Fellow Bikers, A question for you all…Is it OK to filter going just over the centre of the road (broken white line) in front of a copper sitting in traffic going in the same direction as you?!?
I was riding to work one day last week and came up against a really busy high street with traffic at a next to stand still pace. I was filtering as I would normally do staying within my single lane and at times going over the white line (oncoming lane) to get past wider vehicles, most of the time I do this without any problems but on occasions I have come across a police car/van sitting in traffic and slowed down and over taken them really slowly and cautiously making sure not to go over the white line. Is this OK or should I be sitting behind the cop car/van and be seen not to be filtering and at times crossing the white line to get past wider vehicles?!?!?!?!?
I think, and surely DJ or PS will advise properly, that it is a question of whether you’ve ridden into ‘careless’ or ‘dangerous’ driving.
Moving past a queue of stationary or slow moving traffic (i.e. overtaking) isn’t in itself illegal, but like all these things you have to be sensible.
Overtaking into the face of oncoming traffic is unlikely to win you any friends in blue, nor will slow weaving if you are wobbling and clearly not in control. And of course going over a solid white line may take some justifying too (stationary traffic overtaking aside).
Should you fear that you have broken some rule and be worrying about a possible talking too, you could of course pop a massive wheelie and put an end to speculation
As far as the law is concerned filtering is just overtaking. If there is a solid white line don’t cross it, also don’t pass other vehicles on zigzags, by entering a chevroned area (not diagonal stripes - they can be entered as long as you don’t cross a solid line), or ending up pulling level with the first car at a crossing. Staying close in your lane is a recipe for accidents - you see less, you can be seen less and you have no time to react. If there is room always filter as far over as the middle of the opposite lane if possible and safe.
Always be careful filtering/overtaking if there is a side turning as vehicles are more likely to pull out without seeing you, or turn right without indicating and the highway code tells you not to overtake in those situations.
I went past a police car this morning at around 15mph, traffic in my lane built up enough for him to come past on my left again, but there was not point filtering forwards at this point due to traffic going into a single lane. Nipped past again when it was safe and clear to do so.
So long as you ride sensibly and safely there is no real issue. It is when you ride into oncoming traffic at speed and weave in and out of traffic at speed that the police will take action and rightly so.
So although there’s not written rule on this, as long as your filtering slowly and sensibly (in front of the cop car) then there shouldn’t be an issue. That said what’s the betting I get pulled tomorrow morning for filtering slowly past a cop car…!!!
Agreed with everything above, but something else that came out of the biksafe course is that if the road is empty in the oncoming direction, use as much of it as possible i.e. dont hug the cars travelling in the same direction as you. You can cross a broken line, thats not illegal in any way, and it will give you more time if people pull out/right turn/u-turn.
But this is with the caveat that you should always have a place in your mind to rejoin the traffic if something should come up. So plan ahead with the gaps and use the road.
Agreed… plus my old hobby horse… LOOK AT THE FRONT WHEELS;)A lot of U turn incidents and T bones can be avoided by looking at the car’s front wheels. if they go on full right lock you know they will do a U in front of you.
Agree with all of this,no problem with filtering past Police ,part of the bike course is slow control for exactly this,the ability to move slowly through traffic,we filter all the time as long as it does’nt look bad.Use all of the road if you can so you can see the whole line of traffic and spot the idiots early who are going to cause problems.Biggest problem is complacency if you’re doing it every day,stay alert:D