ACT finally makes lane filtering permanent

Australian Capital Territory has permanent motorcycle lane filtering rules

The Australian Capital Territory today (October 9, 2018) joins much of Australia with permanent motorcycle lane-filtering rules after a successful 30-month trial period.

However, fines and demerit points for lane filtering offences have still not been detailed.

During the trial period, no fines were issued. We will update readers when penalty details are finalised.

Furthermore, riders are unable to check the rule details yet as the website is still being updated.

Fines and rules vary

Lane filtering fines and rules vary around the nation.

Victoria has the lowest penalties for lane filtering offences in Australia at $159 and no demerit points, followed by Tasmania with the same fine but two demerit points.

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

NSW is the most expensive for lane-filtering riders who get it wrong. They can be fined $659 and three demerit points (but no double demerits) for breaches.

The permanent ACT rules will be the same as during the trial, with the addition of a ban on filtering in 40km/h zones such as road works, school zones and city centres.

It could be understandable as there is not much gain since the speed limit for filtering is 30km/h. 

However, city centres are where riders are most vulnerable from rear-enders in the queue at traffic lights. That’s where we need to have lane filtering!

Click here to read the various rules around the nation to avoid confusion for riders heading interstate.

Lane filtering rules

Only the Northern Territory and Western Australia have not yet introduced lane filtering. WA is expected to join shortly.

NSW was the first to introduce lane filtering in July 2014. Other states have gradually followed suit, while the ACT started a “two-year trial” in February 2015.

The trial included a ban on filtering in school zones, kerbside or in a bicycle lane.

Earlier this year, the trial was further extended to conduct a government-commissioned evaluation.

It found 69% of respondents support lane filtering as a road safety measure.

Permanent status welcomed

Lane filtering becomes permanent in AT
At the launch of the new filtering laws (from left): Motorcycle Riders Association ACT president Lorne Thurgar and vice-president Jen Woods with Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury.

Motorcycle Riders Association ACT vice-president Jen Woods says the permanent status of lane filtering is “very exciting”.

“Anecdotally there was a bit of road rage toward filtering riders in beginning, but nothing too dire,” she says.

“The ACT Government ran an awareness campaign on the radio and TV a couple of times. Should we find road rage happening, we would approach them for another awareness campaign.

“Canberra riders have been responsible and filtering has been embraced.

“It’s a really positive thing as it gives us that level of visibility to move to the front of a queue of traffic at intersections and move away which is a bonus.”

Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury warned all road users to be aware of the new rules.

“Drivers should always be aware and cautious of motorcyclists, whether they are lane filtering or otherwise,” he says.

“Expect them to be on the roads, and be aware that they are smaller and sometimes move differently than other motor vehicles.”

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Week starts on Saturday in the ACT with a “Joe Rider” campaign in which riders wear bright vests to alert drivers of their presence.

Joe Rider Motorcycle Awareness Month
Joe Rider

One thought on “ACT finally makes lane filtering permanent

  1. It seems to me that filtering was made legal only to introduce a new regime of fines and many of these rules have little to nothing to do with safety and are purely there as a means of revenue raising.
    The rules regarding cycle lanes and kerbside filtering are a bit on the nose, they could be amended with “ if occupied by cyclists “ and “ if there is less than 1.5 metres to the gutter and or there is a likelihood of pedestrians “ the other bit of idiocy is the ban on using break down lanes! If you’re stuck in traffic on a freeway and there is an empty lane that is perfectly safe to use denying it is like refusing water to a person dying of thirst! About the only restriction that makes any sense as written is the ban on filtering in school zones.

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