Driver faces lane filtering charges

Police seek riders in lane filtering incidents call charges

A motorist faces two charges of driving with intent to menace after two incidents involving a car swerving toward lane filtering riders were videoed in October 2018.

The alleged offender will appear before the ACT Magistrates Court on 19 July 2019 and faces more than $3000 in fines or 12 months in jail or both for each of the charges.

The incidents occurred on Majura Parkway on 30 October 30. One incident is shown in this video which we published on November 2.

ACT Police were made aware of this video a day later and began investigating.

A second video later emerged showing another rider also allegedly being intimidated by the same driver.

ACT Police made several calls for help to identify the two riders so a charge could be laid.

Police seek riders in lane filtering incidents call faces charges
The rider in the second incident

Two charges

At the time, ACT Police issued these details of the incident:

About 4:30pm, the riders were separately travelling northbound on Majura Parkway, Majura, when a green Ford Falcon swerved, almost colliding with the riders. At the time, the riders were lawfully lane filtering.

Police could not provide any further details, but we suspect that the two charge numbers supplied means both riders have come forward.

We will follow the matter when the charges are heard in court next month.

Legal filtering

Interestingly, these incidents occurred only a few weeks after the ACT made lane filtering legal.

Lane filtering is now legal in all states and territories (except NT and WA which is expected to follow shortly) and has been legal in NSW almost five years.

Not only is lane filtering legal but it also benefits all motorists as it helps move heavy traffic more quickly.

You can do your bit to educate drivers by sharing this article you are reading now as well as this “Open letter to drivers“.

Filtering rage

Drivers obstructing riders has been happening since lane filtering was introduced.

Check out this video from 2017 sent to us by Newcastle rider Harry Criticos.

“I was filtering legally when a driver stuck his whole body out in an attempt to block me,” the 2016 Triple Black R 1200 GS rider told us.

“I did not stop and he did make contact with the bike. I hope it hurt.”

It might be worth telling your driver mates that this particular motorist not only got hit, but also copped a $325 fine and three demerit points.

Lane filtering is legal 

Surely it is time for some major advertising campaigns in each state to advise motorists that riders are allowed to filter and what benefits there are for ALL motorists.

That was the major finding of an online poll we conducted in 2016, yet there are still few major ad campaigns.

So far, lane filtering education campaigns have been minimal and mainly aimed at riders, not the general motoring public.

We not only need major ad campaigns, but also roadside signage such as this photoshopped sign.

lane filtering signs consensus duty defend filter call charge
Here’s a sign we’d like to see!

We are not aware of any polls about lane filtering in Australia.

However, in California where lane splitting (filtering at higher speeds than 30km/h) is legal, polls have found it is vastly unpopular among other road users. The main objection is that it’s unfair!

That breeds hostility which results in stupid behaviour such as in the above video.

Lane filtering lane splitting America danger bosch filter call charge
Lane splitting is unpopular in the USA

So long as lane filtering remains unpopular and/or erroneously believed to be illegal, motorists will do stupid and dangerous things to stop riders filtering.

24 Comments

  1. Leave Mr Knagge to wallow in his abject misery and his obvious disdain for motorcyclists. He is just a poor misguided muppet and simply not worth any more keystrokes

  2. One example of the police being in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing:
    – pulled up at a major intersection at Carrara on the Gold Coast (just near Metricon Stadium)
    – Filtered through traffic to front of queue
    – Mercedes Sports driver, left hand lane yelled comments that indicated that he was either psychotic or opposed to Lane Filtering (probably a mixture of both)
    – As he sat there as the first vehicle in the left hand lane waiting to go straight ahead and giving me the ‘death stare’, he revved his engine pending the light change and a quick ‘get in front of the biker’ get-away…
    – then, as expected, the lights changed however it was only the ‘right-turn arrow’ that changed. None the less, dickhead in the Mercedes dropped his clutch, spun his tyres and (in an effort to leave me standing) travelled a good 8-10 meters into the intersection before realising he still had a red light…and stopped.
    – I laughed at his folly (which pissed him off even more I am sure).
    – but not as pissed off as he was when the Toyota Camry waiting on our left-hand side suddenly lit up with blue and red flashing lights, inched it’s way into the intersection and the driver indicated to him that he should pull-over on the other side of the traffic lights.

