Filtering stop lines considered for motorcyclists

Lane filtering lane splitting stop lines report minister change kerb

Forward stop lines for lane filtering riders could be trialled in one Australian state while others reject it and one state does not even have lane filtering yet.

The lines are used in many European and Asian countries to give riders a safe head-start from traffic.

This separation of motorcycles from other types of vehicles is designed to improve the performance of busy signalised intersections by making traffic flow more efficiently.

We contacted relevant departments in each state to find out what they think of the lines, but there was no repose from Tasmania or the Territories.

Victoria

VicRoads and the City of Melbourne are investigating whether forward motorcycle stop lines are required and potential impacts of their installation.

VicRoads Acting Director, Road User and Vehicle Access, James Soo, says that when lane filtering was introduced in Victoria in 2016, “motorcyclists highlighted that lane filtering was a safe activity already occurring on Victorian roads”.Lane filtering lane splitting stop lines congestion danger

“Due to this, no infrastructure changes were required,” James says.

However that may soon change as a Motorcycles In Melbourne Committee (MIMC) meeting on Thursday (May 31, 2018) will discuss a trial of forward stop lines.

James says VicRoads is working with council on the matter.

“As part of the City of Melbourne Motorcycle Plan 2015 – 2018 VicRoads was approached by council alongside other government agencies and road user groups to investigate the need for motorcycle boxes and what impacts of the installation may be,” he says.

A City of Melbourne spokesperson confirmed they are working with VicRoads.

“Briefs have been sent out to several consultancies to prepare a fee proposal for the undertaking of the study. A consultant is expected to be appointed in June,” the spokesperson says.

MIMC member and Independent Riders Group spokesman Damien Codognotto says the new stop lines would “complement traffic filtering laws in congested cities and will be a serious benefit to commuters both in terms of safety and better traffic flow”.

“The proposed stop lines will also improve pedestrian safety by separating larger vehicles from pedestrian crossings,” he says.

Trial costs should come from the Motorcycle Safety Levy (MSL), but they would not be excessive, Damien says.

“Some road paint, a stencil and a motorbike logo will be all that is required on many intersections.”

He points out that changes to legislation and regulations to permit the stop lines would not be complex as it has already been adopted for cyclists.

Forward motorcycle stop lines for lane filtering riders
Bicycle stop line in Melbourne

NSW

Transport for NSW says it has not considered forward stop lines for motorcycles because the percentage of motorcycles to other traffic is “not as high” in NSW as in European and Asian countries where the lines are used.

Queensland

Riders are already allowed to the use the green “bicycle storage areas” in Queensland so long as they are not already occupied by cyclists. This is not the case in many European cases as this London images shows.

Stop Lines in Westminster
Stop lines in Westminster

However, riders are not allowed to use a cycling lane to filter. And since most bike storage areas are off to the left side of a lane, rather than in front, it basically prevents riders from legally accessing the bicycle boxes.Forward motorcycle stop lines for lane filtering riders

We could not find any examples where these could be accessed, although Main Roads says a few do exist. Please advise us if you know of any by clicking here to send an email.

Forward motorcycle stop lines for lane filtering riders
Bicycle and motorcycle advanced stop lines wth separate lanes in Vicarage Lane, London (Image Google Maps)

South Australia

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure says they are not considering forward stop lines because, “of the serious casualty crashes that occur at intersections, only a small proportion are rear-end crashes”.

However, a Swann Motorcycle Insurance survey found that in 40% of motorcycle claims, the rider was hit from behind.

An international study also shows that 66.7% of all crashes involving a motorcycle and car occur at an intersection with half being fatal.

Western Australia

This is the only state that does not yet have lane filtering.

Motorcycle Riders Association of Western Australia President Steve Fish says he is hopeful Main Roads will announce the legislation at a Motorcycle Safety Forum on June 23.

“We hope this will be clarification regarding lane filtering and the use of bus lanes as, although motorcycles can use bus lanes, it hasn’t been officially released yet.” 

Our inquiry to Main Roads was referred on to the Road Safety Commission (RSC).

An RSC spokesperson told us the State Government is “currently considering broader motorcycle safety reforms in consultation with community and industry that include lane filtering and lane splitting and improvements to the Graduated Driver Trainer and Licensing System”.

“Forward stop lines would be for Mains Road WA to consider, however infrastructure improvements, which could include separating motorcycles from other road users, is something being considered as part of the reforms,” she says.

10 Comments

  1. Once again we get the finger ! We are paying registration unlike push bike riders but yet they won’t spend the money for Filltering signs and or Moto box

  2. I never stop between cages in lanes. Always pull in front and centre in one lane. A couple of boy racers early on my riding career taught me rhat. Cannot predict by age gender or car make. Have filtered for many (30+) years of my 47 year eiding career.

  3. My own experience is during my daily commute. So many drivers are on their phones at the lights that I always wonder how may have seen me filter through and (try) to pull up in front of their vehicle (behind the white line – what a joke that is). I fully expect to be hit from behind by a driver that hasn’t looked up from their screen long enough to notice that there’s a motorcycle in front of them – even a slip off the clutch, or change to their foot position might be enough to nudge me.

  4. All good until the cage dwellers roll into the space. How often do you see a cage over the stop line now (technical red light infringement) let alone into a space they think they should be able to occupy. Happens at the very few bike boxes there are and standard intersections already. Surprised the jackboots haven’t cottoned onto the easy pickings.

  5. The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure says they are not considering forward stop lines because, “of the serious casualty crashes that occur at intersections, only a small proportion are rear-end crashes”.

    However, a Swann Motorcycle Insurance survey found that in 40% of motorcycle claims, the rider was hit from behind.

    An international study also shows that 66.7% of all crashes involving a motorcycle and car occur at an intersection with half being fatal.

    SA Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure, like most other Australian road safety “experts”
    are talking nonsense.

  6. This would be a great idea. Hopefully at least some states will eventually approve of this. (But I am not going to hold my breath)

  7. While I thoroughly support the idea of forward stop lines and/or motorcycle boxes at traffic lights, I don’t see how it can be as simple as …”“Some road paint, a stencil and a motorbike logo will be all that is required on many intersections.”…

    Most traffic lights have buried induction loops directly behind the existing stopping lines. If the stopping lines for cars is moved backwards to make room for a motorcycle only area then every intersection will need to have a second set of induction loops installed further back where the cars are stopping. This is not a quick job to do!

    1. As a motorcycle rider I think this idea has the potential to be very helpful, but have the same concerns that Nigel has expressed. Either the motorcycle stop points will be forward of the induction loops and encroach on pedestrian crossing areas or the larger vehicle doing areas will be moved back slightly to accommodate and as such be before the loops.

      1. So in road induction loops are a trigger, the vehicle does not need to be sitting on top of them for the loop to work. The fact that a bike or car has passed over the loop sets the trigger. I don’t see the issue you have raised as being an actual issue at most intersections.

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