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Full Version: Motorway tailgating and strange indicator light flashing sequence – what does it mean?
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King Cut
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?
jobo
get out of the flipping way you nob, at a guess
Gan
He was probably suggesting that the idiot in front didn't know which lane to use.

Rallyman72
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.
roythebus
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.
albert2008
some strange rapid sequence, like a - left-right left-right and left again.

you have left your indicator on,
King Cut
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.
redloner
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...
Logician
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"
dave-o
Although lane courtesy should be observed, there is no excuse for tailgating.
roythebus
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.
bossjohnc
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.
dom
QUOTE (King Cnut @ Thu, 8 Jul 2010 - 02:09) *
Whats with this flashing indicator lights?


[IAMMODE]
It means the bulb is working.
[/IAMMODE]
King Cut
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.
roythebus
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]

Now it works, now it don't; now it works, now it don't....
bossjohnc
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.
RD400E
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?
King Cut
In my rear-view mirror, you couldnt miss it.
mickR
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
King Cut
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.
strollingplayer
If the other two lanes were both full, slowing down was probably the correct course of action - maintained space between you and the car in front. IMO, the obligation to move over for faster traffic does not apply to those exceeding the speed limit. If you're in lane 3 at ~70mph, then surely there can be no faster traffic, therefore you cannot possibly be obstructing anything that isn't on blues and twos (and therefore exempt from most restrictions).
roythebus
Sorry Strolling Player, but the outside lane 9lane 3) is for overtaking. I agree with your comment about slowing down being the correct course of action in this case maybe, very wise, BUT there's been cases of drivers being nicked by the BiB for obstructing lane 3 by driving at 70 in lane 3 to regulate the speed of those wishing to break the law and travel faster than 70. That reasoning doesn't hold water.

There may have been an emergency vehicle a few cars back and the cars in front had to speed up to find a gap to pull into. you never know, but then none of us has the right to obstruct the way of another, no matter how fast they may be going.
strollingplayer
QUOTE (roythebus @ Fri, 9 Jul 2010 - 06:15) *
Sorry Strolling Player, but the outside lane 9lane 3) is for overtaking. I agree with your comment about slowing down being the correct course of action in this case maybe, very wise, BUT there's been cases of drivers being nicked by the BiB for obstructing lane 3 by driving at 70 in lane 3 to regulate the speed of those wishing to break the law and travel faster than 70. That reasoning doesn't hold water.

If you're not able to overtake the vehicle in lane 1 at 70, quite rightly you shouldn't be in lane 2, but if the motorway is busy and you are still proceeding faster than the vehicles in lane 1, you are overtaking, and therefore have every right to be in lane 2, regardless of the speed of the vehicle behind you. Lather, rinse, and repeat until you run out of lanes.

QUOTE
There may have been an emergency vehicle a few cars back and the cars in front had to speed up to find a gap to pull into.

That would seem to me to be poor form - if there's an emergency vehicle on blue lights, you make space for it. If you're in lane 2 (of 3), you slow down to allow drivers in lane 3 to move out of the way. Though frequently I've seen emergency vehicles on the hard shoulder.

QUOTE
you never know, but then none of us has the right to obstruct the way of another, no matter how fast they may be going.

If you're at 70, you're not obstructing anyone. Being in lane 3 when you could be in lane 2 is another issue entirely.
JagDriver
So you have the right to administer the law then?
nomadros
QUOTE (strollingplayer @ Fri, 9 Jul 2010 - 03:23) *
If you're in lane 3 at ~70mph, then surely there can be no faster traffic, therefore you cannot possibly be obstructing anything that isn't on blues and twos (and therefore exempt from most restrictions).


This is the sort of stupid w*****ish attitude that causes crashes. If someone comes up behind you, then they are going faster than you. You need to stay left as far as practicable. Whether the person behind you is exceeding the speed limit or not is not your call.

By your actions you will cause that person to probably undertake you or be extremely p*ssed off or both and that is bad for road safety.

Actions such as brake stabbing, lane hogging and a "holier than though" attitude cause crashes; understanding what's going on around you, being courteous and adapting your driving to the conditions does not cause crashes. Simples!

You don't drive a 3 series BMW do you?
Rallyman72
QUOTE (nomadros @ Fri, 9 Jul 2010 - 13:05) *
This is the sort of stupid w*****ish attitude that causes crashes. If someone comes up behind you, then they are going faster than you. You need to stay left as far as practicable. Whether the person behind you is exceeding the speed limit or not is not your call.

You don't drive a 3 series BMW do you?

I couldn't agree more other than to add or a VW Passat?
JagDriver
or anything by Audi
4by4
QUOTE
If you're in lane 3 at ~70mph, then surely there can be no faster traffic, therefore you cannot possibly be obstructing anything that isn't on blues and twos (and therefore exempt from most restrictions).


I take it from this you do have a calibrated speedometer so you can be sure you actually are doing 70?

It is people with your attitude that cause accidents and delays on roads that would otherwise be more freely flowing and safer for everyone.
JagDriver
Also you are unlikely to get pulled even at 79 mph
southpaw82
Bugger me, the judgmental brigade are out in force today, eh? rolleyes.gif
Fredd
First thread I've read where the bus drivers were accusing BMW and Audi drivers of driving at the speed limit, though. ohmy.gif
captain swoop
I saw a white van using the inside lane on the A1 today so anything is possible.
MartinHP71
QUOTE (captain swoop @ Fri, 9 Jul 2010 - 17:14) *
I saw a white van using the inside lane on the A1 today so anything is possible.