    WIN!

    Hope springs eternal but I do hope that Mercedes Sports dickhead learned a lesson about lane-filtering

  3. I’m not going to respond to Peter Knagg…..anyone who’s a lifelong serious motorcyclist knows he knows nothing of value to us. Anyway, I’ve actually had to make a complaint against a police officer in an unmarked car who didn’t work in the Traffic Branch and so didn’t know the law around lane filtering and the rules around motorcycles being allowed to stop in the bicycle loading zones at traffic lights. Or the fact that under Queensland law a trike (or ‘motor tricycle’ as they call it) operates under the same rules as a two wheeled motorcycle. The overarching principle being ‘when safe to do so’. Clearly, I’m NOT going to filter or lane split……because it’s not safe to do so. But anyway, so, because it’s wide and it’s SAFE, I use the bicycle loading zone at my local set of lights when on my trike. The police officer in question was at the head of the queue and beside and behind me somewhat as my stop line was ahead of his, revved his vehicle and did that aggressive type of short and sharp stop/start acceleration beside me so that he was now beside me and over his stop line even though the lights were still red for us. I just ignored him thinking it was just another dickhead. When I took off he chased me down and caught me up further up the road when I slowed when reaching the speed limit, meaning he’d have had to speed quite a bit to catch up and came up beside me, wagging his finger at me. I only noticed he was a police officer when turning right at another set of lights when I saw his uniform as he passed me and I took note of his number plate. The vehicle turned out to be an unmarked SOC vehicle. To QPS credit, it was dealt with quickly and I received an apology and invitation to take the matter further if I wished because seriously, he scared the bejesus out of me thinking he was some nutter chasing me and about to nudge me off the road. I decided to leave it as is because apparently, bad luck for him, his sergeant was a motorcyclist himself and I was told the officer in question “Clearly understands the rule now”. And anyway, to be fair, anyone who has to do Scenes of Crime work deserves a break, don’t you think? Not a job I’d enjoy.

  4. It’s about time. I just wish police in all states got serious about this particular type of road rage. Hopefully, the court will also be serious in sending a message that this behaviour is not only anti-social but extremely dangerous and issue a very substantial fine, if not at the top of the range at least very close to it thus letting the public, in general, know it’s not just slap on the wrist offence.

  5. Peter Knagge, you are a fool. You said “Motorcyclists complain no one leaves space for them when they never ever leave room for larger and heavier vehicles.” Where it is a fact that when they lane filter it leaves the space they would normally take if they stayed in the middle of the lane in the queue at lights. So more cars and trucks are able to get through the lights when they change, and the motorcycle’s acceleration allows them to move ahead and out of the way of the following traffic, allowing faster flow for everyone.
    The authorities understand this and have enacted laws to allow it.
    I have been riding motorcycles for 50 years including in the US, England, Europe, India and South America, and Australian car drivers have the most numerous and aggressive anti bike drivers I have seen. It sometimes makes me sad and ashamed to be Australian, but growing up and learning to drive and ride in Melbourne has made me very careful as well as aggressive enough to stay alive, but unlike driving and riding in other countries, it is not a pleasure in traffic. Thanks to the likes of you and your attitude.

  6. I ride a lot. I have been riding for about 40 years now and I have only lane filtered just a few times. I don’t agree with it. It comes with the common “attitude” problem that many riders have. If you want agro from motorists, just lane filter them, sit in front of them on the pedestrian crossing at lights and take off slow. Wonderful.
    I see riding as a constant battle for survival. Lane filtering lowers my chances. Yes, I have died on my bike from a stupid Merc driver knocking me down and driving over my head. He was “lane filtering” into the space my bike left in the lane. Lucky he was a doctor.
    I have been U-turned into, right turned into, lane changed onto, driven straight at by trucks overtaking, run into the curb and all the other fun.
    If you overtake, make sure you are really planning to go much faster than the guy you overtook. Get away from him, fast! He’s dangerous. Same with lane filtering.
    I feel sorry for people in “cages”. They don’t have the wind in their faces. They hardly see the road they’re on, much less the view. “Cages” drive humans MAD! Have pity on them. But stay clear of ’em.
    I love my bikes, encourage my kids to ride on and off road. Enjoy the freedom.
    And may I say, an article that talks about the incredibly rare occasion where the system might just once punish a cage monkey for a tiny amount of the horror they inflict is not really helpful. It’s fantasy. They are metal monsters, immune from redress. Or at least, that’s the best attitude to have when riding amongst them.
    Have FUN!

