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L Plate's. Are they Target Practice?

Discussion in 'Welcome Lounge' started by Gabriel_Yohanson, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Hi All,

    I'm a new Learner rider at the ripe age of 45. I've been on the road for less than a month at the time of this post. I gotta say that having my L Plates showing I found I was getting targeted by drivers who either tail gate me or needlessly sound their horns when passing me. I have not been speeding and I've not been going too slow, just keeping a good buffer perhaps larger than normal and minding my own beeswax.

    I wanted to put this theory & observation to the test. For 7 days I road without my L Plates. Yes this is illegal & I'm sorry. The result was a marked decrease in tailgate behaviour. I only got tailgated once. I put my L Plates back on and hey presto, all the stupid behaviour started up again. Why bother having L Plates if you get harassed by other drivers? Why can't we just have Learner information on our licenses themselves? I really don't see the point or value of publicising your license status on your bike if all it gets you is negative attention.

    It wont stop me from ridding but has anybody else experienced this or is this part of the Sydney experience?


    PS: I apologise if this topic has been covered or documented previously. New to this forum.
  2. People are just dicks to L platers on bikes and in cars, just ride without it, but carry a spare plate and cable tie so if a cop pulls you up you can tell them it broke off and put the spare one on.
  3. I can't seem to find it now - but you're not imagining things.

    A while ago Sydney Uni had a "tough looking bloke" in all the leathers ride a Harley across the Harbour bridge during a morning commute, riding on the "aggressive side of neutral" - he was not hassled.

    The following morning they had the same guy ride the same bike "dressed like a clown" in hi-viz, riding on the "submissive side of neutral" - he was monstered.

    I wish I could find a link to the study by my google-fu is letting me down.

    Needless to say - a cagers perception of your road presence is definitely not something to underestimate.
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  4. Unfortunately its the way it is, Disregard the turkey behind you, They usually dont get close enough to hit you,

    But if your watching them in your mirrors, they will unerve you, and make you make mistakes,

    I usually put a learner in front of me, The Morons get right up my clacker as they can see the Learner in front of me,
    As I wear an open face, I just turn around and look at them, They back off quick smart, Once they see that I should be riding a Harley and not a sports bike, Hahahahaha, They get the message,
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  5. Ah. Great idea deadman! I'll be using that hands down. Many thanks.
  6. Cheers. I am glad it wasn't my paranoia getting carried away.
  7. You are not alone, when I had my L's I actually had some clown wind down his window and tell to "Learn to ride" I still wonder what he thought I was doing.

    Concentrate on riding your own ride and you will be less worried about them.

    Cheers Jeremy
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  8. Except in this case, the L plater went to take off, hesitated, then the vehicle decided to give the bike a bit of a helping hand. If the big, bright, yellow L plate doesn't say "I'm new to this, give me some space," what hope have newbies got :rolleyes:
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  9. I did say Usually, Im not trying to put the wind up him, Even experienced riders get rear ended, Micky and Arc and some one else I cant remember who, are 3 that come to mind immediately,
  10. I'm Melbourne based but I experienced the same thing. Riding the same road, same time of day at the same speed, before I got off my plates I had a lot more tail gaters and over takers.

    It's a pain, and potentially dangerous, but I can't see it changing until the police start focusing on crap like this rather than petty speeding speeding offences.
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  11. Thats actually a very common accident scenario only made worse by being on a bike.

    Both vehicles are turning left in theory they only have to look for a gap to the right.

    Rear vehicle see's bike move off and looks right for it's chance to go as well front vehicle stops, rear vehicle goes.

    Its usual caused by the drivers perceptions of what is a safe gap, the learner might have moved off and then decided "nah I'll wait for a bigger gap", or perhaps stalled.

    Rear vehicle thinks "I can make that gap" and guns it while looking right and not straight ahead.
  12. #12 Gabriel_Yohanson, Mar 27, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
    That would be great to have police encouraged to focus on vehicle drivers harassing motorbike riders or even better driving right up the wazzoo of bikes.

