Road users in Canberra will benefit from an ACT Government plan to trial lane filtering by motorcyclists, according to road safety law firm Maurice Blackburn.
The trial will be begin on 1 February 2015 and was recommended by an ACT Government report on law reform for vulnerable road users.
“Lane filtering is a common sense approach and we, along with the motorcycling community are keen supporters of this,” said Walter Hawkins, Maurice Blackburn principal.
Given NSW has successfully introduced lane filtering from 1 July this year, it will reduce confusion for riders and others in the ACT, who regularly cross borders into NSW.”
Lane filtering is defined as motorcycles moving between lanes of slow or stationary traffic. It is different to lane splitting which is where riders travel at higher speeds.
A large European study* shows lane filtering is safer for riders and it is legal in many other places around the world.
The trial, announced today by ACT Attorney General Simon Corbell, will cover the whole of the ACT and includes conditions including a requirement that motorcyclists not filter at a speed greater than 30km/h or on the kerbside next to a footpath, or in a bicycle lane or breakdown lanes.
Maurice Blackburn has been involved in a ground-breaking online road safety initiative called Stop SMIDSY that, together with Australia's motorcycling community, has pushed for lane filtering in every state and territory with an online campaign and video titled Motorcycle Lane Filtering.
The video has had over 87,000 views since it was launched in October 2013 and is often used prominently to illustrate how lane filtering works in action, so that the community understands its economic and safety benefits.
Mr Hawkins said it was encouraging that a number of state and territory governments were looking at lane filtering, but other states and territories now needed to take the next step and legalise it to reduce confusion among motorists and riders.
"Maurice Blackburn is proud to be supporting a growing campaign for law reform with the Motorcycle Riders Association of ACT and the Australian Motorcycle Council," he said.
*EU Motorcycle Accident Indepth Study (MAIDS) Final Report 2.0 2009
Stop SMIDSY Facebook page (Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You)
Maurice Blackburn inquiry submission on vulnerable road users in the ACT