Motorcycle Feature

10 Things motorcyclists must observe while filtering through tollway traffic

PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

Whether you go north or south, most days, there’s simply no escaping the horrendous traffic. And sometimes this is especially true even on tollways.

It’s a sad fact that the country’s road infrastructure can’t cope with the huge volume of vehicles out there. The limited road network has also resulted in a shift in vehicle preference for many motorists—from four wheels to two wheels.

The growing number of motorcycles (with engine displacement of 400cc and above) using the tollways is still something new to other motorists. But paying for the use of these facilities does not give anyone the freedom to do what he wants, because safety and discipline are still paramount. Law and order must prevail, or else we riders might lose that privilege.

In our country, the traffic law on lane filtering as vague as our future. So far, we have not received any apprehensions with regard to this. What we see for now is that it’s being tolerated. Let’s not abuse it.

A friendly reminder to our fellow riders: Here are some tips you could follow when filtering through tollway traffic. Read on and ride safe:

1) Proper riding training is essential.

The tollways are not a place for novice riders to practice their skills or experiment with new things. Enroll first in a formal riding academy before you venture out and try your luck on the highways.

2) Use your peripheral vision.

Even as you focus on the road ahead, use your peripheral vision and be aware of the things happening on either side of you. This will enable you to check if the car on the left or right side is too close to your bike. Always stay clear of bigger vehicles.


3) Maintain a low speed.

Riders filtering through traffic must always be conscious of their speed. When in gridlock, don’t let the speedo needle exceed 20kph. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

4) Treat your passenger as a human.

Never think of your passenger as mere cargo. Always check if he’s comfortably seated behind you, because any feeling of discomfort might prompt him to make sudden unnecessary movements that could alter the balance of the bike and lead to an accident.

5) Refrain from using the emergency lights.

We will not stop reminding people of this because there are still idiotic riders who do not still know the proper occassion to use emergency lights. Also, use the turn signals when changing directions instead of stretching your leg outward.

6) Be courteous.

Always wave to say ‘thank you’ when a driver gives way to your bike. This reflects your sense of road courtesy. Good karma begets good karma.

7) Stop when you hit a vehicle.

Just because motorbikes are smaller and easier to maneuver in tight spots does not give you the license to escape from your responsibility after hitting a vehicle—even if you only clip a side mirror. There’s also the possibility that the vehicle you hit is equipped with a dashcam. If so, then you have a bigger problem.

8) Do not swerve.

Even if you like dancing the lambada, do not do this kind of crazy swaying with your motorbike because this might rattle the drivers of the vehicles around you. Do your stunts somewhere else.

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9) Be patient.

If there are vehicles in front that are blocking your line, stay put and wait for the driver to notice you. Motorbikes have daytime running lights that are positioned higher than those on cars, so it’s impossible for the drivers not to see you coming from behind.

10) Go back to the middle of the lane when traffic starts to move.

Stop being the idiot who stays in between vehicles when everything is starting to pick up speed. Avoid sudden and dangerous maneuvers.

We hope this would help diffuse the brewing animosity between drivers who are bothered by lane filtering, and the riders who do it. And if you have more suggestions, bring it on.

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan
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