One of the common sights you may have seen on television when the Head of State is traveling is the procession of motorcade protective services followed by the car in which he/she is seated.
The word ‘motorcade’ means a procession of people traveling in motor vehicles, either a motorcycle or car. Motorcade services are used for various purposes, from VIP (Very Important People) movement, funerals, protests and demonstrations, and traffic diversions.
What is Motor Escort Service?
Motor escort service is a crucial part of many events and often necessary to control traffic and prevent any unfortunate incident. The presence of a motorcade indicates that an important event is underway, and people on the roads have to give room to the motorcade.
The motor escorts are skilled, trained professionals who control and stop traffic at intersections to allow the procession of funeral or VIPs to pass. Apart from high-level government officials, motor escort services can be used for funerals or other private events.
The motor escorts ensure that the customer vehicles stay together and easily reach their destination without any hindrances. The motorcade protective services can be booked for a wide range of funerals, weddings, parades, sports team movement or celebration, and VIP or celebrity travel.
The motor escorts usually adorn the same uniform and ride similar motorbikes to distinguish from a distance easily. The uniform displays unity, professionalism, and teamwork.
The main purpose of motorcade service is to assist the movement of the procession from one place to another in a safe and efficient way. The key things that a motorcade officer has to consider are
- Ensure safe movement of the vehicles that are in the procession
- Safety of the motoring public and other pedestrians on the street
- Safety of all the motor escort officers on the motorbikes
The size of a motorcade varies according to the event and situation. A motor escort can be as minimum as 2 motorbikes in front of a single vehicle or a dozen or so motorbikes followed by a procession of 30 or 40 vehicles.
The motorcade of high-level government officials such as the Head of State, foreign dignitaries, and VIPs can result in closing roads and stopping the traffic for a few minutes. The motorcade protective services usually travels at a fast speed. The motor escorts of funerals or weddings may not close roads, and the procession may move with traffic and obey all the rules.
The Duties of Motor Escort Officials
The escort duties may seem simple and require little or no training. However, since the motorcade official has to ride on a motorcycle, he needs to get proper training and license to drive the motorcycle efficiently.
The motorcade duties are performed as a part of the shift, and the motor escort officials may perform the regular patrol duties before and after the event. One has to plan the motor escort events carefully as many times there is traffic on the road that one has to manage.
The motor escort is planned from the origin to the destination; the route is defined along with the traffic signals on the route. The average number of vehicles at the given time is also analyzed so that the procession can travel smoothly. As the motorcade officials drive at a fast speed, sometimes it does result in accidents and injuries. If you are looking to book motor escort services for a funeral or wedding, you need to consult an agency that provides motorcade protective services.
Why Employ Escort Services of only one Agency
The best reason to employ one agency is getting motorcade officials who have worked previously before and can easily coordinate their actions. The motorcade officials may also be familiar with all the routes, the number of vehicles on the road at a particular time, and all the traffic rules.
The best way to ensure that the event runs smoothly is asking the motor escort officials to drive the route before the event so that they can know the roads and amount of traffic and then time the speed of procession accordingly.
If more than one agency is employed, it can increase the complexity of the motor escort service. The motorcade officials may be experts but leading a procession requires proper teamwork and coordination, and only those officials can perform it better who have worked together on previous occasions.
When the procession vehicles increase, you will require more motor escort officials to handle the procession. The main concern is the safety of the people in the procession and also obeying the traffic rules. If multiple escort agencies are employed, it is better to ask the motorcade officials to do training together and plan to manage the escort service smoothly.
The motor escort officials have to ride the motorcycles and constantly remain in communication with each other and drivers of the vehicles in the procession. A system of call signs is also used to signal and alert for communication through voice is not established.
Once the motor escort agency is booked, the next step is to set some of the basic rules. The escort agency has to determine whether to move the procession with the regular traffic flow or manage the traffic by the closure of roads. If the procession is large, then controlling it by managing all the traffic rules can be challenging.
If the procession has to follow the traffic rules or control the route of traffic are two factors that need to be decided before the event day. However, some of the basic rules of motor escort services are
- Ensuring the lane position
- Transitioning in and off the freeways
- Use of emergency lights
- Wearing high visibility vest
The motor escort services display a look of professionalism and ensure that the procession can safely travel from one place to another. The motorcade officials can escort guests at weddings and also mourners from service to the cemetery. The number of motor escort officials depends on the number of vehicles. One motorcade rider can handle 10 vehicles. Motor escort riders must map the best route, distribute placards to identify the cars in the procession, and help safely park the vehicles