  7. Motorcyclists complain no one leaves space for them when they never ever leave room for larger and heavier vehicles.

    Motorcyclists are the most immature and irresponsible motorists on Australian roads. “Lane filtering” was legalised in some Australian states, but I’ve never seen a motorcyclist actually do it properly, even the cops do it wrong. Everyone just takes the piss and recklessly abuses the law!
    Motorcyclists are not allowed to “lane filter” over 30kmsph, in school zones, on footpaths/kerbs/cycle lanes or past parked vehicles, or wherever it is dangerous to do so. They must *OBEY ALL ROAD SIGNS* , use indicators, and stop before the line at red traffic lights.
    This is also covered by the Australian Negligent, Furious or Reckless Driving Act.

    “Lane Filtering/Lane Splitting” is such a stupid law to introduce to Australian roads, as Australian roads are narrower than most roads around the world. This means there is less space to manoeuvre and they’re too close.

    “Lane filtering” past parked vehicles and on the kerb is so dangerous as people may open their doors unexpectedly or bikes may hit pedestrians or terrorise children.

    “Lane filtering” has made traffic jams even more worse and even more congested and stressful as other vehicles are restricted from moving or merging lanes.
    The law seems more about lobby groups and politicians wanting votes than any concern or civil duty for public safety.

    Motorcyclists need to remember other vehicles can’t see or hear exactly where they are, and are tired or concentrating on other things, and they should be calm and patient around others and share the roads. This is particularly important around large and heavy vehicles, and family vehicles.
    Public roads aren’t your private raceway!
    Statistics show that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to be in a fatal accident and 75% of incidents the motorcyclist is at fault (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorcycle_safety , https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-12/middle-aged-motorcyle-riders-dying-qld-roads-police-say/8259460 ). Meanwhile the global motorcyclists and pedestrian fatality statistics continue to rise…

    Incomplete list of road offences and penalties: https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/index.cgi?fuseaction=demeritpoints.browsehandler&category=&offence=

    #AustraliaRulesOrGoHome #seewhogivesaf

    1. Peter Knagge. Honestly, hardly worth a reply. But here it is. Everyone needs to accept the road rules and abide by them. Yes there are motorcycle riders out there that flaunt the laws. They are not alone!! I am 61 and have only been riding a motorcycle for 11 years. It has made me more aware as a car driver of just how many idiots there are on our roads that don’t give a “F” for other road users, especially motorcylists! Don’t believe all you read in the statistics of fatal accidents. Figures can be manipulated and often are. Yes I agree that motorists don’t always see motorcycles, or hear where they are. But to say they are tired or concentrating on other things….Like mobile phones (don’t get me started on that one) or possibly the kids screaming, these are not an excuse for bad behavour or a lack of responsibility.
      Everybody who drives on our roads, in all types of vehicles has ‘broken’ a law or two over the years. We have all put our foot down or twisted the throttle at least once for the thrill of it. To deny this would make us all fools. But on the whole I think we manage to get along fairly well.
      It just makes me mad that some car drivers get Pissed at motorcyclists when they are stuck in traffic and they see us legally cruise on by and get home before they do! Has it slowed their journey any?
      Jealousy is a curse!

    2. I like how you categorise all motorcyclist into one pool and claim you’ve never seen a motorcyclist do it properly. You’re the type of person to block motorcycle filtering because you’re having a bad day at work. The one that puts motorcyclists in danger.

      You know what I’m sick of as a motorcyclist? Cars pulling out infront of me. Trucks up
      my arse. Work utes being pissed off because I over take them on a broken line, and them tailgating me and trying to run me off the road.

