Victorian motorcyclists to fill gaps and reduce crash risks

13 June 2013
Allowing motorcyclists to "filter" through slow or stationary traffic reduced the crash rate of riders by up to six times according to a European motorcycle accident study (MAIDS), and Victorian riders are now also set to benefit from a pro-filtering road safety awareness push.

After intense lobbying from road safety advocates including those at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, the Victorian Government has flagged its intention to allow motorcycles to "filter" through traffic gaps.

Road safety lawyer with Maurice Blackburn John Voyage welcomes the move, as filtering is something his firm highlighted in its submission to the inquiry, in a bid to ease traffic congestion, improve rider visibility and increase rider safety.

"Road safety advocates for riders have worked tirelessly to present evidence that the Government couldn't ignore, and we're now at the point of looking at new and different ways to make the roads safer for riders and motorists alike, such as filtering," Mr Voyage said.

"In other jurisdictions, filtering has proven to increase motorist awareness of riders on the road, leading to fewer collisions and serious injuries with riders as a result, so this is a step in the right direction.

"Aside from the safety aspects, it should hopefully ease some of the congestion on roads by filling wasted space between vehicles, so there's a general community benefit to this initiative as well."

Whilst legislative change has been baulked at, the Victorian Government has said it will support a filtering awareness campaign being developed out of VicRoads that looks specifically at the safe sharing of roads, particularly in congested environments.

Mr Voyage said that Maurice Blackburn's Stop SMIDSY campaign had also been a contributing factor in gaining support for a recommendation that the Transport Accident Commission redress an attitudinal imbalance in its rider safety advertising, moving away from perceptions that responsibility for rider safety is solely attributable to the rider.

To visit the Stop SMIDSY campaign site, go to https://www.facebook.com/stopsmidsy