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Motorcyclists call for lane filtering, Police remain to be convinced

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 14 December, 2012 - 11:54 AM
Motorcyclists want lane filtering to be allowed. (Photo: Leanne Pickett)

Motorcyclists are calling for legislation to allow for filtering in order to ease congestion on Victoria’s roads, but Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay says he remains to be convinced that the practice won’t see an increase in road trauma.

Speaking with Neil Mitchell, John Eacott from the Victorian Motorcycle Council said filtering was different to lane splitting, which sees a motorcycle moving through slow-moving or stationary traffic to reduce congestion as opposed to high speed traffic, and was encouraged in many countries throughout the world.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you think motorcyclists should be allowed to lane filter?

Mr Eacott said UK Police ran training courses on filtering for motorcyclists, and France was on the precipice of introducing it into their road laws.

"It benefits everyone; I just can't understand why it should be perceived as an issue such that it doesn't get encouraged," he said.

Mr Eacott said a Belgian study showed motorcycles reduced road congestion – if 10 per cent of vehicles on roads were two-wheeled, congestion would be reduced by 40 per cent.

"Filtering is just an adjunct of safe use of motorcycles in order to get them through the traffic, out of the way," he said.

However Police Chief Ken Lay said the vital information on how it will affect road trauma was missing.

LISTEN: Chief Commissioner Ken Lay with Neil Mitchell

"Whilst it's great to make the traffic flow better, and I understand a whole host of reasons why that should occur, show me the data that says this isn't going to kill and seriously injure more people," he said.

"My understanding is the Parliamentary Inquiry is actually recommended that some sort of pilot be run so we can actually get that data.

"Show me the research, let's make sure we're not hurting people and then we can go forward with it."

LISTEN: John Eacott from the Victorian Motorcycle Council speaks with Neil Mitchell:

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Blog comments Your Say

  • Most motorcyclists do not have the slow riding skills to competently filter in traffic. The systems for putting riders on the road have not taken this into account. But they certainly believe their skills are far superior than is evidenced. Just another political ploy by activists with no regard to improving rider onus on safety.

    David Monday 20 May, 2013 - 8:01 PM
  • If Motorcyclists and Scooter riders has the opportunity to access bike lanes in the City than they could readily lane filtering and move to the front without any risk to road safety.

    Te Government should allow lane filtering with the City of Melbourne and then look at the data to see if it compromises road safety. Lane filtering only occurs when cars are stationary or moving slowly (less than 10km a hour) at intersections..

    Melbcity Thursday 18 April, 2013 - 3:12 PM
  • Good question jay. Line Filtering, I assume, is allowing the motorbike to go down between lanes to ge to the front at traffic lights or move through jammed traffic. Without being allowed to "line filter' all advantages except fuel economy are extinguished. I rode a bike for five years in jakarta and I didn't ever see an accident caused by 'LF'. There should be actual motorbike-only lanes. A bike only needs a metre.

    jim morris Wednesday 23 January, 2013 - 9:43 PM
  • The atitude of drivers in Melb has a lot to do with why lane filtering is not as safe as other countries. In other countries drivers are motorbike / scooter / bicycle and pedestrian aware. In Melb it is none of the above. Teach motorists what drivers in other countries already do. Gia in Port Moresby. PNG.

    Gia Mann Sunday 23 December, 2012 - 3:49 PM
  • I am flabbergasted that Ken Lay claimed not to know the difference between splitting and filtering, he has been in the top job and co-ordinating motorcycle counter-measures long enough to know. By the way, I thought the Chief Commissioner's job was to implement, not determine the rules of the State.

    Dazzler Saturday 15 December, 2012 - 2:34 PM
  • Motorcyles; are hard to see when they filter on the left side of a moving semi not so long ago one rider was killed doing this near the westgate>..

    Steve Saturday 15 December, 2012 - 11:03 AM

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