Can motorcycle riders straight-line a corner?

Straight-lining corners

Many riders straight-line a series of corners by crossing broken white lines, but Victorian Police warn it’s illegal and recently fined seven sports car drivers for doing just that.

VicPol recently recorded this video of a group of exotic sports cars straight-lining corners by crossing broken white lines on the Omeo Highway in north-east Victoria.

A VicPol spokeswoman confirmed they used the video evidence to issue more than $2000 in fines to the drivers of the four Ferraris, two Porsches and a Lotus Esprit.

The speed limit on the road is 100km/h, but the corners are tight and advisory speed signs are as low as 25km/h. However, none of the drivers was booked for speeding.

Instead, they were booked for failing to remain left of the road centre, even though the centre line is broken.

“Police do see motorists at times ‘straight-lining’ whereby a vehicle crosses the centre line in order to exit a bend quicker in the same way that a race driver does on a track,” the spokeswoman says.

“This is considered dangerous and drivers should remember that the road is not a race track.”

Crossing centre lines

The spokeswoman says the only times a motorist can cross white lines is to safely overtake “when line markings allow” (that is, when the line is broken) or to avoid an obstruction on the road.

None of the drivers in the video was overtaking or avoiding an obstruction.

“The road and line marking will determine the penalty which may range from $198 and two demerit points to $317 and three demerit points for offences such as fail to keep left of centre of road and drive on or over or to the right of dividing lines respectively,” the VicPol spokeswoman says.

The rules and penalties are similar in all states.

Straight-lining

ABC Gippsland posted the police video on their Facebook page, prompting angry responses from some riders who questioned whether it was illegal to cross broken white lines.

Others supported police saying they would not like to have been riding in the opposite direction to be confronted by a group of cars on the wrong side of the road.

In November 217, we posted this video and photos of vehicles dangerously crossing double white lines on the Oxley Highway.

It also prompted anger among riders saying it was common on twisting roads to see vehicles on the wrong side of the road.

Clarification for ridersRiders on Mt Glorious road works designer straight

We asked police in a couple of states to clarify when they deemed a rider to be crossing the centre line as some riders are so close to the centre in mid-corner their upper body crosses the line.

However, police say the bike’s tyres would have to cross the centre line to be illegal.

Still, it’s highly dangerous to have your head and body leaning over the line into the danger zone of oncoming traffic.

The way we see it, winding roads are fun because they are twisty. Straight-lining them may not only be dangerous, but takes out all the fun.
  • What do you think of police fining motorists for crossing broken white lines? Leave your comments below.

16 Comments

  1. It’s the only charge the cops could pin on them was they would have been warned by cars / bikes going the other direction that cops were there. Had exactly this happen to a group of us returning from a Philip island GP. We were informed about the presence of cops by Southbound riders. What we didn’t know was they had cameras set up on the 3 previous corners to specifically get bikes straight lining around open corners. When we saw the cops they pointed to one of our group & booked him. Then do the Sam thing to a 68 yr old Grandma.
    Nothing unsafe about the riders actions. You could clearly see all the corners involved. The cops knew they were going to catch bugger all for speeding so this was an obscure rule they could get a lot more bang for their buck.
    My opinion of the Victoria Highway patrol hit a new low. Purely a money grabbing exercise. IMO

    1. I have ridden for 41 years and I have to agree with the cops on this one.
      How can they say that it okay for a bike to straight line by cutting onto the opposite side of the road but not a car. Then when it hits the fan and a motorcyclist is cleaned up by another motorcyclist or car doing the same thing coming the other way the cops find themselves out on a limb because they sanctioned a maneuver which was dangerous.
      Just lean your bike or steer your car through the corners as they were made to do.

  2. For those who r on the wrong side when it’s safe go ahead cause no one else ‘ever’ sees u. For the rest of the morons who do it when other traffic is on the road, their either ignorant of the danger they place on others, or they’ve got their probusus up their anus & don’t know it. Ride smart then fast.

  3. Many moons ago I was failed on a QLD practical motorbike test because my body overhung a double white line whilst taking a turn at an intersection.

  4. I’ve driven down the center of the roads for years in country areas to give me a little bit of a safety margin either side of the vehicle to avoid wildlife

  5. The term ‘financial harassment’ comes to mind. How many road rules do we all break on a daily basis? Road rules that we all could be fined for. If the rider was doing something unsafe then bring down the full force of the law. If the driving was safe why fine that person? Should the police force be serving us or randomly taking our hard earned money for the state government? Fining people for no good reason is no better than theft in my opinion.

  6. If you can see then there is no danger in fact it may be safer to strait line a series of S’s than to steer heavily just to stay on the left of a line especially if the quality of the road surface is poor and there is the chance of some clown coming up behind you who’s going to straighten out the bends .
    Taking a fine to court you would say that you feared debris and or oil on the road so you took the safest line.
    That is a genuine defence and even video evidence to the contrary can not negate it as the law allows you to cross even unbroken or double centre lines under certain circumstances
    As for broken lines the bar is very low so police would have to have proof of speeding to win. For a bike rider the chance of a fall due to poor road surface is very high and even a low speed fall in a bend can cause serious injury so as long as you can say you straighten the bends to avoid an accident without it coming across as a blatant lie the fine should be tossed. Photos of tar snakes loose gravel leaf litter and pot holes will support your case.

      1. From experience I can say that there are three types of beaks
        Those that are reasonable and understand that the road rules are there for our benefit not detriment.
        Those that are a stickler for the letter of the law.
        And those who don’t care about anything but their own little world and agenda and bugger anyone who tries to mess it up with reality or asks for compassion.

        The first will actually look for ways to help you
        The second will do only what is printed in a book , so you can actually win with them if you spen money on a good shyster.
        The third you’ll be lucky if you don’t end up in a cell for wearing the wrong tie and not bowing and kissing their feet.

  7. Of course common sense should prevail – visibility is key, if you can’t see then don’t cross and we’ve all seen plenty of examples of idiots doing this with no visibility – but is this actually enshrined in the law or just the opinion of the police – those people who’s job it is to uphold the law not make the law … the clue is here:

    “This is considered dangerous and drivers should remember that the road is not a race track.”

    “Considered” – so it’s an opinion … but wait:

    “However, police say the bike’s tyres would have to cross the centre line to be illegal.”

    So is the problem something that is “considered” or a technicality? Surely having 90% of the bike in the oncoming lane while the tyre is barely touching in the ‘correct’ side would be ‘considered’ just as dangerous by a consistent plod.

    Do they really expect us to believe this crap? silly question, they probably think it all makes sense …

  8. I stay in my lane and expect others to do the same. The last thing I want is to take a sharp bend on the bike and be confronted headlong by an oncoming vehicle in my lane while cranked over. Plus I’ve never seen the point of straight-lining a bike or car through twisting and winding roads: why not just take the straight road if you don’t have the skills? If you are a biker, get yourself a Daytona 675 or GSXR750 for riding the twisties and leave the Harley or Busa in the garage. I’m 100% with the cops on this one.

  9. You learn something new every day, I didn’t know it was illegal to cross broken lines if you aren’t actually overtaking someone. I think if the road is winding you should be staying in your own lane but I would expect unbroken centre lines.

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