    Many thanks for the encouragement. Surprised by the response.....I guess the bike community is tight. A good thing. Many thanks again.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I'd love to have that physical presence of just looking at the clown & he/she backs off....but I'm only a little guy (162cm & 70kg) LOL.... Still your dead right. I have to let it go and focus on me. True words Sir. Respect & ride safe.
  13. I'm sorry to hear a lot of the stories. I remember as a car learner I got hassled a lot, but on the bike I haven't really found that. The space (or lack of) people leave behind me at intersections has me concerned. Yes, there is the occasional tail gaiting dick, and the odd potential for a SMIDSY but I can't say I've been deliberately hassled or targeted....to date. I've only been on the road since the February though.
  14. I did most of my L's with no L plate on (actually I still haven't put a P plate on yet lol), and there's definitely a difference in how you get treated.
    Though it wasn't as bad when wearing my open face helmet which i can only put down to my rugged good looks.*

    *big ugly bloke, beard, flanno with vest, loud cruiser etc
  15. Having recently got my L's and my bike, I ventured out into St Kilda where I live and found drivers took absolutely no notice of the L plate or Hi Viz vest - a bus ran right up my ass, an impatient driver scared the life out of me tooting me out of the way as I was trying to turn onto a busy road (it had been a whole 30 seconds mind you!) and others tried to push me off into the cyclists lane on Beaconsfield Parade. Taking some private lessons to get more confidence and my instructor told me to take an attitude that says "I pay my rego, I own this part of the road"
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  16. Maybe because I am built like a mini brick shit house I get left alone...and mistaken for a bloke wearing lippy and girly sunglasses ha ;)
    generally only have copped a bit c'mon lets drag attitude at the lights but I reckon it's not you or your Ls , some cagers would tailgate an empty shopping trolley! Dicks!

    There are some villages missing idiots who happen to have managed to get their driving licenses and will hassle anyone and anything because it works for them and generally we just let them get away with it so they get bolder!

    I agree with ^^^ said! The bike whisperer told me to ride like I own that piece of the road and I do now. I try to remember to move around in the lane which further exercises your 'ownership' of that space. I am slowly mastering picking where to position myself in traffic to stop the free for all gaps that could result in smidsy (BS) and I am not afraid to use my horn followed by a suitably raised digit either.

    Stay alert and not alarmed by these co@ksuckers...they are a waste of oxygen and only serve to distract you as deadmandeadman said.

    Just a suggestion that helped me dealing with traffic congestion for example when herding kittens on the Warringah fwy onto the Harbour Bridge..I love it! ;)
    Sit on your bike in your driveway with your eyes closed (no no I am not yanking your chain :)) and practice with your gloved hands, finding your horn and using your indicators. It will save you getting flustered when you urgently need to beep some knob to remind them your are there, or to indicate in a hurry to move lanes. Saves those precious seconds where you take your eyes off the road to watch your hands try to find these. I can do this with my eyes closed now lol! ;)
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  17. I love the foolishness where drivers seems to assume I'm being slow and timid and tailgate before seemingly realizing I'm manipulating traffic and backing off, it happens a lot . Seems to help if I increase the aggressiveness of my riding.
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  18. ^^^^^ +1 to riding on the positive side of the Aggressive/Neutral line.- as a daily commuter it is certainly were I operate.

    Yes sometimes that means slowing down rather than going faster to change the gaps, your position in the traffic flow etc.

    If it helps (and you are old enough) think about it like Frogger, In heavy traffic you are moving from one safe space to the next one. If it is up to you to manipulate the traffic to achieve this; then so be it.

    I know this will come as a shock to some; but this sometimes means taking a more liberal interpretation of the road rules than perhaps a Highway Patrol Officer might.

    Cheers Jeremy
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  19. I can't relate (and I still have an L plate on the back), because I don't hang around to become butt-buddies with the cagers, lane split and filter to stop the tailgating woes.
  20. The lower speed limits for Learner Bike riders in NSW and TAS don't help in this regard. As anal as Victorian legislators are, they at least got rid of this requirement many years ago. The forum get a lot of reports of people on L's being harassed by other road users. What is meant to be an indication to give that learner some respect and space has become an invitation to harass.
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