I know, you’re going to ask what’s ASL? ASL stands for Advanced Stop Line, and consists of the area before a traffic light, after the solid white line, and the pedestrian crossing.
Bicyclists are expected to use this “box”, giving them an opportunity to leave on the green light first. However, in some countries, motorcyclists are now given the same chance. Notably in Spain (Madrid and Barcelona), motorcycle riders can pass the cars and position themselves in first position. Test in Spain have proven that this is effective and safer for bikers. (see photos)
The UK authorities are now going to test the same principle. In 12 locations, they are going to mount video cameras to study the behavior of cyclists, bikers and cars drivers.
According to MAG (Motorcycle Action Group) campaign manager, David Short: “A major factor in motorcycle safety is creating space between motorcyclists and other road users. The major successes in getting motorcycles in bus lanes is one such example and this study into allowing motorbikes to use advanced stop lines is a further example of how seriously the Department of Transport is taking motorcyclists views on how to improve road safety. MAG urges those local authorities who have introduced advanced stop lines at junctions to take part in this study and make a positive contribution to road safety. “.
This is a good sign. If other countries would consider this, it would make life a lot easier and safer for motorcycles. Of course the attitude of the car drivers is going to play an important role.