Bikes can ‘filter’ in limited ways

DESPITE a fair amount of government funded publicity surrounding the new lane "filtering" laws for motorcycles, there seems to still be a fair degree of confusion as to the circumstances in which motorcyclists can ride between and around other cars.

The new laws, which took effect this year, now permit motorcyclists to move between these vehicles but only in a limited number of circumstances.

The changes to the Transport Operations (Road Use Management - Road Rules) Regulation 2009 permit motorcyclists to "filter" between cars but only where:

  • The motorcyclist has an open licence;
  • They do not have to travel faster than 30km per hour in order to do so;
  • It is safe to undertake the passing manoeuvre; and
  • It is not in a school zone.

The rules also do not permit motorcyclists to travel on to the shoulder of a road unless the road has a speed limit of 90km per hour or more, and it is not necessary for the motorcyclist to ride on any unsealed part of the road.

Ignorance of the law is never an excuse so it will be important for motorcyclists and drivers to understand these regulations or there will exist a potential for significant tension to develop, particularly in the heat of peak hour traffic.

Travis Schultz, practice group leader

Schultz Toomey O'Brien Lawyers, part of the Slater & Gordon Group