Call for lane filtering rule change

A simple lane filtering rule change could save the lives of riders who filter to the front of traffic at the lights and then take off immediately on the green.

That’s what most lane-filtering riders do. However, they run the risk of being hit by vehicles from the side running a red light.

We tried to access relevant crash data, but unfortunately no specific statistics are kept on types of lane filtering crashes.

However, I’ve almost had it happen to me and other riders tell me they have had similar near-misses.

Understandably riders want to get away promptly on the green light and are sometimes even challenged by motorists who want to race them from the lights.

Getting away first is important as it helps traffic flow and is safer for the rider and other motorists.

However, the rule that says riders cannot stop in front of the stop line can make it difficult for riders to check that traffic from their sides has stopped at their red light, especially if the rider’s vision is obscured by vans or trucks.

There have been previous calls for an advanced stop line for riders as is the practice in some Asian and European countries.

Advanced motorcycle stop lane in Spain

However, that requires a lot of paintwork and education for other motorists to stop them from creeping forward on to the line.

At some intersections there are forward stop lines for cyclists which confuses some motorists who think it is for them.

Lane filtering lane splitting stop lines change
Bus ignores stop line

Instead, a simple rule change that allows riders to have their front wheel only past the stop line would make all the difference.

They still wouldn’t dangerously encroach on the pedestrian crossing, but would be able to get the rider in front of any obstructing traffic.

Change lane filtering rules
Rider slightly over line now has vision unobstructed

Just because lane filtering is now legal across Australia (except Tasmania and WA which will both introduce the rules soon) doesn’t mean there can’t be changes made.

Already the rules are slightly different across state boundaries.

Australian motorcycle Council chairman Shaun Lennard says they will continue to push for filtering to become part of the national road rules.

“And any national change should be accompanied by one advertising message for the entire country,” he says.

Until changes are made, riders should be circumspect about taking off at the lights, or run the risk of a fine by moving into a position where they get a clear view.lane filtering rule change