Some riders want separate stop lines at intersections in front of other vehicles now that lane filtering has been introduced in most states and the ACT.
The lines are used by motorcycles and scooters in many European and Asian countries to separate two-wheelers from the rest of the traffic.
The idea is that it allows riders to filter through the traffic and safely gather in an area in front of the stop line for cars.
Currently, only one or two motorcycles can filter through traffic and slip in front of the cars.
That can leave a line of motorbikes stranded between cars at the lights which puts them in danger when the traffic starts to move.
Motorbike stop lines are designed to allow riders to get away safely when the lights turn green.
Independent Riders’ Group spokesman Damien Codognotto says motorcycle stop lines aren’t suitable for all intersections, but could be accommodated at most intersections.
He says his group will lobby the Victorian Government and Melbourne City Council for the lines to separate pedestrians from two-wheelers and two-wheelers from cars.
“This will increase safety for vulnerable road users and compliment the new traffic filtering rules while reducing congestion and improving traffic flow,” he says.
“Bicycle stop lines ahead of cars exist all over Melbourne and they work. No question.”
However, he says many motorists, including bus drivers, ignore them.
“If stop lines for all two wheelers are introduced, we need a car driver education campaign and, after a reasonable introduction period, strong enforcement by police,” he says.
While the stop lines and signage would be cheap and easy to install, traffic light loops would have to be moved back to where the cars stop so they triggered the lights even when a motorcycle is not in front of them.
This could be expensive, but Damien says it could be done when intersections are resurfaced or upgraded.
New Australian Motorcycle Council chairman Peter Baulch says the issue had been discussed in the lead-up to filtering laws.
“Most State advocacy organisations affiliated with AMC chose to pursue filtering alone without complicating the matter with additional stop lines or stop boxes (as for the pedal cyclists),” he says.
“VicRoads advised that such a measure would require additional line markings which would take up to a year to achieve, thus delaying the introduction of filtering by at least a year. The VMC chose to simply seek approval for filtering only.”
The City of Melbourne Motorcycle Plan 2015 has called for investigation into stop boxes for all two-wheelers, but will face opposition from the strong cycling lobby.
Bicycle Network Senior Policy Advisor Garry Brennan says permitting bicycles and motorbikes in bicycle storage boxes would be “contrary to the new Safe Systems approach to road safety that is now both national and state policy”.
“One of the core principles of Safe Systems is ‘Homogeneity of mass and/or speed and direction’. This translates as keeping heavier and faster vehicles away from cyclists,” he says.
“I consider it very unlikely that any government would do the opposite and encourage the mixing together of motorcycles and bicycles.”