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Motorway tailgating and strange indicator light flashing sequence – what does it mean?
King Cut
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 01:09
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I was tailgated on the M4 earlier today in lane 3 at about 85mph, I put the brakes on and slowed to about 55, then I saw the tailgaters indicator lights flashing in some strange rapid sequence, like a - left-right left-right and left again.

Not the first time I've seen strange rapid indicator light flashing, about 5 years ago, a Merc in front of me tailgating another car late at night did a similar thing - did a short rapid secuence of flashing indicator lights, and five minutes later I saw the car pulled over to the hard-shoulder by police.

Whats with this flashing indicator lights?
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post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 01:09
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jobo
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 01:32
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get out of the flipping way you nob, at a guess


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Gan
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 01:38
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He was probably suggesting that the idiot in front didn't know which lane to use.

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Rallyman72
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 06:20
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Quite a number of cars now flash hazards when braking exceeds a certain level. In any case why should someone try and 'police' a motorway (or any other road) by baulking another car - you are supposed to get out of the way of faster traffic if you can.


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roythebus
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 06:21
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At a guess I'd agree with the above, you were in lane 3 @ 85, lanes 2 and 1 may have been empty, and they wanted you to move over. Why slow to 55? Rather silly, easier to move over.

Lane 3 is for overtaking.
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albert2008
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 07:53
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some strange rapid sequence, like a - left-right left-right and left again.

you have left your indicator on,
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King Cut
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 08:50
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Just to clarify some finer points.

There was no room for any overtaking as all three lanes were in use and my speed was consistent with other traffic in front of me in lane three. So I am still puizzled why, and what this dancing indactors lights is all about. The speed of the flashing sequence was much faster than normal indicators and hazzards

The light sequence on the 2005 incident from the Merc was different than from last night. On further recollection, it was both indicator lights flashing about 4 times within a second followed by a brief pause then the left indicator flashed about 4 times within a second. When I saw the car pulled by police, the hazzards were flashing normally - about once once per second.

I wondered if this was a feature of the car which the lights can be commanded to do that.

I have tried to emulate this with my own car sitting on the driveway and its almots impossible unless both hands are used and cannot be done 85mph.

This post has been edited by King Cut: Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 08:54
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redloner
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 08:50
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QUOTE (albert2008 @ Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 08:53) *
some strange rapid sequence, like a - left-right left-right and left again.

you have left your indicator on,

More than likely. It's what I do to try to tell someone they have an uncancelled indicator.

I don't normally get up their ar*e at 85 to tell them, though...
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Logician
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 09:14
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QUOTE (King Cut @ Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 09:50) *
On further recollection, it was both indicator lights flashing about 4 times within a second followed by a brief pause then the left indicator flashed about 4 times within a second.

That is the internationally recognised signal indicating "My flasher unit is bugg*red"


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dave-o
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 09:48
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Although lane courtesy should be observed, there is no excuse for tailgating.


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roythebus
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 10:10
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Rapid flashing does indicate the flasher unit is either biggered or you have a failed bulb.

The highway code sets out the occasions when flashing indicators and indeed flashing headlapms should be used. Any other use is meaningless.
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bossjohnc
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 11:16
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More than likely as others have said, it's a heavy brake warning intended for people following.

Many manufacturers build this in to their cars, it's automatic and the driver has no control over the signalling. I'm not entirely convinced on the legality of it, but no eyelids appear to have batted so far.

It appears that the driver following you needed to jump heavily on the brakes when you slowed down in order to maintain the little distance he had, because he didn't have much reaction time at all.
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dom
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 12:11
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QUOTE (King Cnut @ Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 02:09) *
Whats with this flashing indicator lights?


[IAMMODE]
It means the bulb is working.
[/IAMMODE]
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King Cut
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 14:26
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The rapid flashing lights happened before I slowed. This wasnt the automated hazzards coming on during rapid decelleration, even my own car does that.

It was is the tailgater was trying to say something - and was using some fincy gizmo that made his indicator/hazzards flash in an unusual way. The sequence was too fast to be done manually with indicator stick or hazzard button.

Does such a gizmo actually exist?

QUOTE (bossjohnc @ Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 12:16) *
it's a heavy brake warning intended for people following.

Many manufacturers build this in to their cars, it's automatic and the driver has no control over the signalling. I'm not entirely convinced on the legality of it,


Its legal because indicators flashing together means a warning to other drivers. Rapid decelleration on a motorway is a hazzard to drivers behind, so its a good thing the hazzard signal is deployed.
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roythebus
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 14:36
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Why bother with brake lights then?

Hazard lights are for use when a car has broken down, or on a motorway, to indicate queueing traffic or a hazard, not for rapid braking IIRC.

IAMMODE]
It means the bulb is working.
[/IAMMODE]

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bossjohnc
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 14:53
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QUOTE (King Cut @ Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 15:26) *
Its legal because indicators flashing together means a warning to other drivers. Rapid decelleration on a motorway is a hazzard to drivers behind, so its a good thing the hazzard signal is deployed.


It's not quite as simple as that... as well as Roy's valid comment above, the lighting regs say that hazards should be operable by 'one switch'. This suggests to me that they should be manual, not automated. If you count the automatic operation as a switch, then there are likely to be two switches rather than one.

I'm not suggesting that it's not a good idea, just that the written law doesn't allow for it. Much like it doesn't allow for HID xenon bulbs supplied on plenty of new cars, or flashing indicators to signal arming/disarming the alarm on a car.

This post has been edited by bossjohnc: Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 14:53
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RD400E
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 19:07
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QUOTE (King Cut @ Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 09:50) *
Just to clarify some finer points.

There was no room for any overtaking as all three lanes were in use and my speed was consistent with other traffic in front of me in lane three.



And you had plenty of time, despite following other vehicles travelling at 85mph ahead of you, to study the lights of the car behind you?
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King Cut
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 20:38
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In my rear-view mirror, you couldnt miss it.
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mickR
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 21:39
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All good arguments but my reconin is the cheeky f#8ker had a strobe light kit fitted in his flashers to look like he might be plod.
my son had these in his 4 wheel arches to light up the wheels but they can be fitted anywhere. they come in diferent colours with a control box to program the flashing sequence.
one was exactly as the police use two rapid left, two rapid right etc

like these:
http://www.virtualvillage.co.uk/car-led-st...CFSCY2Aod0HvlYw

http://www.m-99.co.uk/Car_Neon_LED_Lightin...strobe_kit.html
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King Cut
post Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 22:30
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I think you have hit the nail on the head, its a programmable lights kit.

The tailgating Merc's indicator lights flashed together rapidly, then the left indicators flashed rapidly - as if to tell the car in front to move over.

I couldnt recreate the same flashing sequence as quickly using hazzard switch and indicator stick while stationary let alone a few feet from the bumper of the car in front at 70+mph.

I admit, its a rather strange thing to install in a car, tailgaters normally highbeam the driver in front, but both occurances were at night.
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