The new motorcycle lane filtering laws do not apply to bicycle riders. Existing law continue to apply to bicycle riders.
To minimise safety risks, lane filtering is:
• only allowed when safe to do so
• not allowed at a speed greater than 30km/h
• only allowed by fully licensed riders (i.e. riders on their Ls or Ps are not be allowed to lane filter)
• not allowed in a school zone during school zone hours.
Riders will also be warned not to lane filter near heavy vehicles or buses.
• Lane filtering will be where a motorcycle rider rides past stationary or slow moving vehicles travelling in the same lane safely at a speed 30km/h or under. Lane filtering will become legal.
• Lane splitting will be where a motorcycle rider rides past vehicles travelling in the same lane at an unsafe speed of over 30km/h. Lane splitting remains illegal.
The NSW Government reviewed the findings of the report, NSW crash analysis and the approach taken in other jurisdictions, and as a result proposed a new approach for lane filtering in NSW.
Based on TfNSW’s recommendation, the Government decided to:
• Make lane filtering legal when done safely at a speed 30km/h or under (See conditions below).
• Create a new offence of ‘lane splitting’ to outlaw dangerous behaviour where a motorcycle rider moves past vehicles in the same lane unsafely at a speed faster than 30km/h.
• Launch an awareness campaign to educate all road users about:
o the difference between lane filtering and lane splitting
o how lane filtering can be done safely for all road users
o the need for all road users to be aware of motorcyclists that may be lane filtering.
In addition to the lane filtering trial, TfNSW has:
• analysed motorcycle crash data to identify any crash risks that may be associated with lane filtering
• reviewed Australian and international research on lane filtering
• reviewed international approaches to lane filtering and lane splitting
• extensively consulted with NSW Police and motorcycling groups such as the Motorcycle Council of NSW and the NSW Motorcycle Alliance.
TfNSW has identified that:
• Despite being (at the time) illegal, lane filtering is often practised on NSW roads.
• Lane filtering is a relatively low risk riding activity for motorcyclists when done in lower risk / low speed traffic situations (30km/h and under).
• When lane filtering is done at higher speeds (faster than 30km/h – ‘lane splitting’), crash risks increase for motorcycle riders and other road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists.
• The trial showed that lane filtering improved travel times for motorcyclists over short sections of the Sydney CBD. While motorcycles are increasing in popularity, they still only make up a relatively small proportion of overall traffic. For this reason, the trial did not show a reduction in congestion for all traffic. However it is expected that removing some motorcycles from traffic queues will help to minimise queuing at intersections.
As the number of motorcycles increases, it is clear that overall congestion would be improved.
There were no crashes in the trial zone during the two-month trial.
The purpose of the trial was to investigate the impact of allowing motorcyclists to legally lane filter on traffic congestion and road safety. Some questions which needed to be looked at included:
• Does lane filtering affect travel time for motorcyclists and general traffic?
• Does lane filtering affect the overall level of congestion?
• Does lane filtering affect road safety for all road users?
The final report for the trial was received by TfNSW in November 2013. TfNSW has analysed its contents in close consultation with the NSW Police Force.
On 18 October 2012, the Minister for Roads and Ports announced that there would be a trial of motorcycle lane filtering in the Sydney CBD.
TfNSW led the trial, which was held between 1 March and 30 April 2013. It was developed in consultation with:
• NSW Police
• City of Sydney Council
• Motorcycle Council of NSW
• NSW Motorcycle Alliance
• Roads and Maritime Services
• Australian Motorcycle Council.
An independent consultant, ARRB Group, was engaged to manage monitoring of traffic movement and road user behaviour during the trial, and to independently evaluate the impact of motorcycle lane filtering on traffic congestion, road safety risk and behaviour for all road users.
The motorcycle community has for some time sought to have lane filtering made legal, arguing that it:
• is safe
• has the potential to help ease traffic congestion, especially with the number of motorcyclists on our roads increasing every year.
Lane filtering is often practised on NSW roads, especially where there is traffic congestion.
TfNSW (Transport for NSW) led a motorcycle lane filtering trial in 2013. The trial’s aim was to identify any potential benefits or risks to road safety and traffic flow for all road users if lane filtering was allowed.
