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Lane filtering may reduce rear-enders

This video of a rear-ender in the ACT has been released by the local Motorcycle Riders Association as a warning to riders and drivers about rear-enders.

The MRA ACT issued a warning to motorists to leave a three-second gap in the wake of this and another motorcycle rear-ender (or nose-to-tail crash) over two consecutive days. Both riders sustained minor injuries.

MRA ACT secretary Nicky Hussey says lane filtering “probably would have kept him out of harm’s way in this instance”. The ACT has just started a two-year trial on lane filtering.

“I do believe that it does make riders less vulnerable to rear-enders,” she says.

MRA ACT president Jennifer Woods says riders who do lane filter are mostly finding it a good way to quickly move away from the traffic once the lights change. “That makes them more visible than being in a group of other vehicles,” she says.

“Rear-enders have been an issue in Canberra for awhile. We have had more reports over the last year, but just recently it has escalated. Bright, clear weather, clear visibility and the drivers are just not looking and seeing.”

Lane filteringThe rider in the video says he was travelling along Canberra Avenue toward the city in an 80km/h zone when traffic backed up and came to a stop.

“As I came to a stop I checked my mirror and moved to the right of the road in case the car behind wasn’t paying attention. I saw him come to a stop and relaxed, looking away,” he says. “The next thing I knew I was looking at the sky.”

The MRA ACT has issued a statement urging motorists to resist “the urge to use the phone and look before they carry out manoeuvres such as pulling out from a junction or changing lanes, looking at what’s happening in the traffic up ahead and generally being aware of all road users – especially vulnerable road users such as motorcycle and scooter riders”.

The MRA ACT also reminded Canberra road users to be particularly aware of motorcycle and scooter riders, as they can now filter through slowing-moving or stationary traffic. “It’s all about sharing the road,” their statement says.

However, Nicky says some riders aren’t comfortable lane-filtering in all circumstances.

“I think Canberra’s relatively quiet roads with higher speed limits (80km/h is very common) means it’s less appropriate or safe to filter in some instances. Others filter at every opportunity, of course.

“I think a lack of stop boxes can sometimes restrict riders’ ability to lane filter safely.”

People riding in the ACT, NSW and Queensland are now allowed to lane filter with some variations in the rules.


The MRA has reminded riders that those on Ls and Ps are not allowed to filter.