Motorcyclists have the benefit of being able to zip in and out of traffic, much to the dismay of car drivers – who are often caught off guard by a biker flying up the side of them.
Before you report a dangerous driver or plan to cut through traffic, make sure you know the new laws concerning lane splitting.
Riders with an open licence, including RE and R open licence holders, are now allowed to move between stationary or slow moving vehicles travelling in the same direction of the rider, provided they do not exceed 30km/h and conditions are safe to do so. This applies everywhere except for school zones during school hours, where riders cannot lane filter.
Motorcyclists are also allowed to ride on the shoulder (the outside of the lane) or in emergency stopping lanes, at a safe speed up to 30km/h, if traffic has stopped or slowed (on a motorway, for example.) Riders are only allowed to do this on roads that have a speed limit over 90km/h, and must give way to other cyclists or bikers.
Motorcycle riders are also now allowed to sit in bicycle storage areas (the space in front of the lanes for cyclists) while waiting at the traffic lights, but must give way to any cyclists or other riders already in the storage area.
Learner or provisional licence holders are not allowed to lane filter or on the road shoulder, because they don’t have as much experience reacting to situations on the road.
The penalties for breaking lane-filtering rules have now been adjusted to reflect the new laws. An on-the-spot fine of $341 and 3 demerit points applies to riders who break the rules (i.e. lane filtering above 30km/h) and if you choose to challenge your fine, you can be issued a maximum penalty of $2,277 by the courts.
These laws are introduced to give clear guidelines as to what motorcycle riders can and can’t do on the road. If you’re in a car, make sure you know what riders can and can’t do before getting worked up at bikers on the road.
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