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Lane filtering and cheaper helmets coming

Queensland has changed several rules concerning motorcycles that may impact on other states. Read the rule changes here.

From next year Queensland will join NSW in allowing lane filtering. It will also introduce cheaper helmets from overseas and permit riders to stretch their legs and stand up while riding.

Some of the restrictions included in NSW lane filtering laws introduced this year will not be included in Queensland. While NSW riders will not be allowed to filter beside buses and trucks, it is only a recommendation in Queensland. NSW riders can’t filter beside kerbs or in the break-down lane, but it will be allowed in Queensland on roads with speed limits of 90km/h or more. Queenslanders will also be allowed to enter the green bicycle storage areas at traffic light. Like NSW, the laws restrict learners and provisional riders from filtering, only up to 30km/h and no filtering in school zones.

It seems only a matter of time before more states join in with lane filtering rules with the ACT considering it and the Victorian opposition endorsing lane filtering. However, it could also lead to a situation where slightly different laws in each state create confusion and traps for the unwary motorcyclist.

father's day lane filteringQueensland has also gone maverick by axing the rules around Australian standards for helmets, permitting helmets with European, US and Japanese safety standards or any other helmet that adheres to United Nations standards. That will mean riders can buy cheaper helmets over the internet. It also means distributors will be able to bring helmets in at a cheaper price – at least for Queenslanders – because they do not have to pay for extra testing to pass Australian standards.

However, it could create confusion as riders travel interstate and leave distributors with a stockpile of expensive helmets.

Hopefully it will force other states to follow suit so we don’t have the ridiculous situation of Queensland riders travelling to another state and being fined for an illegal helmet or interstate riders buying a helmet while in Queensland that they find is non-compliant when they return home.

Queensland has also axed some arcane rider control laws that stupidly prevented riders from taking a foot off the pegs to stretch their legs, take both feet off the footpegs to reverse into a parking space, stand up on the pegs on rough roads and turn their head to do a shoulder check.

RACQ spokesman Steve Spalding says the changes to rider control rules are practical and make sense and will be welcomed by motorcyclists.

He says lane filtering should be done “in a safe and courteous manner and at slow speed”.

“It’s very much a case of sharing the road and riding in a responsible manner,” he says.

“There are some situations, such as when large vehicles are queuing, where it is safer for the motorcyclist to wait rather than try and squeeze between them and put their safety at risk.

“Just as it is important that motorcyclists filter at a safe speed, motorists can help improve the safety of the rider by carefully checking their mirrors and indicating before changing lanes as the traffic starts to queue.”

Mr Spalding also said the changes needed to be followed with an adequate education program, to raise awareness and understanding “of what the changes are and how they will affect both motorists and motorcyclists”.

As for concerns about interstate consistency of laws, he says “wherever possible we always prefer to see uniform road rules to make it easier for road users to understand and comply with them”.

  1. TORUM currently permits motorcycles to use push bike lanes 50 meters either side of an intersection. However, it is good to see this being reiterated in the new regulations as I have had occassion to point this out to our mates in blue as it is not common knowledge even amongst them. All in all these regulations are good, however I am sure they will attract some flack.

  2. Hurrah! hurrah! 😀

    They Badly Need to follow this up with TV and Paper notices to tell caggers that Filtering IS Legal now
    or we will just end up under the first City bus drivers wheels!

  3. Let the helmet discounting wars begin 🙂

    These are all positive changes although I would like some official statements from the other states as to using a non AS stickered helmet whilst travelling interstate.

  4. The correct information can be found here

    as this article is misleading concerning importers ‘

    Australian consumer law currently restricts the sale of helmets in Australia to those that comply with Australian standards so it would be an offence for a retailer to sell other helmets. However, Queenslanders will be able to legally buy helmets meeting the ECE 22.05 standard through international online retailers or if they are travelling overseas.

    Currently other Australian states and territories only allow helmets approved under Australian standards, although some jurisdictions are reviewing helmet standards. Motorcycle riders and passengers should be aware that after Queensland has expanded its helmet range in early 2015, it will still be an offence to wear a helmet approved under the ECE 22.05 standard when riding in other Australian states or territories.

    1. In what way is it misleading? That’s exactly what it says!
      Importers are going to have stock overseas and Australian standards helmets until this is all sorted out.

      1. This is the misleading bit: “It also means distributors will be able to bring helmets in at a cheaper price – at least for Queenslanders – because they do not have to pay for extra testing to pass Australian standards.”

        Discounts won’t occur.
        QLD Transport on the new law: “Australian consumer law currently restricts the sale of helmets in Australia to those that comply with Australian standards so it would be an offence for a retailer to sell other helmets”

        So it appears that a Queenslander can personally purchase helmets overseas but retailers / distributors still have to adhere to the Australia Standards.

        Because the AS/NZ rating are much more stricter than European and US standards – the price gets marked up in safety features and testing.

        It will mean you can purchase a cheaper helmet but QLD businesses will be pulling out hairs trying to compete with cheaper overseas helmets in an already competitive global market where Australia is already at a disadvantage.

  5. I certainly hope it doesn’t take too long for the Victorian authorities to follow Queenland’s lead with helmets. If Victoria and other states don’t follow suit, then the changes are moot for interstate riders. The changes only benefit Queenslanders in their home state, and can’t cross the border.

    I actually thought that all of the states had agreed to have road rules and regulations the same to avoid confusion. Oh well, one down the rest to go, hopefully soon.

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