      I could say all motorist that don’t ride a motorcycle are arrogant asses. I don’t, because it’s not true. There’s good car drivers out there, just like good motorcyclists. You need to re-evaluate and not over exaggerate your argument.

    3. A good morning to you too, Mr McGill my friend.
      Thank you for proving my case, and being a perfect example of the reckless and negligent attitude from motorcyclists I am commenting about.
      You claim that you are 61 but have all the self entitlement and immaturity of a 14 year old.
      In your aggressive letter you state that it is alright for you to travel on public roads as irresponsibly as you like but it is not OK for anyone around you to make even the smallest mistake. Heaven forbid heavy vehicles focus on the vehicles or the road in front of them and not give you the attention and acknowledgement you claim you deserve.
      Public roads are not your private raceway!
      Slow down before you kill someone.

      1. Peter Knagge,

        I have lived and been riding in California for 11 years, and have never seen anyone get filtering or lane splitting wrong. It’s no more complicated than riding along a narrow path or even a 4×2. While there could be a case for not allowing L platers and first-year P platers to do it, that is more to do with riding experience than a problem with filtering or splitting itself.

        Please cut down on the hyperbole and emphasised facts if you want to make your point. Opening your argument with “Motorcyclists complain no one leaves space for them…” is no way to build your case. This little black duck does not expect or complain about cagers not leaving space, and is very appreciative of it when they consciously move over so you can split (or filter).

        I understand that the NSW introduced filtering laws because there was no explicit restriction on filtering and splitting, and this gave definition to what is allowed. Ipso Facto you may be complaining about something that has always been legal. I hope that on the review, they will open up the law to allow lane splitting as well.

        Ron

  8. This act by this moron is deliberate and intentional, Aussie law is based on ‘intent’ so I’d like to see a jail stint and at least 1/3 of the fine applied, this is towards the more serious end of the offending… but he’s likely to get a slap with wet lettuce in our pathetic majistrates court….

  9. I live in WA and our laws currently allow for both lane splitting and for filtering

    The proposed changes will actually restrict what we are currently allowed to do
    So we seriously hope they never get implemented

    What is needed all around Australia in states that it is legal, is for all drivers to be made aware that filtering is legal

  10. An excellent result 🙂
    I’ve found a % of drivers moving to allow more room with generally only the odd one who maneuvers to a block position.
    The videoed driver from October 2018 is however is dangerously aggressive.

  11. Please correct the headline of this article!
    The Headline of the article is totally wrong and gives a bad impression of the rider and of lane filtering. An appropriate heading should be:
    Driver faces dangerous driving charges,
    Or
    Driver charged with intent to cause motorcyclist harm

    1. Hi Robert,
      I see what you are saying, but the charges arise from the lane filtering incident.
      No one else has said they think the rider is to blame as the heading clearly says the driver is being charged.
      Also, your suggested headings are incorrect as the driver has been charged with intent to menace, not cause harm or dangerous driving.
      Most people read the headline and full story before making any judgements.
      We will update when the driver appears in court.
      Cheers,
      Mark

      1. My first impression with your headline was that the biker was at fault. I had to read the article to realise it was the car driver.

  12. Have filtered/split my whole riding life and on many occasions I’ve had an arm come out a car/bus window only to warn me of some danger ahead,. Not all road users want to kill you, but most do. Ride smart, stay aware and stay alive

  13. I am 61, live in Coffs Hbr, & have ridden for 45+ Yrs. The vast majority of drivers are excellent, some but not many, are fools. I hate driving in Sth Est QLD but recently while riding in my wet gear (Bright Yellowjacket like the QLD Police Motorcycles 😉 ) I noticed that cars would and did give me a clear passage without obstruction whether filtering or just traversing.
    Filtering is a good rule but we need Standard rules between each State so that Interstate Drivers & Riders can understand, accept and respect. I see too many riders doing dumb stuff too, even if the bike is registered in NSW. The rule in NSW is simple to follow but then again many other road rules get broken by all classes of road users.
    Ride to live, Live to ride again TOMORROW.

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