The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

4,634 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This comes from the British Elise BBS. Advice for organizers and participants in group drives, looks like some good common-sense info, so I thought it might be useful ! :)

If nothing else, good fodder for debate...

More useful tips in the Scottish Elise Convoy Etiquette doc:

Scottish Elises Convoy Etiquette

A short summary of vital information for Convoy participants.

Pay may be asked questions on this later :)

* Summary
* Route Planning
* Driving Groups
* Signals
* Motorways


1. Take care to plan a sensible route in terms of timing, quality of roads, etc.
2. Publish the route to all participants.
3. Make sure everyone has a map, and a "worst case" rendezvous point in case all else fails!
4. Drive in groups of 4-5 max, following only the car in front, and keeping a weather eye on only the car immediately behind you.
5. Take great care when overtaking - the car in front may be fazed by yet another Elise popping into line in front!
6. Signal in line with the Highway Code unless clearly agreed with the whole group beforehand.
7. Always signal the turns in towns, and hang back at awkward or easily missed junctions out in the country to ensure the following car doesn't sail straight on.
8. Keep your distance on Motorways and don't swap places too often, this can be construed as "racing" by the local constabulary.
9. Agree meeting points on or just at the end of a Motorway section, to allow everyone to drive at their own pace if preferred.
10. Always have regard for the other (often gobsmacked/terrified/envious) motorists en route, and uphold our good reputation at all times ;-)

Route Planning

Don't overdo it with ambitious plans.

Think realistically about the terrain to be covered, and try to guess the traffic rates in advance. Without prior reliable local knowledge, use an average of 40mph max.

Consider using the most direct route to the area with best driving, which allows you to thrash around the good bits twice!

Pick sensible way-points for the start and end of each Leg of the trip, as well as for some intermediate points to allow re-orientation for those who go a bit "off-piste"! Some roadmaps highlight the towns which can be seen on major road signs; these are a good choice.

Ensure that everyone has a decent map, the route plan and have charged their mobile phone batteries (-: Walkie talkies would be good for a laugh but do they come in "hands free" kits?!

Build in stopping/catching-up points at sensible intervals; depends on the overall length of the route, and with motorways or good A-roads, 2-hour gaps are probably fine. But intensive twisty A-road or B-road stuff probably needs 1-hour breaks to keep everyone fresh (open to debate here).

List Trip meter distances, key junctions/road numbers or a combination of both allow even lone drivers a reasonable chance of following the route. Too much detail is hard to follow though, so keep instructions simple.

A map mile counter can make the distances accurate. The MS Autoroute format for route planning is very easy to follow when driving on one's own and would be fairly easy to do quickly.
Driving Groups

SIDC experience shows 4-5 cars max is a sensible size. Running up to 8 is not impossible, but needs more discipline. And it seriously fazes motorists being overtaken.

Interestingly the group has been naturally breaking up into this kind of size anyway. Driving near the back means that you get to drive the route yourself without trying to keep up by overtaking in pairs. It's certainly a bit more frantic in the middle. You also get to see all the people looking in disbelief at yet another Elise roaring past.

Therefore try not to overtake as a group unless there is plenty of clear road. If only one-car-gaps exist, let the group member in front start to tuck back into the new slot before accelerating past the slower car ahead of you. That way, if any one has to back out of a manoeuvre and slot back into place, you don't end up with no place to go! (Further advice welcome here).

The old saying is very relevant - Better to arrive 5 mins late for one place than 50 years too early for another.

Everyone should take a shot at the back as well as the front to calm themselves down from time to time. You get to drive at the same pace but, you are effectively on your own and are not trying to keep up quite as much. It's also worth it to hear the crescendo of exhausts when pulling away from junctions etc.

Here are some summary guidelines, courtesy of Fat Bob Fisics:

* As always, you are responsible for your own safety and that of those you overtake, while you are overtaking them. Remember if you piss off another driver on the road, they are likely to (a) be uncooperative towards your pals that are bringing up the rear and (b) call the police on their brand new virgin mobile, reporting a road race. Think about what you are doing - driving faster is fun, but it also brings with it the need for more concentration.
* Help keep the group together by waiting for the car behind you at junctions. Trust that the car in front will do the same for you at the next again junction. Also help the car behind overtake by staying in the right hand lane after overtaking the car in front for as long as you can safely see ahead. Leave your indicator on while you do this. It doesn't help if you move back to the left lane (the cars behind are left wondering if you can really see, or if you just forgot your indicators).
* If you want to go faster than the Elise in front, indicate this by leaving your right turn indicator on and perhaps tooting or flashing if they don't get the hint. The car in front should lift and wave you by. There is nothing wrong in wanting to go slower or faster and we should all cooperate to keep everyone driving at a pace they enjoy.
* Avoid bunching up - it is bad for your paint work, bad for your glass and more importantly, it is dangerous. If you drive too close to the car in front, you have to expect them to drive more slowly (because they now need twice the braking distance - theirs and yours). This is true regardless of whether or not the car in front is one of us. If you find yourself too close to the car in front, it makes sense to ease off a little to regain that safe gap.
* If you do not know where you are going, you cannot realistically overtake the lead car unless you are going to wait at the next junction - you will probably have to rejoin towards the back of the group and all in all you may have been better off staying put in the first place. If that doesn't suit, maybe next time try and bring a navigator or a map.

No doubt we could add to this list, but I think it is most important to emphasise three points:

* use common sense
* help each other
* don't piss off joe public.


Source of more confusion than assistance, it seems. Headlamp flashing is notoriously vague; using it in line with the Highway Code ruling that it is "to let another motorist know that you are there" is a good start. If necessary, probably best to agree a code with the group before setting out - eg, 2 flashes to pull in; 1 flash to move off, etc. But keep it simple! - Walkie talkies, perhaps that's the way ahead (-:.

When driving through towns not everyone has been signalling the turns. This makes it difficult for the peeps at the back to decide which lane they should be in at roundabouts or lights if they are some way back behind traffic. Not so bad when there is little traffic on the road.

OK, so it's boring to sit on the m-way at one speed in a long line moving in and out of the traffic. But it's far safer to keep your distance, stay in your position, to move back into the inside lane at the earliest opportunity, not to dive in front of a car that the leading cars have just passed as this can cause accidents as they suddenly brake hard because you've surprised them. After all we don't generally spend too much time on the M-way so no need to go mad for the few miles we do cover.

Another school of thought is to agree a meeting point at or near the end of the M-way (or part way down, if it's a long stretch) and just drive to rendezvous there. Theoretically the Fuzz can charge you with "racing" if there's too much zipping in and out of traffic and swapping of places on motorways especially.

Feel free to debate the above material on the list. It would be heartbreaking to have a disaster on one of our legendary drives, so we should try hard to adopt some kind of voluntary code...particularly for the moments when the Red Mist *does* descend, or the adrenalin is flowing too freely.

3,927 Posts
Been doing runs with the MR2 folks for a while. Those walkie-talkies come in real handy, more so with the front car radar detector on.;) Pretty much common sense stuff.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts