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Group riding safety

When riding in a group, there are rules to
follow to help everyone travel safely. Each
member of the group is responsible for his
or her own safety, as well as not putting
the other members of the group in danger.

Riding groups should have no more
than five riders. A larger number makes it
more likely that riders will be separated from
the group in an urban area. Larger groups
also make highway riding more risky when
passing and when being passed.

The riding pace should be comfortable for
all riders. Each rider should use the rear view
mirrors to keep an eye on the riders behind.

Planning ahead is necessary. Everyone in
the group should know the route. As well,
everyone should understand the signals
for fuelling, lane changes, stopping, rest
periods, road hazards and emergencies.

Some situations will require the riders
to stop riding as a group, until riding
conditions are safer for group riding. The
group can reform when it is safe to do so.

Staggered pattern

An experienced rider should be in the lead
position of the group. Less experienced
riders should not be in the lead. The lead
rider has the responsibility for making
decisions that help to keep the group safe.
The group follows these decisions unless
the situation is not safe to do so.

All riders should understand the
recommended following time and distance
from the other riders, and the position for
each rider in the lane when in a group.

Do not the use the same lane to pass
another motorcycle and it is illegal to ride
side by side in the same lane. Riding in

separate lanes, beside another motorcycle
or vehicle, is unsafe and also not advised.
Both of these patterns of riding may limit
the rider’s ability to move in an emergency.
They may also block traffic travelling in
the same direction at a different speed. To
keep a riding group together, and maintain
an adequate space cushion, ride in a
staggered pattern within the same lane.

In a staggered pattern, the riders are in
alternating right and left positions behind
the leader. Each rider has an escape route
and a space cushion from others ahead
and behind.
• The second rider stays a minimum of
   one second behind the leader in the
   other portion of the same lane.
• The third rider rides a minimum of two
   seconds behind the leader in the same
   portion of the lane as the leader.
• A fourth rider would keep a minimum
   of two second distance behind the
   second rider.
• A fifth rider would ride a minimum of
   four seconds behind the leader and two
   seconds behind the third rider in the
   same portion of the lane.

A riding group should be an odd
number. This allows the lead rider and last
rider to communicate through hand signals
and see each other more easily when
riding in a staggered formation.

Example of a staggered formation with minimum 
following times. 



 58  A Rider's Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing

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