OSM PSL

OSM PSL

Introduction

The approach to any junction ( and quite a few other manoeuvres ) is essentially always the same.
Observation Signal Manoeuvre Position Speed Look
The system is actually very flexible, not rigid and your examiner during the Module Two test will want to see you use the system but adapt it to the different situations you come across. Some parts of the system can overlap, for example as you are slowing for the junction you almost certainly going to be looking at the same time.
Observation

This actually means a rear observation , normally a right hand mirror check is enough, and it doesn’t need to be over exaggerated.
It can sometimes make more sense to use the left hand mirror, so do, occasionally you might want to check both, if you feel the need then back up the mirror check with an appropriate blind spot check. But have a reason for whatever you do.
This observation needs to be done early enough to comfortably run through the rest of the system. So obviously the faster you are travelling then the earlier you will need to start. A good of rule of thumb is to make the Observation at the road sign for the junction, this doesn’t always work but it is a good starting point. Change the point where you would take a rear observation if needed, for example it does not make sense to be looking behind right on top of a hazard.
Signal

Use an indicator to signal what you want to do, at this point maintain your speed and position.
The signal is to send a message about what you are going to do next, give time for the message to be received, a lot of riders signal and then almost immediately start to manoeuvre. Don’t!
Manoeuvre

You need to position the bike neatly for the next part of the system, before changing position consider whether or not you need a blind spot check. You might already be pretty much where you need to be or you might need a large position change for example turning left just having passed a large vehicle parked near the junction. Check out the blind spot if you need to if you are changing position by more than a small amount. Remember there is no need for a blind spot check if you are only changing position slightly or not at all.

Position

You typically should be in position about half way between your initial Observation and the junction, you may need to change this because of parked vehicles etc. For example if there is a vehicle parked on the right hand side of the road near the right hand turn you want it makes sense to delay the position change so that there is room for oncoming vehicles as long as possible.
Be tidy, position yourself neatly where you need to be, well left to turn left off the main road ( but don’t ride in a cycle lane ), neatly near the centre line turning right, middle of your lane only if it is a dedicated lane leading to where you are going. By changing position you are emphasizing where you are going and freeing up space for other road users. Of course you can not always be in the ” correct spot “, cycle lanes, parked vehicles etc will all alter where you need to be positioned.
Speed

Start dropping off the speed smoothly, changing down the gears as needed, try and adjust the speed to arrive at the junction at right moment, there is no point in arriving too soon and having to stop, you will also need to lose enough speed to safely negotiate the junction, and give yourself enough time to look. If you have arrived slowly and it is safe and legal to follow through then do. If you need to stop then do, ” undue hesitation ” is not a fail on test unless you keep doing it

Look

This Look refers to checking whether or not it is safe to make the turn/follow through.
You should be starting this as early as possible, my first ” Look ” normally starts as soon as I can see the junction, but as you get closer you can generally see more and more.
Looking at T Junctions

At T junctions where you are turning onto the main road, you need to look at least twice in each direction, more if needed. These looks at T junctions are normally described as right left right left. It does make more sense though to start looking in the direction you can see the most first, so if left right is better why not ?.
Make sure you look at least twice in each direction, it will will give you a much better idea of the approach speed of other vehicles on the main road. The first look will show what the vehicle is and how far away it is, the second look will help you judge the speed as you can see how far the vehicle has moved between looks.
There is no rush to join the main road, keep scanning in each direction and when it is safe and you can join the main road with out bothering another road user then follow through. It is not your fault if the main road is busy and you need to wait !
When moving off it is actually quicker to use slow controlto turn neatly onto the main road and then accelerate up to speed in a straight line.
If you try and move off ” quickly ” you risk stalling the bike by getting off the clutch to soon, and/or running wide, you will then need to reposition the bike before you can pick up speed again.
Don’t forget to cancel signals before the first gear change, and take a mirror check to make sure every thing is still where you expected it to be.
Looking to turn off the main road

On the approach as you are slowing down start scanning the junction, check out all the things that affect your safe speed in exactly the same way you would access a corner.

Visibility
Road surface
Camber
Obstructions
Sharpness
Before you commit to turning if you could be over/undertaken check the mirror and then the blind spot. Most riders leave this to late. Don’t do it early but do it early enough to deal with a problem !
If you are neatly positioned to turn left with no space to your left then there is no need to check the blind spot. If you are turning left and there is space beside you ( for example a cycle lane ) then make sure you check that blind spot.
Remember pedestrians crossing the side road have the right of way, be prepared to stop for them, if they are clearly waiting for you then follow through but they have priority.
When turning right give way to on coming traffic, if you arrange to arrive when there is a gap in the oncoming traffic do. Make sure you check for pedestrians crossing the side road as they have right of way ( see above ).
When turning right it would be very unusual to be in a situation where you couldn’t be overtaken and/or have someone to try a beat you on the turn into the side road. For this reason you always check the right hand blind spot before you commit to making the turn.
Try and anticipate a gap in the on coming traffic and check out the blind spot, then look ahead and if is still safe go.
If there is no oncoming traffic still make the time to check the right hand blind spot, then look ahead and then turn, there is no rush !
Use slow control if the turn is a bit tight, don’t swing it across the corner and cut across the give way line in the side road.
Don’t forget to cancel signals before the first gear change, and take a mirror check to make sure every thing is still where you expected it to be.