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Discrimination against learner riders on the road

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by rendezvous, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. After riding for a few weeks as a new rider I have purchased L plates displayed them on the back of my bike. As I had predicted, I have been treated differently as a learner rider on the road. This morning on my way to work, I had left a larger than usual gap between myself and the car in front. The car behind me honked at me in an effort to get me to close the gap. I also get more cars overtaking me than usual while maintaining the same speed as I had before. When I go 60 the cars go 70, when I go 70 the cars go 80. It seems the faster I go the faster they go so they could overtake me. Is it just me or do drivers discriminate against learner riders?

  2. People will discriminate against anything and everything. Don't let em pressure you, and hope they do it near a cop so you can laugh at em when they get pulled over
  3. welcome to riding!

    same happened to me. best thing is to make sure you ride to Your limits, not anyone elses.

    Let them overtake, just keep your wits about you.
    and have fun!
  4. Normal. Its peoples attitude towards learners, they assume they're all slow and inept. For this reason they will overtake you more because they assume you are going slow. Expect to get overtaken especially by P platers who feel it very necessary to make a distinction between themselves and you. I'll be glad when my P is gone as well, the stigma of a bike is bad enough - but bike AND p plate - makes me automatically a dangerous hoon. Unfortunately, the police are also this way prejudiced.
  5. I know exactly what you mean... it happens to me all the time while i have my L plates on. Sometimes i just dont put my L plates on which is not a good thing but in my eyes it aint a bad thing either...
  6. somehow i get excited whenever i see an L plate
  7. It's normal, i rode my girlfriends bike with my P plates on it the other day, and rode it home after with no plates and noticed a big difference in driver behavior. bastard cagers :soapbox:
  8. Hmmm I have the sudden urge to put a sticker on the back of my bike, something to the effect of 'if you tailgate me, expect a smashed window'.

    People get away with not showing an L plate, but I've always kept mine on. The temptation to try not wearing plates was totally gone when I was pulled over and they had fallen off (really).
  9. Why did you get pulled over? how would the cops know know you're a learner if you don't have your L plates on?
  10. They didn't. They were in middle lane stopped at traffic lights, I was in left, approaching from behind (was still moving as I had only just come near the lights). As I approached, lights turned green but I was already in first so I guess it just sounded like I was fanging it. So what do cops do when they are pissed off but don't have the grounds to do anything? RBT time! Looked at my license then asked me where the plate was. I didn't realise it had come off (it was definitely on that morning), explained that, but he didn't give a damn.

    I appealed it on the basis that there is no rta guidelines for attaching it, nor do they (or anyone else) provide a fitting device to allow for the plates to go on. And asked them how they could fine me in these conditions. They couldn't be bothered answering me so the reply letter was essentially 'warning for now, go away'.
  11. Definitely normal that people like to get around L-platers (car or bike), and trucks. People expect they're slow even when they're not. Others also just like to feel superior that they aren't on Ls and so will intimidate you so you might stuff up, reiforcing their superior skills :roll: . So don't let them rattle you.

    Oh, I also found doing something 1-handed or no hands made them back off :LOL: . Don't do it unless you
    know there aren't bumps on the road, have plenty of reaction space, and can do it with ease. Otherwise you'll look like a bigger goose than ever. I'll often practise being light on the bars to the point of no weight on them at all to check that I'm balanced well on the bike and not relying on the bars to hold me up... Don't want to be heavy on the bars mid corner or you might not get around.
  12. Ok, not every L plater is woefully hopeless, but it's an earned stereotype. Most drivers make natural assumptions based on the L plate.

    You might not even be aware of how you look to other drivers - so how can you judge whether you're being harshly judged? Are you hugging the left line? Are you sitting all stiff? Are you riding with out casually turning your head to survey traffic? Do you rest your non throttle hand in the ultimate display of casualness? Do you wave to the kiddies? Do you execute confident lane changes? etc etc etc

    If you have the air of competence surrounding you, you shouldn't be as harrassed - even with an L plate.

    It's a conundrum though, definitely chicken and the egg, you need to be competent on the road, but you first need to learn, so you need to learn on the road... and learning suggests a lack of competence/confidence, more caution etc etc

    I'm usually a patient person, but it is frustrating being stuck behind ANY driver that looks like they don't know what they're doing, are being overcautious, drive slowly because they think it's safer, generally have a body language that screams I'm not a confident road user OR are driving in such a way that they are effectively a rolling road block.

    Unfortunately, that does describe most L platers (of all ages).

    I figure it'd be better for them if I find and use an opportunity to overtake and be merrily infront of them and on my way, rather than behind, feeling like I'm being held up and having my sense of road justice being inflamed by bad driver displays of poor skills and poor road ettiquette.

    On other days though, especially for a learner biker, I will sometimes run interference and keep the traffic off their tail. Thankless task... just me putting some positive energy back into the universe.

  13. I dont really agree with you on this statement. I did not have anything displayed before and I did not get harassed by other drivers. Only when i had my L plates displayed I started experiencing this discrimination. I would like to leave the L plates at home and be treated as a normal motorcycle rider but there are heaps of cops around and Victorian police are known to be the worse in Australia - they book you for the smallest offences!
  14. Maybe it's the area.

    I've been riding with my L Plate on for a month or so and generally people around Sydney have been pretty nice! If anything, they're a bit more forgiving if I'm a little slow to get going at traffic lights or I give way a lot at intersections or roundabouts.

    I don't get any honking.

    On one of my first big rides, I ran out of gas at a big intersection and when I turned the valve to reserve and tried to restart it, I flooded the engine because I twisted the throttle like mad.

    I was in the middle of 3 lanes and holding up a heap of cars. I had to walk it across a lane to the side of the road to wait for it to settle. The lady that was stuck behind me didn't drive off after I got out of the way. Sh actually asked me if I needed help and suggested I check the choke and stuff before she took off.
  15. The L plate is designed to alert other road users to your relative inexperience on your Bike. Without it they will assume that you are a confident and competant rider, great, until you do something like stall at the lights and they run over you! I know the temptation is there to remove your L plate so you don't stand out but while we learn our craft it pays to be seen and acknowleged.

    No I dont work for the RTA and I'm not a cop :grin:
  16. Sif they don't.

    It has the effect of making the person behind you the most impatient F*** on the road :roll:

    People get a superiority complex whenever they encounter any other vehicle/driver they think is beneath them. This applies to most drivers unless they have a bit of patience and courtesy.


    Countdown to end of restrictions : 35 days
  17. On the odd occasion that i do get passed by an arrogant fool who thinks
    they are better than me cause i have L's for my bike
    (only cause i fines to pay b4 i have the cash for my license :p )
    I let them go and just wait for them to get stuck at the next set of lights
    and filter past them. :LOL: :LOL:

    FOOLS :roll:
  18. Yes, but they'll run over you anyway, even when you don't stall - so whats the difference ? :p

    (I joke!)
  19. Your group is well represented in crash and death statistics :)
  20. but you do ride a hyosung :p :p :p