Motorcycling lane filtering starts in ACT and QLD – time for national uniformity

30 January 2015
As thousands of motorcyclists start lane filtering this weekend in QLD and ACT, road safety advocates Maurice Blackburn are urging a national approach to road laws to boost motorcycle safety and ease congestion.

This Sunday on 1 February, lane filtering becomes legal in Qld and a two-year trial starts in the ACT. Lane filtering was legalised in NSW on 1 July. Elsewhere it has not been legalised.

Lane filtering is defined as motorcycles moving between lanes of slow or stationary traffic. In jurisdictions where it has been introduced in Australia, lane filtering is not permitted near heavy vehicles and buses. Speed and licence restrictions apply and filtering is not permitted around schools. Filtering is different to ‘lane splitting’ which is done at higher speed.

Maurice Blackburn principal Malcolm Cumming said it was high time there was national uniformity around filtering to benefit all road users.  

“Lane filtering is an important, common sense approach to easing congestion and should be introduced across all states and territories. Not only will a uniform approach improve safety and ease congestion, it will limit confusion among all road users, particularly those who travel interstate.

“A large European study* previously undertaken has shown lane filtering is safer for riders and it is legal in many other places around the world.

The Victorian government did, while in opposition, pledge to introduce lane filtering if it won the election. Others states have not indicated they have plans to do so. 

Maurice Blackburn, working with Australia’s motorcycling community, has long been a champion of lane filtering and other motorcycling safety initiatives. It has run an online campaign and produced a video to raise awareness of lane filtering:


*EU Motorcycle Accident Indepth Study (MAIDS) Final Report 2.0 2009

Practice Areas: