As of the 15th of April 2017, motor bike riders will be legally allowed to lane filter. This means that ALL road users will need to keep their attention on their surrounding environment to ensure we are all aware of a potential motorbike moving up alongside us when stopped, or moving very slowly.
Here are the conditions for lane filtering; riders must not lane filter:
- at a speed greater than 30km/h
- if it is not safe to do so
- in a school zone or across pedestrian and children’s crossings
- in special purpose lanes (such as bike lanes and bus lanes)
- in bike boxes
- not permitted next to parked cars or between vehicles and the kerb, or on roundabouts
If a rider is caught doing the wrong thing, they can be penalised for unlawful lane filtering, which is a $363 expiation fee and a loss of 3 demerit points. Police can also charge riders with a number of road traffic offences if lane filtering is done in a negligent or dangerous manner.
What is Lane Filtering?
Many of us aren’t motorbike riders, some of which haven’t even heard the term “Lane filtering” before. So what is it? It’s when a motor bike rider travels at low speed in between two lines of stationary or slow moving traffic travelling in the same direction. But why do riders need to do this, isn’t it dangerous? There can be a number of benefits from lane filtering, which include a reduced risk of riders being rear ended, and it can potentially help to ease traffic congestion.
When a rider is rear ended, which are one of the most common forms of collisions in Australia, they can result in a rider being severely injured, not to mention damaging their beloved bike too! Allowing lane filtering may improve the safety for motor bike riders from any inattentive driver(s) following behind.
There are restrictions with this lane filtering law however, as riders who are required to display an “L” or “P” plate on their motor bike are not allowed to lane filter, neither are moped and scooter riders (unless they have a motor bike licence class endorsement (R or R-Date). This is due to these riders being inexperienced, or not having the riding skills that a person who has passed the Advanced Rider Safe Training course will have and they may still be developing their hazard perception skills.