From 1 February until 1 May this year, it was legal for motorcyclists to ride through stationary traffic at intersections in parts of the Sydney CBD.
This practice of moving between stationary vehicles is known as Lane Filtering.
“Lane filtering is currently against the law, however there will be an exemption for motorcyclists in part of the CBD, which will permit them to filter through traffic when vehicles are stopped at traffic lights,” said Roads Minister Mr Duncan Gay.
Mr Gay was using the three-month trial to test if motorbike lane filtering improves traffic flow. Lane Filtering will be confined to the areas bordered by Sussex and Market Streets, St James Road, Macquarie and Alfred Streets and Hickson Road.
Although the practice is legal in other countries such as the United Kingdom and much of mainland Europe, Mr Gay wants to find strong evidence it works here before making any changes to road rules.
“This trial is not about favouring one road user group over another, it is a system which could benefit all motorists in the CBD. It needs to be tested to ensure it improves traffic flow while not jeopardising road safety,” said Mr Gay.
Conditions for motorcyclists:
- Specific conditions will include taking extra care when filtering near buses, no filtering on the left in the kerbside left lane or dedicated turning lanes, and riders must stop at the intersection stop-line.
- Lane splitting will not be allowed – this involves motorcyclists weaving through moving traffic instead of stationary traffic.
What do you think of Lane Filtering as an idea to improve traffic flow?