For years the sight of tail lights wending their way through stalled traffic has been met by the outrage of other motorists. But road users in the ACT may soon have to become used to motorcyclists legally lane filtering as a potential trial of the legislation looms.
Motorcyclists in NSW are now legally permitted to ride in the gap between lines of stalled and slowed traffic. They are restricted to a 30km/h speed limit when engaging in lane filtering and are also prohibited from lane filtering next to a kerb, parked vehicles or within a school zone.
A bid for the territory to adapt the laws were outlined in a Legislative Assembly report delivered at the start of June, which recommended that the ACT government conduct a trial of motorcycle lane filtering by March 2015.
Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT president Steve Robson supports the NSW version of the legislation and commended the 30km/h restriction, believing it to be vital for the safety of motorcyclists and other road users.
“The last thing we want is for a motorcyclist to endanger themselves or anyone else as a result of exceeding speed limits and moving too quickly between traffic,” he said.
“Lane filtering merely provides the means for a motorcyclist to safely get out of congestion and to get clear of traffic, which is good news, both for themselves and for the other users of the road.”
The MRA ACT has campaigned for legalisation on lane filtering for years and expressed its support for the ACT government to implement a trial.
However, it wants appropriate advertising campaigns to be run prior to the start of any law changes so that other road users are aware of what is legal and what is not.
“We have reports of people deliberately opening up doors on riders and we don’t want that. It’s just endangering people’s lives,” Mr Robson said.
“We have been talking to the members [of the Legislative Assembly] for quite some time and we have garnered in-principle support and agreement. We are really hopeful and continue to lobby with them.”
Police minister Simon Corbell said the Legislative Assembly was considering an ACT implementation of the NSW legislation. “We’re looking closely at the lane filtering trial in NSW and we will be looking at the results of that trial to determine whether or not lane filtering should be considered further here in the ACT.”