EKAM is clear that the Drop Off and Buddy Systems are not suitable for guiding groups of riders on motorways and trunk roads. This is especially true in poor light and congestion. We always have advocated that in all circumstances riders must ride for themselves; attempting to help some one else navigate is a potentially dangerous distraction and should be avoided.
So what shall we do when our route takes on the one of these roads? It comes down to ride leader to make clear the details about the motorway sections (ie. the joining and leaving junctions along with headings). Additionally the ride leader needs to be clear about the next rendezvous point (RVP) after the motorway so that all riders know where to head for if they are delayed. Each rider in the group is fully responsible his own navigation to the next RVP.
When the ride leaves the motorway to get to the agreed RVP it should be possible to continue with the guidance system previously used. In choosing the RVP the ride leader needs to think about the safety and convenience of the riders. A local roadside spot might be suitable for regrouping and to complete a head count. Some ride leaders might prefer to complete their headcount at a more distant RVP; perhaps a cafe where waiting for missing riders to call and catch up will be more comfortable and safer for fifteen or twenty bikes.
Lots of things can go wrong that cause anyone in the group to fall short or overshoot the intended exit. You might see one of the group on the hard shoulder of a motorway or at the side of the trunk road. What do you do? EKAM is clear that we cannot tell or expect any rider to stop on a motorway or clearway. The law does allow you (but not a bunch of riders) to stop on a hard shoulder or clearway to offer help to clear the obstruction.
Should you or the back marker stop? If you stop then the back marker probably mustn't and is therefore free to keep the rest of the ride together. How long do you stay? Is recovery needed? Does the rider have recovery? Has the rider had an accident? Does the rider need medical help? The advice from police and other emergency services is unless you have specialist knowledge, even if you are first on scene, is to carry on and pay attention to your riding and other traffic. In short each individual rider will have to make his own decision.
The essential message is that the ride leader must be clear about which junctions and headings will be used for joining and leaving motorways. He must be clear about his actions should the ride break down and tell the remainder of the ride what is happening. He needs to have identified RVPs to all riders. Additionally each rider must be sure that he knows how to navigate the motorway and to the RVPs and realise if he doesn't he might be on his own. The ride leader cannot tell other riders what to do if they come across an awkward situation. He can ask, though, that riders do try to telephone or text with an update.