Learner drivers not told about lane filtering

Lane filtering forum act extends bosch

It seems that many learner drivers are not being told about motorcycle lane filtering, nor being quizzed about it in their learner test.

NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia have introduced lane filtering, it’s on trial in the ACT and is shortly about to be introduced in Western Australia and Tasmania.

NSW, Victoria and Queensland have had short-lived publicity campaigns about lane filtering.

According to South Australian Ride To Review rider group spokesman Tim Kelly, the state has had “no education campaign whatsoever” about the new rule introduced in April this year.

NSW does not include any reference to lane filtering in its road user handbook, despite the rule being introduced in July 2014.Lane filtering

However, Transport NSW spokesman Alistair Adams-Smith says it is currently being updated and will include reference to lane filtering.

Victoria also does not include any reference to filtering in their online Road to Solo Driving Handbook even after it was updated in August 2016, nine months after it was introduced.

In fact, it actually seems to oppose it:

Cyclists and motorcyclists are entitled to ride two abreast (up to 1.5 metres apart); this makes them easier to see. Give cyclists and motorcyclists their own space. Never share the lane with cyclists or motorcyclists if you cannot leave clearance. Motorcyclists and cyclists should also keep a safe distance from other vehicles and not travel through small gaps between lines of traffic.

No specific test question

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

Also, none of the states with lane-filtering laws include a specific question for learner drivers about lane filtering in the written driving test, although NSW says it will be included after their update and SA says it will be included “in the computer-based theory test in the near future and considered for inclusion in the paper-based tests when the next comprehensive review is undertaken.”.

If learner drivers are not being told about it or quizzed on it, is there any wonder there is ignorance about the rule among motorists?

Ignorance can quickly turn to jealousy and road rage when drivers see riders filtering past them in the heavy traffic.

I even had one taxi driver abuse me for filtering, yet they’re supposed to be professional drivers who are aware of the current road rules.

Tasmania updates testingjake Dolan racer and learner rider at AMA training

Meanwhile, Tasmania has recently increased the costs of getting a motorcycle licence.

Tasmanian Motorcycle Council president Paul Bullock says they support the new system which is similar to Victoria, includes more training hours, leading to the extra expense.

“The focus is to better prepare the learner to ride on the road with other traffic,” Paul says.

“At present, participants are doing about 17km around an area then given a licence to ride on the road. In the new program they will be doing over 50km over two days and you have to pass day one to proceed to day two.

“Day two is on-road under supervision with an instructor. Then there is a check ride followed by your provisional exam.”

11 Comments

  1. I’d like to understand where you get your information from inregards to NSW Road rules? Page 64 of the Riders Handbook http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/roads/licence/motorcycle-riders-handbook.pdf which i got when I started riding last year has a section about filtering that states it should only be done by fully licensed rider and the conditions/situations that it can be done.

    I still see L and P players filtering though and am assuming they’ve never read the rider book.

  2. Bullshit!!! We were told at the L plates riding course that lane filtering was only permitted by fully licenced riders. We were also told the difference between splitting and filtering.

  3. I think the real problem is the mentality of some drivers who just do not like the fact we can filter. Just look at the number of people who start turning their wheels inwards when they see us coming. The only thing that prevents some drivers from closing the gap completely is the fact they have come up so close behind the car in front they can’t close the gap without hitting the car. Driver education is needed but eternal vigilance will still be the key for safer filtering.

  4. I emailed Vicroads months back voicing my concern that new drivers were not being informed about lane filtering laws and also to the fact that the “Road to Solo Driving” Handbook made no mention of it whatsoever and to date I have had zero response from them…

    Also, from what I hear, licence testers don’t even bother to inform new drivers that there are actually 400 plus road rules that drivers need to be aware of….not just the basics that they learn as part of the licence test….CRAZY!!!

    1. As a Driving Instructor and also a Bike rider, be assured Russell that I do inform my student drivers of the number of Road Regulations, the changes that have been implemented since 2014 to the Road Rules and about the need to allow motorcyclists to filter in traffic. However, I can’t vouch for other Instructors. Certainly, by allowing family and friends who are NOT conversant with the road regulations to supervise learner drivers, the ignorance will continue!!. In Japan, learners are ONLY allowed to be instructed by qualified instructors, no supervision by others. In some European countries, strict rules apply regarding supervision, whereby supervising drivers, other than instructors, must also pass a test; and the pass rate on a test for learners is >80%, which is the standard in Victoria.
      Perhaps it should be introduced that if you renew your licence, you need to pass a test re road rules/driving OR both.!!!
      Many elderly drivers who I retest with an OT are fearful of resitting a test because it’s been so long since they got theior licence and they are often unsure of the current road rules.

  5. I ride to work every day & learners/P-platers never give me any probs. Most dangerous are are oxygen wasters who never go over speed limit, & think that because they’re below speed limit everything they do is OK. So as far as I can see,
    Every K Under Is a KIller.

    1. Dude.
      Like it or not, them ‘s the rules. No argument, there’s plenty if spastics blundering around on the road. But the speed limit is the law. Think about how near-impossible it would be ride your bike if no one at least tried to follow the rules. The predictable riders and drivers are doing you a favour by being just so.

      For what it’s worth mate, I’ve found that riding/driving got a lot easier as I dialled-back the aggression. It didn’t eliminate the knobs, but reduced the frequency I had to deal with them.

  6. This is interesting. As someone who just recently completed the Learners process and currently holding P plates in NSW. I argee there is zero reference to Lane filtering in the books. However is covered on websites. I was told about it during my learners course and also imformed that it is illeagel for me to lane filter until I hold a full lic.

    However this article brings up a good point. I had be driving for 17 years before getting my motorbike lic. However going for my Motorbike L’s required me to undergo a Driver Knowledge Test (With only 5 questions changed for a motorbike). This highlights the problem, a number of road rules have changed or been redefined in th 17 years since i last sat a DKT.

    We Should be required to complete a DKT when renewing our lic, with questions based on changed rules. How we perform in the test should have a barring on how much we pay for your lic and there should be a required pass mark. If you are below you can not renew your lic. This will start to enforce people to revise the old rules. Down side, Can still be 10 years between tests (as i currenty hold a 10 year lic). But it is better than nothing.

  7. Getting a license after 17km or even 50km is an absolute joke. What can you possible learn in less than 50km.

    To put things in perspective to get one’s license in Germany you are required a minimum of 25 to 45 hours of professional driving instruction plus 12 hours of theory and eight hours of first aid training. Obligatory lessons include a minimum number of lessons each driving on: the motorway Autobahn; rural areas, and in the dark.

    Until the license laws are changed here and the requirements are made a lot more strict we will continue to have poor drivers with bad attitudes which ultimately leads to a higher road toll

  8. Learners should not be allowed to accumulate hours with mum and dad until deemed competent by professional instructors to do so. By definition, 50% of drivers are below average standard and the average in Australia is pretty low anyway. Motor-car drivers in this country need to be much better educated across the board. While I was driving a school-bus around a roundabout yesterday, I had an idiot squeeze between me and the roundabout. I just managed to avoid sideswiping the fool and pushing him up onto the roundabout. As well as teaching learners properly, I believe there is a need for ongoing education.

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