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Motorcycle lane filtering to be trialled in the ACT

By Canfan 29 August 2014 43

Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, today announced that a two-year trial of motorcycling lane filtering will commence in the ACT from 1 February 2015.

“Motorcycle lane filtering is when a motorcyclist moves between stationary or slow moving vehicles in the same lane. It is not the same as lane splitting which is done at higher speeds and increases the unpredictability of motorcyclist movements for other road users,” Mr Corbell said.

“One of the benefits of lane filtering is it allows motorcyclists to move quickly and safely away from congested areas of traffic. This provides motorcyclists with an opportunity to have the front position in a lane – away from other traffic.

“Lane filtering became legal in New South Wales from 1 July 2014 after a recent trial in Sydney which found that lane filtering is a relatively low risk riding activity for motorcyclists when done in low speed traffic situations.”

The report by the Standing Committee on Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services on the Assembly inquiry into vulnerable road users includes a recommendation that the government conduct a trial of motorcycle lane filtering by March 2015.

“This trial will cover the whole of the ACT and will include a number of conditions aimed at making the practice safe for motorcyclists and all other road users, including a requirement that motorcyclists not filter at a speed greater than 30km/h or on the kerbside next to a footpath, or in a bicycle lane or breakdown lanes,” Mr Corbell said.

“To ensure safety is not compromised for younger pedestrians, motorcyclists will also not be allowed to filter in school zones.

“I am aware that some motorists feel annoyed when they see motorcyclists filtering through traffic, however, given the low risk nature of this trial, there is a need for all road users to demonstrate understanding and compromise in order to achieve the desired “share the road” culture.”

Further information on the ACT motorcycle lane filtering trial can be found at

(Simon Corbell Media Release)

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43 Responses to
Motorcycle lane filtering to be trialled in the ACT
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watto23 8:33 pm 02 Feb 15

Thought I’d make a quick response to remind drivers that this is now legal in the ACT. I’m sure many Canberran car drivers will do their best to road rage about this 🙂

JimCharles 9:46 pm 07 Sep 14

Captain RAAF said :

User777 said :

“Is there anything stopping a car from moving forward and moving closer to the car next to it while stopped at the lights? In which case the filtering rider will have no where to go?
I can think of a dozen reasons why this is lousy.”

I guess so long as you don’t cross the line you’re within the law…a douchebag but one who is within the law.

Pro Tip for riders dealing with such douchebagery – simply ride around the car and down the other side. Problem solved and you’ll see steam coming from the ears of the person that has deliberately blocked the pathway through.

It’ll give you a chuckle if nothing else.

Nice try, I can still defeat this policy and you! While I have moved my car across my lane to the right to bring it closer to the car beside me, thereby blocking the ‘filter’, I wait, like Shelob, in my left hand drive big block that gets across intersections as fast as motorcycles, for you to ride around me and try to come up the left, then I eject the goober that I have been holding in deep dark storage in the pit of my stomach for the last 12 years, straight out my window into your immaculately Mister Sheened leather panties as you ride past on your temporary Australian machine with that “I just screwed the neighbours cat’ look on your face thinking you were beating all this traffic.
Stay down the back where you bloody well came upon the intersection, like everyone else has to!
The more lane filtering that occurs the more we’ll see motorbike hand grips hitting our mirrors, scratching our paint etc. I’ve been hit up the rear end by one of you lot because he wasn’t paying attention, the next one that damages my car, especially if its my pride and joy, will be getting poured into the ambulance.

It’s a good job that Canberrans are such laid back folk. You wouldn’t survive 24 hours in any other country with that attitude 🙂

Leon 4:19 pm 07 Sep 14

This is not a trial of “lane filtering,” but of lane splitting motorcycles being allowed to stradde lanes, and to cross back into a lane before they have finished overtaking another vehicle.

Lane “filtering” is moving between _stationary_ vehicles.

Lane splitting is already legal, as established in Williams v Ede [2011] QMC 30 (26 August 2011).

If a pedestrian is legally crossing a road in stationary traffic, and steps from in front of a van without seeing an oncoming motorcyclist who is lane filtering at 30 km/h, then according to the NSW lane filtering trial summary report there is a 10% chance that the pedestrian will be killed.

A pedestrian who survives can be fined for causing a traffic hazard by moving into the path of the motorcycle.

Changing the law will make little difference. I can’t find any evidence, even in the case law database at, that the existing arcane lane filtering laws have ever been enforced. If those offences become dependent on speed, they will be even less likely to be enforced.

Even with a radar gun it will be difficult to prove that a lane splitting motorcycle was exceeding 30 km/h, if you believe “The truth about speed cameras”:

If the idea of a lane splitting motor scooter concerns you, how would you feel about a 400 kg, 75 kW, 1.5 metre wide, lane splitting motor trike?

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