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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 www.justice.act.gov.au.

(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 http://www.austlii.edu.au, 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”: http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/the-truth-about-speed-cameras-20140903-10awi1.html

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?

Captain RAAF 2:56 pm 03 Sep 14

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.

User777 10:11 am 03 Sep 14

“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.

switch 8:16 am 03 Sep 14

gooterz 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?

Only common sense on the part of car drivers. Which is a big ask in this territory. I’m waiting for the collision where someone opens their car door at the same time as a bike is filtering.

gooterz 9:54 pm 02 Sep 14

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.

gooterz 9:51 pm 02 Sep 14

watto23 said :

gooterz said :

Roksteddy said :

gooterz said :

The government is pretty much using the learner riders in the next 2 years as guinea pigs.

Learner drivers are prohibited from filtering

Why if its so safe?

Because one needs experience and good handling skills first. Learn to ride and then you’ll understand. It is safe, but for someone who can’t handle a bike properly it might end up in some dented side panels.
Remember learners on bikes only need to pass a 1 day course to ride. There is no one to tell them what to do etc. Its different to L plates on a car. Most motorcyclists would agree the law is perfectlyu fine for someone on a full license but not for a learner.

The key word is ‘someone’ on a full licence.. It has to apply to everyone..

A rider might only ride once or twice a year.. should they be filtering?

screaming banshee 6:23 pm 02 Sep 14

gooterz said :

Roksteddy said :

gooterz said :

The government is pretty much using the learner riders in the next 2 years as guinea pigs.

Learner drivers are prohibited from filtering

Why if its so safe?

When I got my R’s in QLD, I couldn’t carry a pillion for a year. In NSW L’s and P’s are speed limited. More experience leads to a better rider/driver and they don’t want learners throwing themselves in between cars if their road craft isn’t quite what it could be. My first few months out I didn’t filter, but after a while the gap which you feel comfortable to filter through gets smaller and smaller.

User777 3:15 pm 02 Sep 14

Holden Caulfield said :

User777 said :

What your car can do 0-100 in 3 seconds or less?

No, I could get reasonably close though, but it doesn’t matter anyway because my e-peen is massive and much, much bigger than yours!!!

As an aside, I have no problem with the lane filtering trial, it’s a common sense approach…

Providing road users of all persuasions have the right attitude to sharing, patience and consideration. Sadly, that’s not going to be the case, as evidenced by the replies here.

I’m glad your e-peen is so massive. 😉 Who did the work for you 😀

My reply was just directed to CaptRAAF who thinks his car is going to ‘beat’ motorcycles to the ‘front’ of the queue – even if he can or like you, can come close it’s entirely missing the point of why motorcycles filter in the first place or the fact that once he’s stuck in traffic he’s stuck, no amount of horsepower is going to change that – it will soon enough it will be legal….he should be cheering, as others have more car parks to use, less green house emissions etcetc but hey….don’t let facts get in the way of a good linching 😉

Once he’s stuck in traffic 20 cars back from the front it’s completely irrelevant how big his e-peen is. My grandma could be on an under powered 125 scooter and still ‘get in front’ of the queue haha

“sharing, patience and consideration” – heck forget about the lane filtering trial > those things have never been, nor will be a big factor in the use of roads in Canberra when it comes to using roundabouts, right hand lanes, indicators, tailgating….and the list goes on.

Holden Caulfield 10:47 am 02 Sep 14

User777 said :

What your car can do 0-100 in 3 seconds or less?

No, I could get reasonably close though, but it doesn’t matter anyway because my e-peen is massive and much, much bigger than yours!!!

As an aside, I have no problem with the lane filtering trial, it’s a common sense approach…

Providing road users of all persuasions have the right attitude to sharing, patience and consideration. Sadly, that’s not going to be the case, as evidenced by the replies here.

User777 8:44 am 02 Sep 14

Captain RAAF said :

User777 said :

bd84 said :

So, two of road users’ biggest complaints being ‘drivers don’t look/see motorcyclists’ and the ‘aggressive I need to be in front of everyone else’ have been combined into a trial which will make riders less visible and feed the need to be in front of everyone else.

I don’t see how riding between cars is safe, the riding position will put motorcyclists into blind spots more regularly, which is the most significant problem at the moment. Motorcyclists are no more likely to be rear ended in traffic than any other driver, the handful of riders that are in traffic at any time won’t make any difference. It doesn’t have any congestion solving benefits, 1 motorcyclist will save about 5 metres space. Lanes on a lot of roads (like Northbourne) are not wide enough to safely travel between lanes without a very high chance of clipping someone. If the traffic is significant, the rider has little chance of actually getting to the front, and will have nowhere to go but cut into a non-existent space between cars, increasing the risk that they will end up as a sandwich.

The amount of restrictions needed on this idea indicates in itself that it’s not really a safe thing to be doing, so why implement it?

So much fail……I’ll be sure to wave as I filter past you at the lights.

I’ll be sure to beat you to the front position, because I prefer it just as much in my car as you do on your bike, and I have the HP to get me there as quick as you can!
Go through the intersection in the position you arrived in, like everyone else!

