this morning. Sat behind a bus, as the bus and a lorry in the right hand lane made it impossible to predict what was ahead. Every cyclist behind me either hopped on to the pavement, or squeezed between the lorry and the bus to desperately get ahead.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,626
    I used to get pissed off by motorcycle in the ASL but thinking about it they should be in there because 4+ wheels etc are so dangerous
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  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,932
    Joe Totale wrote:
    There's a special place in hell for those cyclists that go so far ahead of the ASL that they cannot see the traffic lights and hence have no idea when to move!

    That was me a few nights ago when I stopped at a red light on some temporary lights cause of roadworks so I shuffled back till I could see the light, as I was waiting a van stopped behind and to the left of me and straight away the intentions were all too obvious but a slight move to the right soon stopped that happening as the road ahead was down to one lane cause of the roadworks.
    hopkinb wrote:
    Cyclists on the left of the asl box, motorcyclists on the right seems to be an unwritten rule.

    Had a biker stop behind and to the left of me as I was in the middle of the lane cause of another cyclist so at the next set of lights 100 yards away I stopped more to the left and the biker still stopped behind me. As the lights changed I went straight ahead and the biker took the right hand lane despite stopping in the left hand lane and in the process of changing lanes nearly became bonnet fodder for an Audi.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • rower63rower63 Posts: 1,991
    I have no problem with scooters or motorbikes in the ASL, they're there for the same reasons we are. And, like hopkinb, if there's no safe route to the front, I'm quite happy sitting behind in the queue watching most of the rest squeezing through.
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  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,146
    rower63 wrote:
    I have no problem with scooters or motorbikes in the ASL, they're there for the same reasons we are. And, like hopkinb, if there's no safe route to the front, I'm quite happy sitting behind in the queue watching most of the rest squeezing through.

    This, though to be honest there isn't a) any ASL on my way to work, and b) very few in my local area so it's not really a problem I encounter.
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    I saw a moped being pedaled down cs2 (engine off).

    So the solution is clear - fit all motorbikes with pedals. Then they could use the ASL legally.
  • faster97faster97 Posts: 33
    Interesting thread.

    I'm happy for motorbikes to use the ASL - as someone said above, they are subject to similar risks to ourselves and I don't see them as a threat. I'd say they are usually more aware than car drivers.

    Whilst we're on the subject though, and I know some people have criticised this above, but when stopping at a red light, I always cross the ASL. If there is no ASL, I always cross the stop line too. In fact I go as far forward as I can, right to the end of the junction if possible, whilst still being able to see the lights.

    I honestly thought this was best practice and only found out recently it wasn't. I think in the distant past, someone told me that this was 'a cyclist's prerogative', as I have that phrase stuck in my head.

    The problem is, even though I know it's wrong, I'm unwilling to change. Quite frankly, the alternatives terrify me. Does everyone really set off alongside the cars or in with the traffic?!?! Sounds like madness to me. How do you avoid getting flattened by people turning?

    I'm quite well drilled at this now - I always accelerate hard and it's rare that I'm overtaken by the first car before I've made it across the junction to relative safety. This seems much, much safer to me than any of the alternatives - but is it?

    I do get the odd bit of stick from motorists, but only a couple of times a year. If anything I think it helps me to get out of their way more quickly.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,146
    faster97 wrote:
    Interesting thread.

    I'm happy for motorbikes to use the ASL - as someone said above, they are subject to similar risks to ourselves and I don't see them as a threat. I'd say they are usually more aware than car drivers.

    Whilst we're on the subject though, and I know some people have criticised this above, but when stopping at a red light, I always cross the ASL. If there is no ASL, I always cross the stop line too. In fact I go as far forward as I can, right to the end of the junction if possible, whilst still being able to see the lights.

    I honestly thought this was best practice and only found out recently it wasn't. I think in the distant past, someone told me that this was 'a cyclist's prerogative', as I have that phrase stuck in my head.

    The problem is, even though I know it's wrong, I'm unwilling to change. Quite frankly, the alternatives terrify me. Does everyone really set off alongside the cars or in with the traffic?!?! Sounds like madness to me. How do you avoid getting flattened by people turning?

    I'm quite well drilled at this now - I always accelerate hard and it's rare that I'm overtaken by the first car before I've made it across the junction to relative safety. This seems much, much safer to me than any of the alternatives - but is it?

    I do get the odd bit of stick from motorists, but only a couple of times a year. If anything I think it helps me to get out of their way more quickly.

    I personally have never felt the need to pull forward, generally the safest is maybe two cars back, even by most cyclists fairly mundane pick up off the line, cars are fairly easy to match pace across the junction.

    If I am at the front I generally will pick up reasonably quick enough to not be passed by cars until though the junction which isn’t that fast really. though I will not cross the line unless I have chosen to filter to the front, and a car is in the ASL, or similar. I generally hang back I have the potential acceleration that junctions aren’t a problem.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    faster97 wrote:
    Interesting thread.

