Centre for Road Safety

Graphic and narrator: Motorcycle Lane Filtering in NSW.

[An aerial view shows a motorcycle rider on a busy four-lane urban road. Double unbroken white lines mark the centre of the road. The motorcyclist travels in the left lane, where many cars are parked next to the kerb. There is a footpath beside the kerb for pedestrians.]

Narrator: Lane filtering is when a motorcycle rider moves alongside vehicles that have either stopped or are moving slowly.

[As the motorcyclist approaches cars in front that have either stopped or slowed in both lanes, the rider brakes and indicates right, before slowly travelling between the cars to his right and left.]

Narrator: Less than 30 kilometres per hour.

[The rider stops between two stationary cars at a traffic light. As the light turns green, the motorcyclist rides off in front of the cars.]
Graphic and narrator: You can only lane filter when you’re travelling no more than 30 kilometres per hour.

[An aerial view shows a motorcycle rider on a busy four-lane urban road. Double unbroken white lines mark the centre of the road. The motorcyclist travels in the left lane, next to a footpath used by pedestrians.]

[A speedometer graphic shows the motorcyclist travelling at 30km/h.]

[As the motorcyclist approaches cars in front that have slowed in both lanes, the rider brakes and indicates right, before slowly travelling between the cars to his right and left.]

Narrator: This is because lane filtering at high speeds is dangerous and will increase the risk of having a crash.

[The speedometer shows the rider’s speed drop to 15km/h. A graphic shows a large green tick of approval.]

Graphic and narrator: You can only lane filter when it’s safe

[An aerial view shows a motorcycle rider on a busy four-lane urban road. Double unbroken white lines mark the centre of the road. The motorcyclist travels in the left lane, next to a footpath used by pedestrians.]

[As the motorcyclist approaches cars stopped in both lanes, the rider brakes and indicates right, before slowly travelling between the cars to his right and left.]

Narrator: Make sure you have enough space.

[The rider travels safely between the cars on either side.]

Narrator: You should only lane filter when there is enough space either side of you, so you can avoid a crash with other vehicles.

[The rider approaches two cars stopped side-by-side, close to the broken white lane marking. There is not enough space to lane filter between them. The rider indicates left, merges safely back into the left lane and stops behind the cars.

Narrator: And you can safely merge back into the traffic stream. If there's not enough space, don't risk it.

[A graphic shows a large green tick of approval.]

Graphic and narrator: Take care around pedestrians and cyclists.
[An aerial view shows a cyclist and cars on a busy four-lane urban road. Double unbroken white lines mark the centre of the road. The cyclist travels in the left lane, where many cars are parked next to the kerb. Pedestrians use the footpath beside the kerb.]

Narrator: Riders should take particular care when lane filtering in areas where there are pedestrians and cyclists such as central business districts, shopping areas and near public transport stops.

[A motorcyclist approaches the cyclist, slows down and indicates right to lane filter. The motorcyclist rides safely past the cyclist, between stopped cars in the left and right lanes.]

Narrator: Riders should always look out for pedestrians and cyclists as they are the most vulnerable road users and can be injured even in a low-speed crash.

[The motorcyclist travels slowly between the cars and comes to a halt before the stop line at a red traffic light, where pedestrians cross the road. A large green tick of approval is shown.]

Narrator: Riders must always stop behind the stop line at a red traffic light, never in front or over it.

[As the lights turn green, the motorcyclist rides off safely in front of the cars, indicates left and merges into the left lane.]

Graphic and narrator: Avoid lane filtering around heavy vehicles and buses.
[An aerial view shows a busy four-lane urban road. Double unbroken white lines mark the centre of the road. Cars are parked next to the kerb and pedestrians use the adjacent footpath. A motorcyclist rides slowly between stopped cars in the left and right lanes. Pedestrians use the footpath beside the kerb.]

Narrator: Lane filtering is when a motorcycle rider moves alongside vehicles that have either stopped or are moving slowly.

[The rider approaches a truck and bus stopped side-by-side. There is not enough space to lane filter between them. The rider indicates left, merges safely back into the left lane and stops behind the truck.]

Narrator: This is to keep you safe because drivers of heavy vehicles and buses often find it hard to see motorcyclists.
[A large green tick of approval is shown.]

Graphic and narrator: It is illegal to lane filter if you are travelling over 30 kilometres per hour.

[An aerial view shows a motorcycle rider on a busy four-lane urban road. Double unbroken white lines mark the centre of the road. The motorcyclist travels in the left lane, next to a footpath used by pedestrians. The motorcyclist indicates right and speeds up as he approaches cars ahead in both lanes, riding between the cars.]
[A speedometer graphic shows the motorcyclist accelerate to 30 kilometres per hour. A large red cross of disapproval is shown.]

Narrator: This is because lane filtering at high speed, which is called lane splitting, is dangerous and will not only increase the risk of having a crash, but also the severity of the crash.

Graphic and narrator: It’s illegal to lane filter if you are travelling in a school zone during school zone hours.

[An aerial view shows a motorcycle rider on a busy four-lane urban road. Double unbroken white lines mark the centre of the road. The motorcyclist travels in the left lane, next to a footpath used by pedestrians. The road has dragon’s teeth and large 40 markings in both of the lanes that pass the school. We see a large school zone sign with a flashing yellow light, showing that all passing traffic must slow to 40 kilometres per hour. The motorcyclist indicates right and incorrectly lane filters between vehicles. A large red cross of disapproval is shown.]

Narrator: This ensures filtering isn't done around schools where there may be children on or near the road.

This is to make sure pedestrians on footpaths remain safe, while also reducing the risk of a motorcyclist having a crash.

Graphic and narrator: It’s illegal to lane filter near the kerb.

[An aerial view shows a motorcycle rider on a busy four-lane urban road. Double unbroken white lines mark the centre of the road. The motorcyclist travels in the left lane, next to a footpath used by pedestrians. The motorcyclist indicates left and rides between the car and the kerb. A large red cross of disapproval is shown.]

Narrator: This is to make sure pedestrians on footpaths remain safe, while also reducing the risk of a motorcyclist having a crash.

Graphic and narrator: It’s illegal to lane filter next to parked vehicles. This is because opening doors from parked vehicles can put riders at risk.

[An aerial view shows a motorcycle rider on a busy four-lane urban road. Double unbroken white lines mark the centre of the road. The motorcyclist travels in the left lane, beside cars that are parked next to a footpath. The motorcyclist indicates left and illegally lane filters between the cars travelling in font and the parked cars. A large red cross of disapproval is shown.]

Narrator: This also aims to make sure that pedestrians accessing their parked vehicles, and cyclists who may be riding on the road, remain safe.

[We see the motorcyclist again, illegally lane filtering next to the parked cars, when his path is blocked by a driver getting into a parked car. A large red cross of disapproval is shown.]

Graphic and narrator: It’s illegal to lane filter if you are on your Ls or Ps.

[An aerial view shows a motorcycle rider on P plates on a busy four-lane urban road. Double unbroken white lines mark the centre of the road. The motorcyclist travels in the left lane, where cars are parked next to a footpath. The motorcyclist indicates right and illegally lane filters between the cars in each lane. A large red cross of disapproval is shown.]

Narrator: Lane filtering can be a complex manoeuvre to do safely, so only fully licensed riders who are experienced are allowed to lane filter.
Graphic and narrator: Heavy penalties apply to motorcyclists who don’t follow the lane filtering rules. These rules have been put in place so both riders and other road users can use the road safely.

Back to Motorcycle lane filtering.