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.
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 so
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.”