What your car can do 0-100 in 3 seconds or less? Yeah right.

Besides which, as of the start of this trial we’ll be able legally do what we’ve all been doing since motorcycles were invented. Get used to it.

watto23 11:54 am 01 Sep 14

gooterz said :

Roksteddy said :

gooterz said :

The government is pretty much using the learner riders in the next 2 years as guinea pigs.

Learner drivers are prohibited from filtering

Why if its so safe?

Because one needs experience and good handling skills first. Learn to ride and then you’ll understand. It is safe, but for someone who can’t handle a bike properly it might end up in some dented side panels.
Remember learners on bikes only need to pass a 1 day course to ride. There is no one to tell them what to do etc. Its different to L plates on a car. Most motorcyclists would agree the law is perfectlyu fine for someone on a full license but not for a learner.

Captain RAAF 10:15 am 01 Sep 14

User777 said :

bd84 said :

So, two of road users’ biggest complaints being ‘drivers don’t look/see motorcyclists’ and the ‘aggressive I need to be in front of everyone else’ have been combined into a trial which will make riders less visible and feed the need to be in front of everyone else.

I don’t see how riding between cars is safe, the riding position will put motorcyclists into blind spots more regularly, which is the most significant problem at the moment. Motorcyclists are no more likely to be rear ended in traffic than any other driver, the handful of riders that are in traffic at any time won’t make any difference. It doesn’t have any congestion solving benefits, 1 motorcyclist will save about 5 metres space. Lanes on a lot of roads (like Northbourne) are not wide enough to safely travel between lanes without a very high chance of clipping someone. If the traffic is significant, the rider has little chance of actually getting to the front, and will have nowhere to go but cut into a non-existent space between cars, increasing the risk that they will end up as a sandwich.

The amount of restrictions needed on this idea indicates in itself that it’s not really a safe thing to be doing, so why implement it?

So much fail……I’ll be sure to wave as I filter past you at the lights.

I’ll be sure to beat you to the front position, because I prefer it just as much in my car as you do on your bike, and I have the HP to get me there as quick as you can!
Go through the intersection in the position you arrived in, like everyone else!

gooterz 12:23 am 01 Sep 14

Roksteddy said :

gooterz said :

The government is pretty much using the learner riders in the next 2 years as guinea pigs.

Learner drivers are prohibited from filtering

Why if its so safe?

SaveFerris 12:09 am 01 Sep 14

Road use initiatives other than “reduced speed limits” are bound to spook the cardigan brigade (those who remain appalled that ringing a cowbell before entering an intersection has been left to individual prerogative).

Nanny state advocates aside, this is a common sense move that brings the ACT into line with a) the state of NSW that has us pinned on all four sides, and b) other nations that still treat grown-ups as grown-ups.

Being “out front” of the pack of traffic is undoubtedly safer whilst on a motorbike – I’ve a friend who was on a large capacity “hi-vis” motorcycle on Northbourne Ave and suffered a nasty rear-end collision whilst stopped at the back of a lane.

I do hope our car drivers embrace the 2-year trial quickly — to gauge the worst temperament of the fist-clenched Cardigan rolling to work in their 1.8 tonne arm-chair, you only need observe how pushbike riders are treated from time to time.

Anybody who gets themselves from A to B using lower-footprint environmentally responsible forms of transport should be encouraged – particularly with measures that improve their safety (like this).

Roksteddy 6:15 pm 31 Aug 14

gooterz said :

The government is pretty much using the learner riders in the next 2 years as guinea pigs.

Learner drivers are prohibited from filtering

Innovation 12:52 pm 31 Aug 14

I am a motorcycle rider, driver, cyclist and pedestrian – not simultaneously.

Overall this is a good proposal. Despite the views of some posters who can’t or wont see the merits, this will provide safety to motorcyclists at or near to the rear of queued traffic. As well, it will facilitate smoother traffic flow by allowing motorcyclists to congregate/bunch up at the front of intersections and increase average traffic speed by allowing faster bikes to get away from the lights quicker.

Conversely, I think 30km/h is too fast to pass stationary cars and no allowance has been given to motorbikes of varying widths. Some “motorcycles” aren’t much narrower than cars. Personally, I think motorbikes should be limited to walking pace when filtering, similar to shared zones, preferably with one foot on the ground at all times. A maximum width limit should be set, or a minimum distance from other cars.

It is great though that the Government actually is trialling something rather than tying ideas up and wasting money on unending consultation processes.

Russ 11:08 am 31 Aug 14

While I’m ambivalent about this lane filtering thing, if the government was serious about motorcyclist safety they’d mandate that they wear hi-visibility clothing, similar to what professional motorbike riders wear.

I understand a motorbike cop in Victoria campaigned for this, but was unsuccessful. You’d think that a more progressive ACT government would be more inclined to introduce a law that would save motorcyclists lives by making them much more visible on the road.

milkman 7:16 am 31 Aug 14

I think it’s a good idea to trial this and see how it goes. I’m not a motorcyclist, but have no issues with it.

Most of the objections I hear from people are oriented around “why should they get ahead of me, it’s not fair”, which is a very immature attitude to have to driving.

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