Lane Filtering in Victoria
Taking advantage of motorcycles’ unique attributes enhances safety
Motorcycle Filtering – Preferred Framework for Victoria
The benefits, advantages, pros and cons of filtering have been discussed and examined and as a result, filtering became official Victorian Labor government policy. In March 2015, VicRoads commenced stakeholder input into the implementation of motorcycle traffic filtering, nominated for commencement in September 2015. Initial input was given verbally at a combined motorcycle stakeholder input meeting.
In the wake of that meeting, the Victorian Motorcycle Council (VMC) determined that a formal submission would be desirable to capture a broader range of stakeholder input from within the Victorian Motorcycle Council network and peers.
The VMC welcomed the opportunity to make this submission and to be involved in the ongoing implementation of motorcycle filtering in Victoria. The submission can be found here.
VMC's policy on Lane Filtering in Victoria
29th September 2015: Victoria Announces the Introduction of Motorcycle Lane Filtering - VMC Media Release
2nd November 2015: Motorcycle Lane Filtering is Legal - VMC Media Release
Motorcycles are a unique road modality, being a powered single track vehicle that is as often used for its enjoyment value as it is for its utility value . A rider experiences an immediacy to the road and road conditions that is both the key to their safety advantages (better vision, greater awareness, greater hazard perception) and safety disadvantages (higher injury likelihood from a small collision, higher risk from other road users). These factors are rarely appreciated by non-riders. There is a propensity to focus only on the negatives often fuelled by the anti-motorcycling rhetoric displayed in Australian media.
Further, it is noted that policy and road law generally fail to take advantage of the unique dynamics, size and mobility characteristics of motorcycles. This often forces motorcycles to behave in ways which can increase their exposed risk. This is particularly true of filtering* where a motorcyclist is forced by law to be part of the column of heavy traffic flow. This leaves the motorcyclist vulnerable to the risk of rear end collision† or being merged onto by a driver who perceives a gap in a column of traffic where in fact a motorcycle is travelling. For example, rear end collisions represented 23% of all Queensland crashes in 2002, according to the "Queensland Transport Annual Road Traffic Crash Report: 2002".
Read the full details in the VMC Submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Road Safety Committee.