Filtering Australia

filtering-smallHere in the UK filtering (riding slowly between stationary or slow moving vehicles) on a motorcycle/scooter/moped is an accepted and legitimate practice.

However this has not been “legal” or accepted by authorities in other countries including the Australian State of NSW (New South Wales).

However from the 1st July 2014 motorcycle lane filtering will be made legal in NSW with strict conditions:

  • Motorcyclists must only lane filter when travelling less than 30 km/h
  • Motorcyclists can lane filter through stationary and slow moving traffic
  • Motorcyclists caught moving between traffic at over 30km/h face heavy fines and three demerit points under a new offence called ‘lane splitting ’
  • It will be illegal for motorcyclists to lane filter:
    • next to the kerb
    • next to parked vehicles
    • in school zones
  • Motorcyclists should always look out for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Motorcyclists should not lane filter around heavy vehicles and buses
  • Only fully licensed motorcyclists are allowed to lane filter
  • Motorcyclists must only lane filter when it’s safe
  • Motorcyclists must comply with all existing road rules when lane filtering. This includes stopping before the stop line at a red traffic light or stop sign, never in front or over it.

Christopher Burns, spokesman for the Motorcycle Council of NSW (MCCofNSW) said; “The Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay, Transport for NSW and the Centre for Road Safety should be applauded for this common sense move to legalise lane filtering in NSW and the first state in Australia to do so.

The NSW government has launched a new video animation which explains the new laws and shows how to lane filter safely.

UK Filtering

In the UK filtering has been said to be, “accepted as being a benefit of riding a motorcycle and is something that just about every rider has done at some stage without any problems.”

The Highway Code in the UK says for motorcyclists, 88 Manoeuvring. You should be aware of what is behind and to the sides before manoeuvring. Look behind you; use mirrors if they are fitted. When in traffic queues look out for pedestrians crossing between vehicles and vehicles emerging from junctions or changing lanes. Position yourself so that drivers in front can see you in their mirrors. Additionally, when filtering in slow-moving traffic, take care and keep your speed low.

Remember: Observation – Signal – Manoeuvre.”

And for other drivers,151 In slow-moving traffic. You should………………be aware of cyclists and motorcyclists who may be passing on either side………….

211 It is often difficult to see motorcyclists and cyclists, especially when they are coming up from behind, coming out of junctions, at roundabouts, overtaking you or filtering through traffic.”

With good advise in the video, which with the new Australian legislation makes lane filtering absolutely legal with rules and regulation, that can attract penalties both for riders and other vehicle drivers.

Do we need specific rules and regulations here in the UK or in your country – Europe?………………….

Comments from the Right To EU Facebook page would suggest differing views – You can’t write a rule for something as simple as making a cup of tea so a rule for filtering would be impossible. – Mike Land once made a video that gives a pretty damn good idea of how to make a cuppa British style, from which enough rules or at least guidelines can be distilled. There’s always leeway in interpreting traffic rules, just think of the position in you lane …

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Information & Links

NSW Government – Transport for NSW –

Motorcycle Council of NSW on filtering – Click Here

Stop Smidsy – On Facebook

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