Separate stop lines for motorbikes?

Lane filtering lane splitting stop lines

Some riders want separate stop lines at intersections in front of other vehicles now that lane filtering has been introduced in most states and the ACT.

The lines are used by motorcycles and scooters in many European and Asian countries to separate two-wheelers from the rest of the traffic.

Lane filtering lane splitting stop lines
Bangkok two-wheelers in front of the traffic

The idea is that it allows riders to filter through the traffic and safely gather in an area in front of the stop line for cars.

Currently, only one or two motorcycles can filter through traffic and slip in front of the cars.

That can leave a line of motorbikes stranded between cars at the lights which puts them in danger when the traffic starts to move.

Vinomofo link

Motorbike stop lines are designed to allow riders to get away safely when the lights turn green.

Independent Riders’ Group spokesman Damien Codognotto says motorcycle stop lines aren’t suitable for all intersections, but could be accommodated at most intersections.

He says his group will lobby the Victorian Government and Melbourne City Council for the lines to separate pedestrians from two-wheelers and two-wheelers from cars.

“This will increase safety for vulnerable road users and compliment the new traffic filtering rules while reducing congestion and improving traffic flow,” he says.

“Bicycle stop lines ahead of cars exist all over Melbourne and they work. No question.”

However, he says many motorists, including bus drivers, ignore them.

Lane filtering lane splitting stop lines
Bus ignores stop line

“If stop lines for all two wheelers are introduced, we need a car driver education campaign and, after a reasonable introduction period, strong enforcement by police,” he says.

While the stop lines and signage would be cheap and easy to install, traffic light loops would have to be moved back to where the cars stop so they triggered the lights even when a motorcycle is not in front of them.


Lane filtering lane splitting stop lines
Spanish signage

This could be expensive, but Damien says it could be done when intersections are resurfaced or upgraded.

New Australian Motorcycle Council chairman Peter Baulch says the issue had been discussed in the lead-up to filtering laws.

“Most State advocacy organisations affiliated with AMC chose to pursue filtering alone without complicating the matter with additional stop lines or stop boxes (as for the pedal cyclists),” he says.

“VicRoads advised that such a measure would require additional line markings which would take up to a year to achieve, thus delaying the introduction of filtering by at least a year. The VMC chose to simply seek approval for filtering only.”

AMC chairman Peter Baulch
AMC chairman Peter Baulch

The City of Melbourne Motorcycle Plan 2015 has called for investigation into stop boxes for all two-wheelers, but will face opposition from the strong cycling lobby.

Bicycle Network Senior Policy Advisor Garry Brennan says permitting bicycles and motorbikes in bicycle storage boxes would be “contrary to the new Safe Systems approach to road safety that is now both national and state policy”.

“One of the core principles of Safe Systems is ‘Homogeneity of mass and/or speed and direction’. This translates as keeping heavier and faster vehicles away from cyclists,” he says.

“I consider it very unlikely that any government would do the opposite and encourage the mixing together of motorcycles and bicycles.”

Vinomofo link


  1. I’ve had a full motorbike licence for about 30 years and also commute by bike, i.e. bicycle. Separated bike lanes are NOT appropriate for motorised vehicles, whether they have two wheels or four – the purpose of the lanes is to accommodate differences in speed, mass and acceleration. And what’s with all of the aggro against cyclists? I would expect some aggro against cars, trucks etc as they’re the main danger to motorbikes, but bikes? It seems to me that the main complaint above is that cyclists have been better at advocating for their own rights and obtaining safer road conditions for cyclists – so that’s a failing of the motorcyclists, not cyclists.

    What probably would work would be a second set of advance boxes next to the bike boxes – at the moment that space is empty and a lot of motorbikes go there anyway. No need for mixing in that case.

  2. In Queensland just over a year ago the Newman government made lane filtering legal along with other motorcycle legislation, now regarding the lane filtering.. The only area we are allowed to use after lane filtering is the bicycle stop areas, okay that’s good, but only if its signed with a bicycle and or painted green.. That box between the pedestrian crossing and vehicle stop line at a set of traffic lights, if its not signed with a bicycle symbol and or painted green you cannot use.. Which is stupid!
    Now the Motorcycle Riders’ Association of Queensland Inc. (MRAQ) in one of its recommendations to the Queensland committee looking into some changes to motorcycle road rules legislation that the MRAQ recommends the use of Advance Stop Lines (ASL). Why didn’t Committee recommend that change as well to the then minister?

  3. As a motorcyclist I’m aware of the dangers of riding in traffic so I tend to take responsibility for myself and stay away from stuff that can hurt. It seems from Garry Brennans comments that cyclists expect us, other road users, to have to be fully responsible to stay away from them to preserve their safety. If they think it is potentially dangerous to ride in traffic due to size/speed differentials then they have the choice not to.

  4. Motorcyclist and Scooter Riders should have the same rights and provisions as are offered to Cyclists. Whilst lane filtering is a step in the right direction much more can and should be done to make riding in the City safer. Some bicycle lanes which are empty most of the time, should be able to be shared by motorcyclist and scooter riders. SHARE THE ROAD

    The AMC/VMC should get on board and start advocating more for riders and allow members voices to be heard as opposed to seeking to stifle or censor debate.,

  5. Cyclists need to be protected they should wear full body armour like motorcyclists and made to have a graduated licensing like most of us before they are allowed on public roads and they should be banned from riding during peak hour especially into a setting or rising sun
    And they should be taught that zooming past a stopped vehicle at a pedestrian crossing is too stupid for words but then again most things cyclists do are really stupid and often fatal without any help from drivers, and what is also stupid is thinking that allowing motorcycles to use bike lanes etc will endanger cyclists. You see motor cyclists get hurt when a crash occurs and the bike can be written off in even a minor accident so we use our brains and avoid potential accidents so contrary to what some holier than thou cyclists think , motor cycles using bike lanes can actually make it safer for cyclists. They sweep the debris away that can cause a puncture or a stack they scare car drivers out of the lanes and we have a better view of the road so being able to watch a motorcycle ahead of you will give you an early warning of trouble. But some think motor cycles are too big and scary to be allowed near cyclists.

  6. This is a great idea. The argument from the Bycycle Network policy advisor is moot due to the only time the two different two-wheeled vehicles mixed would be at very low speeds if not stopped whilst waiting to go.

  7. I’m sure with all the money the Politicians make, they could use some of that to help with these kinds of changes to our roads. 😛

    It seems like a good initiative, seeing it come to fruition though is doubtful.

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