Motorcycle filtering

After changes to legislation in November 2015, motorcycle and scooter riders are now legally allowed to filter at low speeds through traffic in Victoria, when and where it’s safe to do so. 

What is lane filtering?

Lane filtering is when a motorcycle or scooter travels at low speeds through stopped or slow moving traffic. It is legal in Victoria and affects all road users.

For a quick explanation of motorcycle lane filtering, take a look at this short video. 

Definition of lane filtering

Motorcycle lane filtering is defined as when the rider of a motorcycle rides along a length of road between:

  1. two adjacent lines of traffic travelling in the same direction as the motorcycle; or
  2. two vehicles (regardless of whether the rider remains within a single marked lane) and each vehicle is travelling in
    • the same direction as the motorcycle; and 
    • separate, but adjacent, marked lanes; or
  3. a vehicle travelling in the same direction as the motorcycle and an adjacent parked vehicle or line of parked vehicles but does not include overtaking.

A line of traffic is defined as one or more vehicle travelling along a road in a line (whether moving or not) irrespective of lane markings.

Why do we have lane filtering laws?

These laws help clarify what motorcyclists and scooter riders can and cannot do and help road users understand what is and isn’t permitted. 

Victorian Road Rule 151A and B permit lane filtering:

  • For motorcycle licence holders (not motorcycle learner permit holders)
  • At speeds up to 30 km/h, with a penalty for exceeding 30 km/h while filtering
  • If ‘safe to do so’
  • Unless otherwise signed

In what situations is lane filtering legal?

Situation Filtering
Between lines of traffic in the same direction? Yes, if safe to do so
Between vehicles travelling in the same direction in adjacent marked lanes? Yes, if safe to do so
Between a vehicle and another vehicle? Yes, if safe to do so
Between parked cars and traffic? Yes, if safe to do so
In all speed zones?  Yes, unless otherwise signed and if safe to do so. 
 On all types of roads? (local, rural, freeways etc.)
Yes, if safe to do so 
In the CBD?  Yes, if safe to do so 
In areas where there are schools or strip shopping? 
Yes, if safe to do so 
On roads with two or more lanes of traffic in the same direction?
 Yes, if safe to do so
 Through an intersection? 
 Yes, if safe to do so
Between traffic and an adjacent kerb? 
No
In bicycle lanes or bicycle boxes?
No. The regulations do not change how motorcyclists interact with bicycle infrastructure
Between lines or lanes of traffic travelling in  opposite directions?
No. 
In special purpose lanes?  These changes do not affect how motorcyclists may currently use special purpose lanes. 

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