Motorcycle lane filtering is when a motorcycle rider moves between stationary or slow moving vehicles in the same lane.
Feel free to contact the Motorcycle Council of New South Wales. Our phone number is 1300 NSW MCC (1300 679 622) and our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Motorcycle Council has over 60 affiliated clubs, so this is a good place to start.
The Roads and Maritime Services have an incident reporting number 13 17 00, option 5, where you can report a road hazard.
Note that 80% of roads are the responsibility of local councils, so unless you are certain it is a State road looked after by the RMS, it may be better to report it to the Local Council.
It is also a good idea to report it to the Motorcycle Council as this could assist a fellow rider getting compensation should the hazard cause them to crash.
You don’t have to carry your e-tag provided your bike is listed as a motorcycle by your e-tag provider. This means you won’t be charged the numberplate recognition fees.
The Motorcycle Council can’t provide legal advice, but it can offer assistance on what are your rights and how best to proceed.
While motorcyclists in NSW have good reason to complain about the high price of greenslips (CTP), State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) have pointed out that many riders are paying more than they need to because they don’t shop around.
You can check out the SIRA greenslip price calculator to compare the prices from all currently licensed Green Slip insurers (but not their agents).
The Motorcycle Council produces a number of stickers such as:- ‘Motorcycle Aware Driver’, ‘Hang Up and Drive’, and ‘Motorcycling is Magic’. These are available at a number of shops and motorcycle shops, or they can be purchased from the MCCNSW’s eBay store.
It is not just wire rope barriers that should concern riders. No barriers currently in use are motorcycle friendly. Riders should be concerned about all barriers and where they are placed on the road side. For more information see the MCCNSW’s position statement on crash barriers.
The Motorcycle Council has a list of training providers and training courses.
It is not illegal to fit an aftermarket exhaust, but the noise level needs to comply with the noise label that is attached to the bike. The label looks like this:
For advice on protective clothing see:-
http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/motorcyclists/ridinggear.html and the Motorcycle Council’s website.
The wearing of UN ECE 22.05 helmets has been legal in NSW since just before Christmas 2015. For more information see http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/motorcyclists/motorcyclehelmets.html.
For maximum protection in the event of a crash, it’s important that the helmet stays in place. The above link has advice on choosing a helmet that is a good fit, particularly the roll-off test. Our advice is not to purchase a helmet you haven’t actually tried on for fit and comfort.
Lane Filtering has been legal in NSW since July 2014; fully licensed riders can filter between cars up to 30 kmph. For further information see http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/motorcyclists/lanefiltering/.
Note: learner and provisional riders are not permitted to lane filter. Furthermore, no rider is permitted to cross the stop line at the lights — this is a $415 and 3 point offence.
Motorcyclists’ needs, as vulnerable road users, are rarely considered by those who draft legislation, change regulations or implement road safety.
It is important we establish a voice to maintain and improve legislation, regulations and campaigns, to protect motorcyclists and their interests.
United we ride, divided we walk.
Club Liaison Officer
Club representatives can find out more information by contacting the Club Liaison Officer.
MCC affiliation is open to all clubs, associations and ride groups. Membership is also open to individuals.
Each affiliated club has two delegate seats on the MCC. Both delegates have a vote at meetings and access to the Delegates’ email list. Membership for clubs is free. Come and take your seat!
Although not entitled to vote on issues, Individuals who are not delegates and whether club members or not can join as Supporters. There are many benefits for Supporters. See the Supporters Page.
If you’d like your club to be part of the MCC, contact our Club Liaison Officer. More information here.
After members vote to pursue an objective, club representatives work together on developing a solution. Unaligned riders may assist with this process, but member groups are kept informed of progress at all times.
The MCC is run along democratic lines. Member clubs raise
issues from their own meetings via their delegates. These items are placed on the agenda of the MCC. The decision on whether an issue will be taken up or not is determined by a vote of the delegates.
We represent motorcycle riders in the state of New South Wales, safeguarding their rights. We promote motorcycling and the interests of motorcyclists.
Some issues include:
- Road safety
- Crash barriers
- CTP Insurance