    I'm happy for motorbikes to use the ASL - as someone said above, they are subject to similar risks to ourselves and I don't see them as a threat. I'd say they are usually more aware than car drivers.

    Whilst we're on the subject though, and I know some people have criticised this above, but when stopping at a red light, I always cross the ASL. If there is no ASL, I always cross the stop line too. In fact I go as far forward as I can, right to the end of the junction if possible, whilst still being able to see the lights.

    I honestly thought this was best practice and only found out recently it wasn't. I think in the distant past, someone told me that this was 'a cyclist's prerogative', as I have that phrase stuck in my head.

    The problem is, even though I know it's wrong, I'm unwilling to change. Quite frankly, the alternatives terrify me. Does everyone really set off alongside the cars or in with the traffic?!?! Sounds like madness to me. How do you avoid getting flattened by people turning?

    I'm quite well drilled at this now - I always accelerate hard and it's rare that I'm overtaken by the first car before I've made it across the junction to relative safety. This seems much, much safer to me than any of the alternatives - but is it?

    I do get the odd bit of stick from motorists, but only a couple of times a year. If anything I think it helps me to get out of their way more quickly.
    Where there's no ASL I understand your point, though there are other ways to stay safe (such as stopping in a gap a few cars back). Where there *is* an ASL, why is stopping in front of it "much, much safer" than stopping in it?
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 3,850
    rower63 wrote:
    I have no problem with scooters or motorbikes in the ASL, they're there for the same reasons we are. And, like hopkinb, if there's no safe route to the front, I'm quite happy sitting behind in the queue watching most of the rest squeezing through.
    Not for all the same reasons. They are provided for cyclists because it takes us longer to get across junctions. So we are visible and also past the punch point before traffic is squeezing past. That's the idea anyway.

    Motorbikes don't have this issue. So I object to competing for space with them in the same way I object to them using cycle lanes.

    With some common sense the presence of a motorbike at an asl is usually immaterial, but if it is busy (2 or 3 bikes trying to head into a single lane ahead, or even turn right) it can be a problem.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,479
    I thought the ASLs were there so cyclists didn't stop and wait beside a motor vehicle - who may or may not be turning - and critically - who probably hasn't noticed the cyclist(s) there. In the ASL the cyclist is clear ahead - and it's then up to the vehicle driver to overtake safely- having seen the cyclist(s).

    Having done a long trip back from holiday over the weekend - stuck in the M25 traffic - watching the motorbikes go by - it struck me that it didn't matter that they were filtering past - we're doing 30-40mph, they can go a bit faster and get to where they're going quicker - providing they're doing it safely what's the point in making them wait? It's not going to make my journey any different eitherway, so may as well let them go - or even facilitate them getting past.
    I don't come across traffic lights often whilst cycling - but I think the same principle applies ...
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    edited April 2019
    faster97 wrote:
    I'm quite well drilled at this now - I always accelerate hard and it's rare that I'm overtaken by the first car before I've made it across the junction to relative safety. This seems much, much safer to me than any of the alternatives - but is it?

    Accelerating hard when the lights change seems like a good way to increase your chances of being taken out by a driver gambling on amber from your right or left.

    Unless you've got a great view, it's better to sit squarely on front of traffic (so they can't pass) and set off at about the same rate of acceleration as a car, heads up and hands on the brakes.

    I changed to the second approach after seeing a few videos of people dying. It'll waste less driver time than if they have to wait for me to be hosed off the junction.
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    rower63 wrote:
    I have no problem with scooters or motorbikes in the ASL, they're there for the same reasons we are. And, like hopkinb, if there's no safe route to the front, I'm quite happy sitting behind in the queue watching most of the rest squeezing through.

    I do because so many of them are noisy, smelly, and generally unpleasant to cycle near.

    I don't understand how the MOT emissions check is failing to take them off the road.

    They are also wider than a bike so block perfectly good filtering options.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 3,850
    slowbike wrote:
    I thought the ASLs were there so cyclists didn't stop and wait beside a motor vehicle - who may or may not be turning - and critically - who probably hasn't noticed the cyclist(s) there. In the ASL the cyclist is clear ahead - and it's then up to the vehicle driver to overtake safely- having seen the cyclist(s).

    Having done a long trip back from holiday over the weekend - stuck in the M25 traffic - watching the motorbikes go by - it struck me that it didn't matter that they were filtering past - we're doing 30-40mph, they can go a bit faster and get to where they're going quicker - providing they're doing it safely what's the point in making them wait? It's not going to make my journey any different eitherway, so may as well let them go - or even facilitate them getting past.
    I don't come across traffic lights often whilst cycling - but I think the same principle applies ...
    There's nothing to stop them filtering, but they can filter up to the stop line just like everywhere else. If a junction has an ASL for cycle safety, that's a different thing. At the very least motorbikes should let us get through the junction safely before passing.

    I say this because there is one in my commute where straight on bears right and left is a racetrack bearing slightly left. I am often squeezed left by 500kg of motorbike, and sometimes prevented from even getting into the ASL because one has filled all of the gap between the first car and a traffic island. I object to that.
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