After several years of convoys and losing the odd vehicle during a run we thought it was about time we shared a few rules and pieces of etiquette for the better way to keep a convoy together. Now it would be nice if other road users just stayed out of our way and the lights all stayed green ‘till we passed through them, but unless we get a police escort it just aint gonna happen. So, this is what we need to do as the authorities aren’t gonna help and we want to enjoy our convoy safely.
Do ‘Convoy Rules’ mean anything to you?
For those of you whom it doesn’t the following is intended to explain the meaning and purpose of a few simple rules.
The success of a convoy run depends on two things:
a) The driver of the lead car knowing where he is going!
b) The driver of each car staying, WITHOUT FAIL, with the car BEHIND and NOT THE CAR IN FRONT.
In practice this means that each driver, starting with the lead car, drives in such a way that they never lose visual contact, for any significant period, with the car following.
DO NOT attempt to stay with the car in front under any circumstance. Your responsibility and allegiance is with the car BEHIND you. Keep the car behind you in sight, if it is not then STOP in a safe place asap! The car in front of you will then realize that you have stopped and will also stop, and so forth until the lead car has also stopped.
You should drive at a speed and in such a way that the car behind you stays in visual contact.
This is the Fundamental Rule of Convoy driving.
The following are a few ideas/hints on how to achieve this:
Drive at a speed that you can comfortably maintain. If all goes to plan the actual speed of the convoy should be set by the slowest car. If you find you are pulling away from the car behind slow down slightly to allow them to maintain visual contact. Conversely if the car behind you closes the gap, and you are able and willing to raise the speed slightly, do so until you have re-established a reasonable gap between the cars.
Do not close up on the car in front unless the car behind has closed up on you! Try and maintain a constant speed, try not to keep speeding up and slowing down. The effect is accentuated as you pass down the convoy.
Space between cars. There is no set distance; it will depend on speed, road conditions and line of sight. On main roads the distance can be quite large allowing other vehicles to overtake easily; on country routes the gap should be reduced to aid visual contact but still allow space for other traffic to overtake. In town the gap should be as small as possible. This aids visual contact and maximises the number of cars that can pass through traffic lights etc during each sequence.
Use your indicators; make sure that if you are changing direction that you try and indicate in plenty of time for those that are following to be able to see that they need to change lanes or get in the correct lane for the change of direction.
If you go through a traffic light that changes to red the last car through should wait, somewhere safe, for the lights to change again and the next car comes through.
If you go around a roundabout always check that the person behind you is through. This may mean going around again (however many times is necessary). Don’t worry ‘cos the others in front of you will be stopped up and waiting for you.
It would be really handy for those that are going to attend the event to make themselves known in advance. Also, if they have CB radio’s fitted or if they are in anyway familiar with the route or even a part of the route then let us know. This would help with the organization and sorting of the convoy with key contacts placed in strategic positions being able to inform those ahead if there have been any issues occurring toward the rear of the convoy. If you are also carrying a passenger they could help with a little light route checking to help keep you on track and up with the rest of the convoy.
AND REMEMBER WE GENERALLY USE CHANNEL 23 ON THE CB