Club Runs - Convoy Rules

There is usually a low turn-out for Club runs during the Winter months, so it is not worth the time and effort to prepare a route sheet etc.  Equally, on a fine day a few members might, on the spur of the moment, arrange to meet up for a run out for a pub lunch or picnic, no time or need, to have a route sheet.  For these small events 'Convoy Rules' are in order.  When a local group meet up to travel to the start of an event, and home again, we automatically adopt convoy rules. 

Does 'Convoy Rules' mean anything to you?  For those for whom it doesn't the following is intended to explain the meaning and purpose of a few simple rules.

The success of a convoy run depends on two things:

a) the driver of the lead car knowing where he is going!

b) The driver of each car staying, WITHOUT FAIL, with the car BEHIND; NOT the car in front.

In practice this means that each driver, starting with the lead car, drives in such a way that they never lose visual contact, for any significant period, with the car following. 

DO NOT attempt to stay with the car in front under any circumstance.  Your responsibility and allegiance is with the car BEHIND you.  Keep the car behind you in sight, if it is not the STOP in a safe place asap!

You should drive at a speed and in such a way that the car behind you stays in contact.
This is the Fundamental Rule of Convoy driving.

The following are a few ideas/hints on how to achieve this:

a)  Drive at a speed that you can comfortably maintain. If all goes to plan the actual speed of the convoy should be set by the slowest car. If you find you are pulling away from the car behind slow down slightly to allow them maintain visual contact. Conversely if the car behind you closes the gap, and you are able and willing to raise the speed slightly, do so until you have re-established a reasonable gap between the cars.

b)  Do not close up on the car in front unless the car behind has closed up on you! Try and maintain a constant speed, try not to keep speeding up and slowing down. The effect is accentuated as you pass down the convoy.

c)  Space between cars. There is no set distance; it will depend on speed, road conditions and line of sight. On main roads the distance can be quite large allowing other vehicles to overtake easily; on country routes the gap should be reduced to aid visual contact but still allow space for other traffic to overtake. In town the gap should be as small as possible. This aids visual contact and maximises the number of cars that can pass through traffic lights etc during each sequence.


This article, prepared by the Club Committee, originally appeared in CA7C Seven Focus in Dec 2008 p17.


See also: Shall we do a Club Run?