Leniency on motorcycle edge filtering rule

ker lane filtering edge edge filtering

Queensland is the only state that allows edge filtering on some roads and now riders have been granted further leniency when the speed limit is temporarily changed.

Lane filtering was introduced in 2015 under the former Liberal State Government, thanks to lobbying by the Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland.

The rules included the unique allowance for riders to filter on the edge of roads marked as 90km/h or higher.

Edge filtering anomaly

However, in a ludicrous anomaly riders were banned from edge filtering if the variable electronic speed limit was reduced for congested traffic – just when you need to filter!

The MRAQ has been lobbying to fix the edge filtering anomaly for the past 18 months.

Last month the Labor Government changed the rule to allow edge filtering even when the speed is dropped, unless it is in a tunnel or through roadworks.

The ACT recently made lane filtering permanent after a prolonged trial. It joins all other states with lane filtering laws, except Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

However, rules vary across all borders.

Filtering amendments

MRAQ president Chris Mearns Ride to Work Day RACQ plan defect unfair edge filtering
MRAQ president Chris Mearns

MRAQ president Chris Mearns says they have also been lobbying for other changes to Queensland’s lane filtering rules.

They want provisional licensed riders with one-year’s experience to be eligible to filter and to scrap the term “when safe to do so” from the rules.

However, Chris says the MRAQ have found it is best to “not confuse issues when dealing with government and to deal with one item at a time separately”.

“Although this does further make getting change an even slower process it is still better than confusion because then nothing happens,” he says.

“Filtering for P riders is something that we have on our agenda. It is proposed to work towards allowing at least P2 riders to filter.

“The argument that government uses is that P riders do not have sufficient experience but we say that P2 riders have at least 12 months’ experience which should be enough to be able to handle slow manoeuvres with confidence.”

Safe to do soLane filtering forum act extends bosch borders  edge filtering

Every state, except NSW, includes words similar to “when safe to do so” in their lane filtering rules. It provides police with too much latitude to fine riders based on their judgement.

Chris says the term is “very generic and open to individual interpretation”.

“However we do understand why it is used,” he says.

“It is almost impossible to write into legislation all the possible situations that could be classed as unsafe to do so to enable the generic term to be removed.

“The only way to include a coverage for unsafe situations was to use the ‘when safe to do so’ wording.

“Currently neither we nor anyone else has been able to suggest another way of incorporating the instruction to filter with due care in a better terminology.”

11 Comments

  1. All this angst about terminology is just getting yourself tied up in the self absorption of bureaucrats and their love of verbiage.
    All road conditions carry the caveat of using in a safe fashion or when safe , to wish therefore , to add to the obvious is stupid and evinces poor thought process .
    If you want to “edge filter” do so , some riders will think certain conditions unsafe while others will be comfortable , so , putting in “when safe to do so” does nothing other than invite judgemental actions by police and in fact protects them from scrutiny should they act and fine someone.

  2. None of those issues for footpath parking turned out to real in Melbourne. In fact for shops it increased trade as people could shop and park more easily.

  3. Yes there is a law now called careless driving was neg drive its in the TORUM and the qld criminal code also has 428A dangerous operation of a motor vehicle as well.

    1. Good point but considering most of the rules were created in order to fine riders for filtering rather than actually making it legal I doubt they will ever see reason.

      I find the 30kph rule a bit silly also, the rule should be approximately 30% and no greater than fifty percent higher than traffic speeds upto the posted limit . Because the last thing you want to be looking at when filtering is the bloody speedo!

    1. Hi Robert,
      I agree. It’s safer. No one suddenly changing lanes without indicating.
      However, I have TWICE copped punctures from all the tradie ute detritus on the sides of the roads.
      Be careful!
      Cheers,
      Mark

      1. Agreed.. Have coped 2 punctures after filtering on the edge.. For this reason I nolonger do it.. That and the fact was almost wiped out by another pickle on a bike not abiding by the 30 k/ hr rule while filtering on the edge.. Came flying up behind me at atleast 80ks, lucky I heard him coming & pulled back into traffic or I would have been toast.

  4. Please lobby for footpath parking in the 50cm wide area from the gutter inwards in the city like Melbourne has. It works really well and reduces traffic and parking congestion. It also makes use of the wasted space reduces opportunity for J walking by pedestrians and does not affect footpath pedestrians as its unused space where street signs seats and bins are located so pedestrians can’t walk along that space anyway.
    Thanks

    1. Good idea but the arguments against that hold merit are,
      Access for emergency services
      Safe access and egress to the parking positions ( no scaring pedestrians or getting cleaned up returning to the road)
      Resistance from commercial premises not wanting their store fronts obscured by bikes.
      Any proposal that doesn’t address these issues will fail .

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