Now you are really stretching the imagination of the thread !!!! Santa Claus exists .. but a careful driving White Van Man .. nawwwww biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif (no offence transit man )
roythebus
Thanks for the compliment Freddddd. lol.
strollingplayer
QUOTE (nomadros @ Fri, 9 Jul 2010 - 13:05) *
If someone comes up behind you, then they are going faster than you.

Point being? Right-hand lanes are for overtaking. If the slower vehicle in front of you is overtaking slower vehicles to their left, they're entitled to be in that lane regardless of what speed you're doing.

QUOTE
By your actions you will cause that person to probably undertake you or be extremely p*ssed off or both and that is bad for road safety.

If there were some bizarre leap of logic that would somehow make my safe, responsible and legal driving responsible for the accidents your unsafe, irresponsible and illegal driving causes, how would I avoid it? Should I drive less safely, less responsibly, or less legally?
roythebus
The point being if you're overtaking, and someone approaches you from behind, the obvious thing to do is move left when safe and clear to do so and let them pass safely. Don't hog lane 3 (or lane 2 for that matter).
strollingplayer
QUOTE (roythebus @ Sat, 10 Jul 2010 - 06:49) *
The point being if you're overtaking, and someone approaches you from behind, the obvious thing to do is move left when safe and clear to do so and let them pass safely. Don't hog lane 3 (or lane 2 for that matter).

Who said anything about hogging the lane?
andy_foster
The question appears to be what constitutes 'overtaking' (for the purposes of whether or not you should be in that lane).

In general, if you aren't going to reach the next car on your inside in the next 10 seconds, you are not overtaking. If you are holding up faster traffic, you're being a tw*t if you're in the outside lane. If you are not holding up faster traffic, you should avoid unnecessary lane changes.

The exception to this, is that if you are in a queue of traffic (whether doing 15 mph or 115 mph) and cannot go any faster due to the queue of traffic ahead of you, you are not really holding up faster traffic.

If you find changing lanes difficult because you have problems with spatial awareness, or because everything just happens too fast, either stick to the inside lane, or get off the f**king road.
roythebus
Sounds about right Andy!
wobblyBiker
QUOTE (strollingplayer @ Sat, 10 Jul 2010 - 06:41) *
QUOTE (nomadros @ Fri, 9 Jul 2010 - 13:05) *
If someone comes up behind you, then they are going faster than you.

Point being? Right-hand lanes are for overtaking. If the slower vehicle in front of you is overtaking slower vehicles to their left, they're entitled to be in that lane regardless of what speed you're doing.

QUOTE
By your actions you will cause that person to probably undertake you or be extremely p*ssed off or both and that is bad for road safety.

If there were some bizarre leap of logic that would somehow make my safe, responsible and legal driving responsible for the accidents your unsafe, irresponsible and illegal driving causes, how would I avoid it? Should I drive less safely, less responsibly, or less legally?


Um but your driving isn't safe if you are deliberatly causing someone else to brake when they didn't need to. In fact I believe you are guilty of driving dangerously. Who are you claiming your driving is responsible for? If its you, you are putting yourself at risk by hoping that another driver will react in the fashion you expect when you deliberately endanger yourself seems to be the definition of irresponsibility. "I put my safety into the hands of a person who is already (im my opinion) breaking the law and driving recklessly, despite being able to avoid the situation entirely."

Driving at the speed limit has no bearing whatsoever on whether your driving is safe.
Transit man
QUOTE (MartinHP71 @ Fri, 9 Jul 2010 - 17:41) *
QUOTE (captain swoop @ Fri, 9 Jul 2010 - 17:14) *
I saw a white van using the inside lane on the A1 today so anything is possible.


Now you are really stretching the imagination of the thread !!!! Santa Claus exists .. but a careful driving White Van Man .. nawwwww biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif (no offence transit man )

I can take it biggrin.gif

Just an aside, is it just me, or are Vauxhall Insignia drivers trying to replace Audi drivers (who recently replaced BMW drivers) as the arses of lane 3?
strollingplayer
QUOTE (wobblyBiker @ Sat, 10 Jul 2010 - 11:52) *
Um but your driving isn't safe if you are deliberatly causing someone else to brake when they didn't need to.

Sure, you can keep believing that if you like, and you can tell the police and the insurance company that if an accident results. The simple fact of the matter is that (on a two-lane carriageway) if I'm overtaking, I'm entitled to be in lane 2, and I'm going to stay in lane 2 until I'm done overtaking, and not before. Mile-long processions of HGVs and old people are not uncommon down my way, so if you're fortunate enough to find yourself behind me on a long overtake at around 70, I'm not about to cut someone up just because the person behind me is impatient. Many people seem to have a strangely liberal idea of what amounts to a "gap" (hint: 100m between two HGVs is not a gap). I'm also not going to refrain from overtaking on the off-chance that some pr*ck doing 100mph might be somewhere beyond the view of my rear mirror.

QUOTE
Who are you claiming your driving is responsible for? If its you, you are putting yourself at risk by hoping that another driver will react in the fashion you expect when you deliberately endanger yourself seems to be the definition of irresponsibility. "I put my safety into the hands of a person who is already (im my opinion) breaking the law and driving recklessly, despite being able to avoid the situation entirely."

By the same logic, nobody should ever leave the house, because they are potentially putting their safety into the hands of other people who could be madmen with shotguns for all you know.

QUOTE
Driving at the speed limit has no bearing whatsoever on whether your driving is safe.

Yes, I like the taste of herring too.
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