Victoria will join Queensland and NSW with 30km/h lane filtering for motorcycle and scooter riders from November 2, 2015.
The Victorian Motorcycle Council had called for a faster speed of 40km/h to coincide with Melbourne’s inner-city speed limit.
This followed complaints from riders in Queensland and New South Wales about the difficulty of monitoring their speed at 30km/h while filtering through traffic.
However Victorian Motorcycle Council chair Rob Salvatore has welcomed the introduction of lane-filtering laws, “showing that riders and Government can successfully work together to improve rider safety and reduce congestion, benefitting all road users”.
The rules differ slightly from New South Wales, allowing riders to ride between lines of traffic and packed cars.
Like other states and the ACT where they are trialling lane filtering, learners are not permitted to lane filter.
Rob says they have long campaigned for the safety benefits of lane filtering.
“The 2011 Parliamentary Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety confirmed that motorcycle lane filtering fundamentally improves rider safety,” he says.
“It reduces the risk of a nose-to-tail collision; the leading cause of rider hospitalisation in metropolitan Melbourne. Furthermore, filtering can significantly reduce peak hour congestion.”
The new Labor Government had promised to introduce the rules from September 1, but had encountered delays in the consultation process with riders, cyclists, pedestrians and drivers, and more than 1000 responses to their online survey.
Cyclists and pedestrians had not only objected to lane-filtering rules, but also to the proposed use of bike lanes for motorcyclists.
VicRoads will support the law change with a public awareness campaign for all road users.
More detailed information on the new filtering measures can be found at VicRoads.
The changes include permitted filtering:
between lanes or lines of traffic in the same direction
between lanes or lines of traffic and parked cars
for motorcycle licence holders (not learner permit holders)
at speeds up to 30km/h (penalties will apply for filtering in excess of 30km/h)
unless signed otherwise.
Fines and penalties have not yet been released, but they are quite extensive in other states.