Drive with more care and consideration
Sir, Isabel MacKenzie (Letters, The Oban
Times, June 1) asks if someone would explain what the road sign ‘Let motorbikes overtake safely’ means.
There are several instances of these (and similar) messages in our region. This is in response to several road traffic collisions and one fatality caused by drivers pulling out into the path of overtaking motorcyclists. The usual cause is because the driver of the overtaken vehicle had demonstrated poor road sense and had not used their mirrors correctly. The Highway Code clearly states what is expected and what is required by law and in summary includes:
1. Before overtaking make sure the road is clear ahead, others are not beginning to overtake you and there is a suitable gap in front of the road user you plan to overtake.
2. Do not get too close to the vehicle you intend to overtake.
3. Use your mirrors, signal when it is safe to do so, take a quick sideways glance if necessary into the blind spot area and then start to move out.
4. If a driver is trying to overtake you, maintain a steady course and speed, slowing down if necessary to let the vehicle pass. Never obstruct drivers who wish to pass. Speeding up or driving unpredictably while someone is overtaking you is dangerous.
This does not mean (as Ms MacKenzie writes) that the overtaken driver should ‘pull over’ or indeed take any action other than continue a steady course.
It is the duty of all road users to comply with the Road Traffic Act and the Highway Code, and motorcyclists are no exception. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable road users and where a small ‘bump’ to a car driver may be inconvenient, to a motorcyclist it could result in a serious injury or fatality.
There cannot be any room for adversarial behaviour on our busy roads, and whether on two, four or multiple axles, we should be driving defensively and with care and consideration for all. Geoff Nix, Appin, Argyll.