Motorcycle Traffic Riding Error

      No Comments on Motorcycle Traffic Riding Error

Riding a motorcycle is hazardous to your health if you are not very careful and conservative. As a rider this is unsurprising. Yesterday here in Scarborough/Toronto, Ontario, Canada I made a riding error that involved a bus. Luckily for me I did not crash, there was no traffic behind me, and very little traffic around me. Still, I give pause to analyze my actions, improve my riding and ultimately to ride another day.

Situation: Turning right at an intersection on a green light. I am in the curb lane. There is a stopped black car directly in front of me, and then a large TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) bus, also stopped, in front of him, in the bus turnout lane. There are 6 people at the curb waiting to board the bus. The black car also wants to turn right at the intersection. I approach at about 40 kph, ready to make the right turn.

Though we have a green light, the bus is stopped at the intersection. There are 6 people waiting to get on the bus. The black car has wedged itself right under the bumper of the bus and cannot move. I read traffic as the bus will stop to pick up its passengers. I have a green light and the black car cannot go around the bus. I try to make the right hand turn around the left side of the bus, from the curb lane.

Outcome: The bus starts to turn right just as I start my right turn. It does not let passengers on. As a large vehicle it turns wide, using both lanes after the right turn, and therefore blocking the other lane, the one I was going to turn into. I am forced to stop in the intersection. Once the bus has turned the black car follows. I am forced to stop in the middle of my right turn and in the middle of the intersection. Luckily there is no traffic going straight behind me and there is no traffic turning left from the opposite direction. I follow the black car and complete my right turn.

Observation: The bus was “out of service” and would not stop for passengers. This is very rare on this stretch of road. This is not displayed on the bus so that I could see, either from the back or from the left side of the bus. The bus stopped at the intersection, even though we had a green light, in order to allow people to cross the road. This was obscured from my view by the body of the bus. I am sure the large bus, with its huge blind spots, combined with the small area of my motorcycle, did not see me at all.

Conclusion: I was impatient and my actions could have seen me bite pavement. It would have been more prudent to wait my turn, especially on a motorcycle. The events with the bus, while rare, can and did happen. There was no fault on the part of the bus or car. Next time I will wait my turn. A public bus is a large vehicle with large blind spots. It cannot see you on a motorcycle, so give it wide berth and stay well back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *