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More riders push for uniform lane filtering laws

RTR SA lane filtering traffic extends

South Australian riders and representative groups want to join most of the rest of Australia, California, Asia and Europe in legalising lane filtering for motorcycles and scooters.

The group, called Ride to Review (RTR), has drafted a Lane Filtering Submission which is now being made public.

RTR Spokesman Tim Kelly says the submission was personally handed to Minister Peter Malinauskas in August. Copies have recently been provided to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and Shadow Minister David Pisoni. They are now also available online for public perusal.

The submission is designed as a framework for “improving road safety, congestion alleviation and reducing emissions”.

The practice is legal in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and still under trial in the Australian Capital Territory. It is also legal throughout Europe, the UK, Asia and has recently been legalised in California where it’s called lane splitting.Leave a gap lane filtering queue jumping

Before lane filtering was legalised with specific regulations in several states, it never existed as a specific infringement.

Instead, police were able to fine people for passing on the wrong side, failure to stay in their lane, not indicating, etc.

Since lane filtering has been legalised, there has been concern among riders and legislators that laws vary across states.

Motorbike Writer asked all relevant state ministers for their comments on the rule disparity and/or lack of lane filtering. Read their responses here.

SA Road Safety Minister Peter Malinauskas told us they were monitoring lane filtering in other states before any implementation.

The RTR submission calls for a maximum operating speed for filtering of 30km/h, which is consistent with other states.

However, they depart from the norm in calling for no new offence for lane filtering. That’s a smart move that would avoid the outlandish fines imposed by other states.

They also call for the use of bus lanes, which is only legal in NSW and the ACT.

Bus lane in use in London lane filtering
Bus lanes in use in London

RTR’s lane filtering recommendations:

  1. Riders with a provisional or open class motorcycle licence be allowed to move between stationary or slow-moving vehicles travelling in the same direction as the rider, provided they do not exceed 30km/h and it is safe to do so.
  2. Motorcycle riders would be allowed to use bus lanes up to the posted speed providing they exit the lane prior to the stop line (where specific lighting sequences exist).
  3. On major roads, such as motorways, freeways and highways where the normal speed limit is 80km/h or more, a rider who holds a provisional or open-class licence for riding a motorcycle may ride past stationary, or slow-moving traffic at speeds not greater than 30km/h on the road shoulder or in an emergency stopping lane.
  4. With the exception of certain offences (see their full submission here) motorcyclists must comply with all existing road rules when lane filtering (no requirement for a new offence to be created pertaining to lane filtering).
  5. Learner riders would not be allowed to lane filter because of their relatively limited on-road riding and slow-manoeuvring experience.
  6. Motorcycle riders would be prohibited from lane filtering in school zones during school zone hours.
  7. Riders must ensure their vehicle does not pass the stop line at any marked intersection.
  8. Motorcycle riders must not filter next to a kerb/gutter or beside parked vehicles.

The RTR submission says legal filtering will lead to “positive outcomes for rider safety, awareness, concentration and on-road behaviour”. They claim it will reduce the number of riders fatally injured, hospitalised and/or suffering life-changing injuries due to rear-end collisions.

RTR believes lane filtering would also advantage other road users by reducing congestion, lowering emissions and shortening trip times.

Tim says the submission is “designed to provide a basis for discussion for the type of legislation SA riders would like to see formalised as part of our approach to the national harmonisation of laws”.

RTR lane filtering submission is supported and endorsed by:

  • National Motorcycle Alliance (NMA)
  • Motoring Advisory Council (MAC)
  • Jeffrey Lane (MRG Member/Riding Instructor)
  • Ducati Owners Club of SA (DOCSA)
  • South Australian Bikers Events Rides & Socialising (SABERS)
  • Harley Owners Group of SA (HOGSA)
  1. Three words “Advanced Stop Line”
    I have been asking the Minister for main roads and road safety Mark Bailey to amend the “Riders must ensure their vehicle does not pass the stop line at any marked intersection” rule to allow Riders to at most traffic light control intersections to just stop past the Stop line in the “Box”.. there are one or two of the green boxes in SE Qld where the Law states must be painted green and or has a Bicycle symbol painted onto the road surface.. It would enhance the lane filtering safety

      1. The problem Jason is those drivers who don’t stop behind the existing lines. What makes you think they’ll stay out of the green box? I go through one of these “bicycle storage” marked intersections every day and believe me the majority of drivers do not wait behind the line unless there are already bicycles/motorcycles already there!

  2. I would have thought, with the likely arrival of autonomous vehicles in the not so distant future, that a clear and defined set of rules, covering all states and territories would be the first logical step.

    Two things glaringly wrong with my above statement.
    (1) Federal/state/territories governments and agencies would be required to work together toward a common goal, yeh right like that’s gunna happen. We still have disparity over helmet standards. Need I go on?
    (2) Logical. When has an government and or its agency clearly exhibited this. Oxley Highway?
    The two motorcyclists injured in Maribyrnong, 4 months ago, yet no outcome from the police. Need I go on?

    Now, on the subject of lane filtering itself, Tuesday evening after work it was required of myself to attend a meeting in an, inner city suburb of Melbourne. I am riding a heavy weight cruiser with touring equipment, (she’s big, heavy and wide). Suffering from a man flu, and a heavy chest infection, weakened and feeling less than confident, in narrow and rough surfaced roads, I made the conscious decision, not to lane filter and just wait my turn and enjoy the sunshine, while not obstructing other riders from making progress,
    My observations of others lane filtering, are listed below.
    L platers, lane filtering.
    Riders lane filtering in a legal fashion, however when unable to make the front of the line, and merging into a defined lane, failing miserably to build a safety buffer zone, and tailgating the vehicle in front whilst eliminating any emergency escape plan.
    And furthermore the time that was gained on the 10k route that we shared was about 45 seconds. In the grand scheme of things and my 1 hour 45 min trip home to regional Victoria, 45 seconds is sweet FA.

    Just saying!

    Ride free and safe

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