Filtering vs Splitting

Lane filtering is a practice where motorcycles move between lanes of stationary and slow-moving traffic (below 30kph) travelling in the same direction as the rider. This is the practice that would become legal

Lane splitting is riding a motorcycle at speeds above 30kph between vehicles travelling in the same direction as the rider. This is the practice that would remain illegal

Isn’t it dangerous?

No, all the significant research into lane filtering has found the practice to be safer for the motorcyclist. A recent MAIDS study found that riders who weren’t filtering at the time of a crash were 6 times more likely to experience a fatality by remaining stationary in the queue of traffic. Other research from California conducted between June 2012 and August 2013 on 8000 motorcyclists found that motorcyclists who filter safely through slow moving traffic are less likely to be rear-ended by other motorists and in the event of a crash, are far less likely to suffer head or torso injuries and less than half as likely to be fatally injured.

Is it legal elsewhere

Yes, Lane filtering was legalised in NSW in July 2014, and in Qld in February 2015. ACT is currently doing a 2 year trial (2015/2016). VIC have indicated that filtering will be legalised in September 2015. The practice is also widely accepted throughout Europe and in the United States.

How would the law work

  • Riders with a provisional or open class motorcycle licence would be allowed to move between stationary or slow moving vehicles travelling in the same direction as the rider, provided they do not exceed 30kph and it is safe to do so.
  • Motorcyclists must comply with all existing road rules when 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.
  • On major roads, such as motorways, freeways and highways where the 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 30kph on the road shoulder or in an emergency stopping lane.
  • Motorcycle riders would be allowed to use bus lanes up to the posted speed providing they exit the lane prior to the stop line.
  • Motorcycle riders must ensure their vehicle does not pass the stop line at any marked intersection.
  • Motorcycle riders must not filter next to a gutter or beside parked cars.