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Neville Riley  says:

Speed Limits and the IAM

I have been riding/driving for over 52 years, so I am not a young tearaway. Having covered over two million miles with only a couple of minor accidents you may think I know something about road safety. I passed my IAM bike test in 2006 but I am seriously considering resigning from the IAM. When renewing my membership I am...

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  • Posted 6 years ago (12 March 2009 11:37)

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Nov 02

Posts: 1336

norris says:


Yes,agree with your point. Also been riding/driving over 30 years, and cover 15,000 business miles and around 8,000 miles on the bike. Just got my first points in 30 years by an hidden camera van hiding behind a wall while working. This on a country road with nothing but the odd farm building and obviously a wall. (Road safety?)


IAM? Went out with a group end of last year after starting chatting to some of them, but when we came to head home, they sent someone over to tell myself and my friend, they weren't willing to ride back with us. (too fast) suited us, as they were painfully slow.

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Mar 09

Posts: 122

mikejj says:


Sorry to say this because as members you will no doubt be offended but as a professional Driving Instructor for 20yrs, I have never rated the IAM as anything more than well meaning but often misguided amatures

Your comments about appropriate speed and good observation make my point. I agree that these two factors are the key to road safety and not compliance to what is written in t booook.  

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Mar 08

Posts: 24

mac'o'bolton says:

IAM Members

Do you think there is a teeny weeny chance you could take yourselves, indicator bulb wattage, the colour of hazard warning signs etc a bit too seriously....

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Jul 07

Posts: 201

Dazthenewbie says:

Was considering IAM's

training until now, dont you guys recommend it? do you think ROSPA would be a better choice or much the same?

Its a bit worrying when people of your experience & knowledge start complaining about them.

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Dec 03

Posts: 317

hairyMuppet says:

Good training is always good

But I do not rate my local IAM group at all.  Crashes seemed regular and they appeared to suffer from a god complex.  On one observed ride, the observer state about 0.5m behind me the whole way - hardly what I would call safe.  I felt pressurised to ride much faster than I wanted to (sometimes over the limit).  They also loved to debate the use of the "Hendon Shuffle " and other bollocks for hours, truly painful.  I was chastised for  "over signalling" (I believe one should always signal as a fail-safe to making an observational error as one am human, not a god; even if IAM qualified).  After a serious crash with them (multiple bikes involved) I left and have never gone back.  I would think very long and hard before going near the IAM (your local group may be fine of course, but you have no real way of assessing their standard).

This is a shame as one of the best way to reduce the risk of accidents is to improve your skills and not have an accident in the first place (or, at least, mitigate the consequences).

I have no experience of RoSPA or other groups, so I cannot comment on them.

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Apr 06

Posts: 2672

parapanfan says:


Multiple accident?

In Chester by any chance?

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Feb 09

Posts: 16

Hommedv says:

I was a police trained advanced car driver from 1977 to 1988 and have easily transferred the skill since then into biking. I would never have anything to do with the IAM as they are amateurs playing at it and as with a lot of things, a little knowledge is dangerous. Police advanced training was undertaken then at speed well in excess of the national limit, and  the 'advanced' referred to better observations and concentration, and more importantly, how observations were interpreted. I have seen IAM members swerving at 30 mph on a straight piece of road to avoid going over a metal grate cover in the road which offers no danger in those circumstances, ( and in the process, doing the unexpected) and it is this strict sort of adherence and inflexibility of thought that marks them out, in the main, as a danger to themselves. However my lasting memory of them is how they think they are right. I'm the first to chastise myself if I get things wrong.

I still go fast in the right places too.

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Jan 06

Posts: 3

vajrapaddy says:

yeah thats right,lets knock bikers that are generally trying to improve their bike riding skills and mindfulness on the road for the benefit of themselves and others-how can we knock that intention ?,so what if you don`t like the way some of them operate ...uh we do all have our own distinct way of doing and viewing things.

we all need to learn something and no one is safe on the road without being as mindful of our actions and consideration for others (even if that consideration is "everyone is as stupid and as vulnerable as i am so expect the unexpected" and gain the skills needed to ride safe and enjoy it.

are you a selfish road user ? or are you always thinking equally of others ? after all they could be your son/daughter,mum,dad or friend hopefully they will consider you as equally as you would consider them

just because we`ve had fifty years experience without mishap doesn`t make us invulnerable,you say riding slow decreases you concentration and in the same paragraph say we should improve our observational skills,we need concentration to be able to observe things-focus/single pointed mindfulness,so it seems you have contradicted yerself alittle,but nevermind we can all make mistakes and want not to make them again in the future.

sorry,waffle waffle-keep the speed limits as they are and make basic bike riding skills a compulsory part of being a road user (other vehicular users included) man sounds like utopian PIPE dream.

cheers safe riding



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Jun 06

Posts: 18

essarremm says:

IAM & Organisations

I think some of the point is being missed here.  Advanced riding skills training (however you diefine 'advanced') is usually a good thing.  As motorcyclists we need to be constantly aware that we ride essentially unstable machines, if we stop, we fall over unless we take action (foot down), and so on.  But (like the Euor-fighter plane) that instability makes for manouverability when in trained hands.  However, some training is too pedantic, too rigid.  We must constantly think, observer, assess, risk evaluate and take actions (maintaining a plan b, or c or more), not just follow an enhanced/extended set of rules.

IAM & RosPA are 'organisations' and as such are affected by a a group mentality that sometimes overcomes common sense and proscribes some techniques and standards that 'normal' people find difficult to accept or comply with at all times.

I think one point here is that the IAM do not attempt to participate in the 'speed' debate, despite a plethora of evidence that 'speed' on it's own is not the problem.  It is this absence of response that infuriates me, and is leading me to consider my subscription fees.  I am an IAM qualified rider and I'm training to be an IAM observer and a CBT instructor, I am passionate about learning and teaching good riding skills, but I am also disgusted at the political (and somewhat arbitary) use of speed limits as a tool to gain votes or raise money rather than a considered element in a true road safety strategy.

I sympathise with Neville, whose reason for considering leaving the IAM is not that he thinks rider training is a bad thing, but he feels that the IAM is not doing enough to try and argue the case for proper road safety measures and resist the knee-jerk response of lowered speed limits and more cameras.

Better training, more evenly applied (to all road users) and more relevant testing (maybe a re-test every 5 years, even) is what's needed. 

If the organisation you pay money to doesn't support these views, then,like Neville, you may wish to consider stopping your monetary support to them.

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Dec 03

Posts: 317

hairyMuppet says:


Nope, not in Chester as it happens.  I guess their attitude to safety and speed isn't resticted to my neck of the woods then.  My understanding of the IAM attitude to speed is "the sign is advisory, you may exceed it if you wish as you have better skills".  And that is my experience of their riding.

essarremm - you are right, better training should lead to better drivers.  It is just a shame that you will not get better training form the likes of the IAM.  At least, not round here.

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