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Scrap edge filtering law anomaly

Edge filtering is allowed under Queendsland lane filtering rules shoulders

Edge filtering will never be allowed across all states so long as Queensland – the only state that permits the practice – does not acknowledge an anomaly in the law that is resulting in riders being heavily fined.

The laws, brought in by the previous Newman Government, allow edge filtering which is described as riding along the shoulder of the road or breakdown lane at no more than 30km/h if the posted speed limit on that road is 90km/h or above.

It is a great way to avoid the traffic snarls on many major highways.

However, most of these roads have electronic speed signs which reduce to below 90km/h in heavy traffic congestion situations, suddenly making edge filtering illegal.

Surely that is when edge filtering is most needed.

Shadow Main Roads Minister Andrew Powell admits that the anomaly is an “unintended consequence” of the rules that should be cleared up.

Transport Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey did not reply when asked for comment on this issue, but deferred to a department spokesperson who defended the rule anomaly.

“Speed limits are reduced as a result of circumstances creating a higher risk to road users, such as roadworks or a traffic incident, with road construction or emergency services personnel in the road area,” the spokesperson says in an email. 

Allowing motorcycles to lane filter in these circumstances is potentially dangerous both to the rider, other motorists and the workers in the area.”Edge filtering is allowed under Queendsland lane filtering rules

But what about when the speed limit is reduced for heavy traffic, which would surely be more often than for roadworks or an accident!

The MRAQ has called for the scrapping of the 90km/h minimum speed for edge filtering.

“We cannot understand, and have not had it explained, why there is the minimum 90km/h posted road speed limit for edge filtering,” an MRAQ statement says.

“It would make more sense to have this practice allowed on any road section that had a road margin of a particular minimum width to use it to filter as long as the the reason that necessitated the filtering would not put the rider or other road users in danger.

“An obvious situation that brings the current rule into question is when roads with variable speed limit signs are reduced for reasons that are exactly why filtering should happen like traffic congestion.Edge filtering is allowed under Queendsland lane filtering rules

“An example of this is on the Gateway Arterial at time of congestion the speed limit is reduced via the variable signage. Not allowing filtering can be seen to be counter-productive in this situation because it is not allowing some congestion relief that could be gained.”

The MRAQ was pivotal in coercing the previous government into introducing lane filtering, but is not entirely happy with the rules and wants riders who are confronted with problems and rule anomalies to contact them.

They also want provisional licensed riders with one-year’s experience to be allowed to filter and want to scrap the term used in the road rule of “when safe to do so” as an overriding clarification.Edge filtering is allowed under Queendsland lane filtering rules

“This term is far too simplistic and open to individual interpretation and hence can and has caused what we believe to be incorrect implementation. A better term or greater clarification to this wording needs to be found so as to reduce the potential for misinterpretation or misuse.”

The MRAQ has also called for riders to adhere to the laws.

“There is still a problem with a few riders that seem to believe that there should be no rules applicable to the practice or to them and that they should be able to filter under any condition and in any way that they like. These riders are doing others a great disservice in that they have the effect of reinforcing the belief in some other road users’ minds that all riders are a problem and should be removed from the system.”

  1. While I agree the law sounds a little silly, if there are multiple possible causes for the limit reduction then how would the rider know which one applies in any given circumstance? If emergency services are in the area (not police, they are law enforcement) then they are sacrosanct. Maybe the signs could flash the lower speed when emergency services are present.

    That said, the shoulder is a crap place to ride or drive – and is surely the default direction anyone heads in an emergency. I wouldn’t ride there by choice, regardless. But then, this is Queensland, I wouldn’t ride there by choice either 😉

    1. What was that last statement about Queensland for?
      Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

  2. Scrapping the 90km/h restriction makes sense – lets hope the powers that be are able to make a sensible decision! I really don’t see the point of the electronic speed signs anyway – other than the glamour of them being bright and shiny LED’s. The only time they seem to reduce speed from say 100kph to 60kph is then the road turns into a car park and you cant do more than 10kph anyway! I’d have to think what each set costs to produce, install and maintain. The old painted signs seem to work just fine!

  3. I’m starting to think the honourable Transport Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey is taking a bit of a hand off approach to most issues such as this. leaving it to a Department of Transport & Main Roads official to answer the question instead and they just tow the Department’s official line on the subject anyway. Does this make the honourable Minister Mark Bailey an under performer in this ministerial portfolio?
    Would you believe the best way to contact him is through Facebook messenger!
    It normally takes him two to three days to answer but its better than the more formal email which may takes up to 3 months to get a response back.

  4. One could argue in court (if you wanted to risk an additional $4500 on top of costs etc) that the speed limit of the road is fixed at what it is gazetted at and the variable speed sign is an advisory. However only a very rich fool would do so or someone who’s trying to reduce an excessive fine.
    I am one who thinks there should be no specific rules against filtering as for the most part they are stupid and over reaching and insulting. 99.99999 percent of riders would prefer not to risk an accident and so apply common sense that keeps us from doing the things that are actually dangerous. The few idiots out there who would do the wrong thing will ignore the rules anyway but even if there were no filtering rules for them to break their are others which would apply such as dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

  5. Well I’m glad I read this article as I wasn’t aware of the 90kph rule. And I thought the speed had to be below 40kph that you were doing when edge filtering. So yes it’s a pointless rule thanks to the silly variable limits (that are often wrong anyways as the traffic management office are making decisions from cameras not actually down on the street as they do in Las Vegas with spotters).

    Maybe those running the law book for motorcyclists in QLD are in charge of the Census website too 😉 Also known as the Meh Team (have to make a decision, so meh…).

  6. A tip for all who spot a cop and you think you may be about to cop a fine.
    Pull over jump off the bike and start cleaning your visor or make a phone call or check you tyres, If they come up to you act surprised like you never saw them and greet them nicely. If they ask what you’re doing say got a bug on the visor or ran over something or need to tell someone your going to be late due to traffic.
    You are allowed to stop on the shoulder for emergencies and such and they cannot prove you weren’t simply doing so unless they film you over a distance. And if you pull into an emergency stopping bay the film goes into the trash.
    Use this tip when you’re being tailed too! If you’re being tailed they’re looking for an excuse to book you. If you pull over and start stuffing around they’ll give up, but beware that they’re not waiting around the corner.

  7. As opposed to draughtrider, I prefer filtering on the verge. Most filtering I wanted to do in the past has been commuting and that is invariably on good roads with plenty of shoulder space. I’ve found that filtering on the shoulder means you only have to watch one set of cars and drivers instead of 2. In slow traffic drivers will often change lanes when the other lane appears to be moving slower.

  8. I just got booked this morning on the Margaret street off ramp entering from the West from the SE Freeway (Brisbane CBD FYI). Moto Cop jumps out waving madly. I was booked for illegal edge filtering on the right hand side shoulder. The ludicrous nature of this is that it was from a highway where filtering was allowed (not that I was filtering there) onto a one way street where filtering is also allowed and there is 50m-100m section of ramp where it isn’t!

    I was travelling at low speed and the cop insisted I be booked for 3 points and $400 because a warning wasn’t enough given it is “dangerous”. He said a car could open their door. I replied they could do that where lane filtering is legal.

    After 30,000 kms on a bike in the most lawless of countries I still prefer that to this ridiculous nanny state we seem so obsessed with.

    I’m still researching ways I can fight this on principle. 3 points does not fit the supposed “crime”. Any advice would be appreciated.

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