South Australian riders and representative groups want to join most of the rest of Australia, California, Asia and Europe in legalising lane filtering for motorcycles and scooters.
The group, called Ride to Review (RTR), has drafted a Lane Filtering Submission which is now being made public.
RTR Spokesman Tim Kelly says the submission was personally handed to Minister Peter Malinauskas in August. Copies have recently been provided to the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and Shadow Minister David Pisoni. They are now also available online for public perusal.
The submission is designed as a framework for “improving road safety, congestion alleviation and reducing emissions”.
The practice is legal in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and still under trial in the Australian Capital Territory. It is also legal throughout Europe, the UK, Asia and has recently been legalised in California where it’s called lane splitting.
Before lane filtering was legalised with specific regulations in several states, it never existed as a specific infringement.
Instead, police were able to fine people for passing on the wrong side, failure to stay in their lane, not indicating, etc.
Since lane filtering has been legalised, there has been concern among riders and legislators that laws vary across states.
Motorbike Writer asked all relevant state ministers for their comments on the rule disparity and/or lack of lane filtering. Read their responses here.
SA Road Safety Minister Peter Malinauskas told us they were monitoring lane filtering in other states before any implementation.
The RTR submission calls for a maximum operating speed for filtering of 30km/h, which is consistent with other states.
However, they depart from the norm in calling for no new offence for lane filtering. That’s a smart move that would avoid the outlandish fines imposed by other states.
They also call for the use of bus lanes, which is only legal in NSW and the ACT.
RTR’s lane filtering recommendations:
- Riders with a provisional or open class motorcycle licence be allowed to move between stationary or slow-moving vehicles travelling in the same direction as the rider, provided they do not exceed 30km/h and it is safe to do so.
- Motorcycle riders would be allowed to use bus lanes up to the posted speed providing they exit the lane prior to the stop line (where specific lighting sequences exist).
- On major roads, such as motorways, freeways and highways where the normal speed limit is 80km/h or more, a rider who holds a provisional or open-class licence for riding a motorcycle may ride past stationary, or slow-moving traffic at speeds not greater than 30km/h on the road shoulder or in an emergency stopping lane.
- With the exception of certain offences (see their full submission here) motorcyclists must comply with all existing road rules when lane filtering (no requirement for a new offence to be created pertaining to lane filtering).
- Learner riders would not be allowed to lane filter because of their relatively limited on-road riding and slow-manoeuvring experience.
- Motorcycle riders would be prohibited from lane filtering in school zones during school zone hours.
- Riders must ensure their vehicle does not pass the stop line at any marked intersection.
- Motorcycle riders must not filter next to a kerb/gutter or beside parked vehicles.
The RTR submission says legal filtering will lead to “positive outcomes for rider safety, awareness, concentration and on-road behaviour”. They claim it will reduce the number of riders fatally injured, hospitalised and/or suffering life-changing injuries due to rear-end collisions.
RTR believes lane filtering would also advantage other road users by reducing congestion, lowering emissions and shortening trip times.
Tim says the submission is “designed to provide a basis for discussion for the type of legislation SA riders would like to see formalised as part of our approach to the national harmonisation of laws”.
RTR lane filtering submission is supported and endorsed by:
- National Motorcycle Alliance (NMA)
- Motoring Advisory Council (MAC)
- Jeffrey Lane (MRG Member/Riding Instructor)
- Ducati Owners Club of SA (DOCSA)
- South Australian Bikers Events Rides & Socialising (SABERS)
- Harley Owners Group of SA (HOGSA)