Call for kerb filtering, lower fines

Edge lane filtering road rules kerb

Motorcycle riders should be able to filtering between traffic and the kerb like cyclists, lane filtering fines should be lowered and demerit points scrapped, says a Victorian rider group.

In its submission to the National Transport Commission over harmonising Australia’s Road Rules, the Independent Riders Group says the Victorian lane filtering laws “make most sense to experienced riders”.

The Motorcycle Council of Australia, Ride to Review and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers have also made submissions in areas of the road rules that affect riders: harmonising lane filtering rules, motorcycle control and helmet compliance.

Lower penalties

IRG submission author Damien Codognotto says states should follow Victoria with lower lane filtering fines ($159) and no demerit points.

In NSW, riders can be fined $659 and three demerit points (but no double demerits) for lane filtering breaches.

In Queensland the fine is $341 and three demerit points and in South Australia it’s $363 and three demerit points.

Western Australia and Tasmania are about to introduce lane filtering rules, but no fines or penalties have yet been approved.

The ACT is still trialling lane filtering and is likely to introduce it soon. No fines apply yet.

“Victoria’s penalties for offences related to motorcycle & scooter traffic filtering are reasonable,” the IRG submission says.

“Penalties should be low and not include demerit points because increased risk from lane filtering has never been demonstrated. It is vital to reduce traffic congestion in Australian cities.”

While the sentiment is no doubt welcomed by riders, it’s not in the jurisdiction of the Australian Road Rules as the states apply the fine schedules.

It’s certainly a cause worth championing and making public. Fines for the same offence shouldn’t be so varied between states.

Kerbside filtering

The IRG submission also suggests the Australian Road Rules recognise that motorcycles and scooters can “safely filter on the left side of a highway or road, where the speed limit is 80km/h or higher, when the traffic is stationary or slow moving and it is safe to filter”.

In Queensland, riders are allowed to “edge filter” on roads marked at 90km/h or more. It is currently the only state to allow edge filtering.

ker lane filtering edge

“This is consistent with the principles of vulnerable road user traffic separation,” the IRG submission says.

“It is also the best way to keep traffic moving after a major event or in an emergency such as a crash where traffic congestion is a problem. An example where filtering on the left of a road works well is on Phillip Island in Victoria after motor sport activities at the world famous racing circuit.”

The IRG goes further by calling for kerbside filtering on all streets, something that is not allowed in any state.

“Bicycle riders are encouraged to do it. Motorcycle & scooter riders have done it safely in Melbourne for decades,” the submissions says.

“Motorcycles & scooters can be seen and heard by drivers and pedestrians as well as, or better than, bicycles. No safety problems have been demonstrated with this practice. “

Stop lines

Lane filtering lane splitting stop lines report minister change kerb
Advanced motorcycle stop lane in Spain

The IRG wants special motorcycle forward stop lines at traffic lights so riders can filter to the front of the traffic as used in Europe.

Their submission points out that the stop lines are included in the “Motorcycles In Melbourne Plan”, saying they would make all road users in urban areas safer, especially pedestrians; improve traffic flow; and compliment bicycle stop lines, safety boxes, “which have worked very well for years”.

Bus lanes

Bus lane in use in London lane filtering happiest commuters A British survey has found that riding a motorcycle makes you safer on a bicycle and vice versa, while other surveys show riders are the safest motorists. kerb
Riders can use bus lanes in London

Motorcyclists can only use bus lanes in NSW and the ACT, while it is a common practice in many cities around the world, including London.

The IRG points out in its submission that cyclists are allowed to ride in Melbourne’s bus lanes.

“Motorcycle & scooter riders should be permitted to travel in bus lanes and on tram ways when it safe to do so and provided riders do not delay buses or trams,” the submission says.

“The only exception in Melbourne being the Hoddle Street inbound bus lane where a trial has been ongoing for years. There have been no delays for buses or safety problems.”

8 Comments

    1. I think this is the majority of the problem. The rules are so convoluted that its hard to really know precisely if you’re in the right or in the wrong. Personally I take the time to read the regs, but so many do not and just go off filtering thinking its all in. The only thing that bugs me is when you see too late (but don’t hear in timely manner) “filtering” riders that are obviously splitting because they are riding too fast. Its just dangerous. Doesn’t give reasonable road users time to allow for them.

  1. The crazy thing about edge filtering is that a car can do it legally, but a motorcycle cannot. How many times do you see a car driver edging up the left side of a road (not in a road related area, just a wider than normal lane) to make a left turn, legal if done safely. But illegal for the motorbike rider.

  2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again filtering rules are about revenue not safety.
    Most of the offences are for things that pose no danger or are actually safer under most circumstances.
    If anyone was allowed to see the reasoning behind many of the restrictions they’d see that they are based on wrong assumptions or are simply there for revenue sake .
    Edge filtering riding down a turn lane and not turning off using bicycle lanes even school zone restrictions are stupid!
    Only the suicidal and the really stupid ride dangerously in traffic, much of what we do is to make ourselves safer.
    Cyclists have killed pedestrians in collisions and cyclists have been injured and probably killed using cycle lanes , this happens mainly because cyclists are near silent fast moving objects that are hard to see. Motorcycles are often much louder lite up with proper lights have loud horns have better brakes and their riders are usually fully alert and paying attention! I’ve seen cyclists ride into the back of trucks and knock down pedestrians because they are either near exhaustion or doped up on dopamine or in some kind of trance.

  3. It depends which TMR bureaucrats are pulling the strings of the roads minister. If the bureaucrats says no then minister will say no because he’s their puppet. I found that with the Qld roads minister. In Qld it’s all about push bike safety really, you say put in advance stop lines for motorcycles and they put them in for push bikes instead but make it mixed bicycles & Motorcycles which is really clearly stupid.

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