Practicing moving off and stopping at the kerb
Moving off safely
To move off safely on the road you have to think about other road users. Can you move off without endangering yourself or anyone else? To answer this question you need to have a good look around.
Having got your machine ready to move off, look round over your right shoulder (unless you’re on the right hand side of the road) and then look ahead. You’re looking to make sure that
- There’s no traffic approaching from behind
- The way ahead is clear
- You’re safe to move off
Look out for pedestrians and cyclists – they’re harder to see than cars.
You should signal if it will help any other road user.
IMPORTANT – It’s very important that you look round before moving off, even if you have mirrors fitted. Looking around will allow you to
- Accurately judge how far away any traffic may be, and how fast it’s travelling
- See if there’s anything in the blind area on your right
To stop safely you need to make sure that you don’t endanger any other road users. You should
- Use your mirrors and look over your right shoulder, if necessary, to check for following traffic
- Signal if it will help other road users. People in front may benefit from a signal just as much as people behind
Right turns with stops
A typical example of where you would stop before turning right would be at a junction into a major road.
As in many other situations, you will go through the OSM/PSL routine discussed in Indicating, Observations & OSM/PSL.
So in practice the routine would be as follows
O – Look in your mirrors and take rear observation as necessary.
S – Signal right in good time.
M – Manoeuvre – use PSL.
P – Position yourself as close to the centre of the road as is safe.
In a one-way street, position yourself on the right-hand side of the road.
When turning right it’s important to take up your position early.
S – Reduce speed. Be prepared to STOP. You must give way to traffic on a major road.
L – Look in all directions at the earliest point at which you can see. Keep looking as you slow down, and STOP if necessary.
Take a ‘lifesaver’ glance over your right shoulder before you turn. Take this glance early enough for you to change your plan if it isn’t safe to turn.
Right turns without stopping
A typical situation for this would be turning right from a major road into a minor road when there is no traffic coming towards you and no traffic already turning right out of the minor road.
You will still go through the OSM/PSL routine and you will continue without stopping only if you are absolutely certain there is no reason to stop.
Left turns with stops
The same as right turns with stops but you will signal left and your position on approach shouldn’t change significantly from your normal riding position. Don’t swing out before or after the turn.
Left turns without stopping
This is most likely to happen when turning left from a major road into a minor road.
Left turns are often sharper than right turns, so reduce speed accordingly and don’t swing out before or after the turn.
Look out for vehicles stopping just before the junction and pedestrians who may not have seen you. Don’t overtake a cyclist just before the turn and then cut in just ahead.
If you’re riding slowly, watch for cyclists coming up on your left. A ‘lifesaver’ glance over your left shoulder before you turn may be necessary.
As usual, always use the OSM/PSL routine.
Junctions – major and minor
Many accidents occur at junctions as a result of carelessness or poor observation. Whichever type of junction you’re dealing with, you must take the great care.
There are five main types of junction
- Staggered junctions
During Element C you will practice dealing with each of these junctions using mock-ups of them probably made of cones.
During your driving test the examiner will ask you to perform a U-turn and stop on the other side of the road.
In Element C you will practice U-turns until you show that you have control of the bike travelling at a speed slow enough to carry out a U-turn safely.
Also, rear observation into the blind area is vital just before you carry out the manoeuvre.